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Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates

Discussion in 'Navy & Maritime' started by icelord, Feb 13, 2007.

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  1. Calculus

    Calculus Active Member

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    Originally, this was planned to be a batch build, with the first batch of 3 (possibly 4) ships being optimized for area air defence. These ships were to replace the since retired Iroquois class destroyers, which performed that role for Canada. It was thought those first ships would have 40+ Mk 41 cells. The remaining builds would be for a GP frigate. Other differences were the radar systems, which on the first ships were thought to be AMDR, with EASR on the remaining 12 ships. However, in the last year or so it would seem that the RCN has moved to build a single common configuration for all 15 ships with a powerful S-band LM radar (based on LRDR). If true, this means any ship could assume the area air defence role simply by having the appropriate missile load-out. In other words, for that role, the 32 cells would all be filled with SMx, and the close-in defence would be handled by the 24 Sea Ceptors in the 6 ExLS cells. For a ship in the "GP" role, there would still be a mix of SMx (presumably SM2) in some of the Mk41 cells (it has been speculated 16), with ESSM quad-packed in the remaining Mk41 cells, plus Sea Ceptor. However, this is pretty much speculation at this point, as the RCN is still in the Requirements definition phase of the project, so the final configuration could again be different from what is seen in the model in the video. It should be noted that over the past 3 years the T26 models for CSC have been quite different, with some having 24 Mk 41 cells, some 32, some with Sea RAM (but no ExLS), and some with Phalanx (also with no ExLS). There are pictures of all these variants on the Canadian thread, if anyone is interested.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  2. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    Interesting if the CSC will be a common configuration. Has the LM radar been confirmed? A millenium 35 mm gun in lieu of the Phalanx works for me. Sea RAM, nice but more expensive missiles. Can these RIM-116 missiles be loaded into the launcher at sea?
     
  3. Flexson

    Flexson Member

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    What I keep hearing from work and elsewhere is;

    RN = 24x Mk41 and 24x Sea Ceptor forward of the Bridge plus 24x Sea Ceptor aft of funnel.
    RCN = 32x Mk41 forward of the Bridge plus 6x ExLS aft of funnel.
    RAN = 32x Mk41 forward of the Bridge (spun 90 degrees compared to RN/RCN).

    However word on the street at work is that the Type 26 design can accommodate up to 48x Strike Length Mk41 VLS forward of the Bridge and 24x shorter length launchers aft of the funnel.

    Good picture of the RN version (source in pic).
     

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  4. Boagrius

    Boagrius Active Member

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    See to my mind it seems like a no brainer to fit the full ~72 cells from the outset. Even if it's too expensive to fill them all during peacetime you at least have the option of doing so in a crisis. Is there something I'm missing here?
     
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  5. John Newman

    John Newman Well-Known Member

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    I'd say yes, the first thing that comes to mind is.... Dollars, lots and lots of dollars.

    Putting aside the endless discussion regarding the number of VLS the Hunter class FFG will have (start of service life, potential growth, etc, etc), the Hunter class will be very well equipped from day one, not just weapons, but all the sensors, etc, too, they are very much 'fitted with' and not the old 'fitted for' as was the case with the Anzac class FFH.

    It's worth revisiting the RAN spec sheet (specifically the bottom of page 2):

    http://www.navy.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/Hunter_Class_Fact_Sheet.pdf

    Let's not forget that the primary role of this class is ASW, but the AAW and AShW capabilities are pretty dammed impressive too.

    Looking to the future RAN it's easy to imagine a task group of, say, an LHD or two, LPD, AOR, etc, being escorted by a DDG and a couple of FFGs.

    Those three escorts will have a total of 112 strike length VLS cells (in any loadout combination the RAN sees fit), but lets say each of the three ships is using quad pack ESSM (probably Blk2), in 8 cells on each ship, that's a total of 96 ESSM available, that leaves 88 cells available for SM-2/-6, etc, plus of course separate canister launched AShM capability too.

    And lets not forge the sensors and CMS, and especially CEC capability shared amongst those three escorts too.

    Yes 'more' always sounds better, but at what cost? Add more VLS from day one and take away something else to fit within budget, what do you trade off?

    Lets hope the program stays on an even keel (pun intended) and that all the goodies currently proposed are actually delivered with the ships from day one too.

    Cheers,
     
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  6. John Newman

    John Newman Well-Known Member

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    Here's some video from DSEI 2019 (day 2):



    Some specific RAN highlights, model of Hunter class, showing the 32 Mk41 VLS (alongside models of the UK and Canadian T26), model of Supply class, and an interesting model by BMT showing their new design, Ellida, a Multi-Role Support Ship (MRSS).

    BMT announces ELLIDA ™, a new MRSS

    The BMT model on display is the largest at 195m, but apparently will be a 'family' of ships to this concept design (appear to me they are trying to compete with the Damen Enforcer family of LPDs).

    We could see some competition between BMT and Damen for the proposed Pacific ship and future Choules replacement.

    And one last video from DSEI:



    A selection of naval AShM on display, of possible particular interest to the RAN is of course NSM and also LRASM. (Interesting to note possibility of NSM being fitted and integrated to a naval helicopter).

    Cheers,
     
  7. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    The ELLIDA MRSS looks an interesting concept and well worth looking at. I quite like the concept myself and will be interesting to see how it progresses. If it was able to undertake basic refuelling at sea as well, it could be quite a desirable capability. Xaviers' interview with the BMT rep about it starts at 8:06 minutes.



    The NSM weighs in at around 415 kg according to Wikipedia*, so it's not much heavier than the Penguin (at 385 kg). Could probably even launch 2 of them off our Sprites :D and be back aboard in time for tea, biscuits, gin, and medals.

    NSM on helo.jpg

    * Yes I know not a good source but about all there is.
     
  8. old faithful

    old faithful Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    So, if I was a bad guy, I,d want those ships to expend as many SAM,s as possible before I actually attacked the ship, probably send in as many cheap drones mixed in with Anti ship missiles before I launched a proper attack....
     
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  9. Boagrius

    Boagrius Active Member

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    Yes, my main concern originally was the fact that, over the service life of the Hunter class, the other side is likely to have a pretty vast arsenal of AShMs (this is without getting into drones/decoys etc). Even cheaper subsonic weapons like the C802 could be problematic due to their ability to simply deplete onboard SAM reserves via massed attacks. That said if there is, in fact, a cost issue associated with additional VLS cells then that makes sense and it is a good thing we are at least getting a vessel with solid growth margin built into it.
     
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  10. ASSAIL

    ASSAIL Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    These “massed” attacks need to be delivered within range and with real time target information, not an easy accomplishment when a TG deploys layered defences over very long range.
    I think we also need to inject some reality into the possible scenarios, the RAN will not be taking individual action against “the other side” ,whomsoever that be but as part of a coalition TG which will have adequate defences.
    Given the RAN’s CONOPS and budget the Hunters’ capability strikes a good defensive balance.
     
  11. Boagrius

    Boagrius Active Member

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    Fair enough. Thanks for the clarification.
     
  12. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    I believe the current doctrine calls for firing two missiles at each inbound, in an effort to increase the probability of a successful intercept. A 32-cell Mk 41 VLS could potentially accommodate up to 128 ESSM or ESSM Block II, which would provide a fair amount of persistence against potential threats within a ~50 km radius of the "frigate"... However, some of that VLS cell space could start getting eaten up by ASROC-VL, NSM depending on the type of launcher used, or even other, larger air defence missiles like examples from the Standard family (SM-6 specifically). I too would prefer that more VLS cells be available, just so that the RAN has the option of increasing the missile loadout prior to a deployment. Time will tell whether not that is something the RAN can do, or if it can, would need to.
     
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  13. oldsig127

    oldsig127 Active Member

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    I wonder whether our radar, various electronic information gathering systems and EW systems provide the CMS with the ability to discern a cheap drone from an ASM and react appropriately?

    Naaah. Clearly the West wouldn't have even given it a thought.

    oldsig
     
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  14. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    There are a couple of areas where I could seen the potential for a RAN vessel to be targeted by a massed attack, but not be operating as part of a task force or within the defensive coverage of a task force. I am specifically thinking of transits through the Strait of Hormuz, and/or between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, though there are a few other possibilities.

    In the scenarios I have in mind though, if a RAN vessel were to be targeted, it was because it was in the wrong place, at the wrong time, as opposed to being targeted because it was a RAN vessel specifically.
     
  15. hauritz

    hauritz Well-Known Member

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    I think the trick is not to put your fleet in a position where it is likely to be subjected to mass missile attacks. If a fleet finds itself fighting off wave after wave of missile attacks then they are pretty much dead anyway.

    I believe submarines still pose a greater threat to surface fleets than mass missile attacks. It would still be easier to sink a ship with a torpedo from a few thousand meters than it would be firing a missile from several hundred kilometres.
     
  16. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    The problem within something like the above, is that there are a few natural choke points to some of the most important SLOC in the world. Some of those choke points can and have at times had land-based AShM launchers positioned to cover the SLOC. Now yes, a navy could decide not to have a fleet operate within range of those AShM covering the choke point, but then that leaves control over that SLOC to whomever controls the AShM launchers. An intact fleet or task force is not doing much good if shipping in essentially blockaded due to a loss of access through a SLOC. Consider the Tanker Wars during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980's. The world is sort of there, or at least has the potential to go in that kind of direction now.
     
  17. ASSAIL

    ASSAIL Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    There are SLOC Choke points where the threat of AShM can be quite easily neutralised if a hot war situation arose, I’m thinking specifically of the South China Sea where the artificial island bases would be the first casualty with zero chance of either survival or replenishment would be possible. It would be a little more difficult in the straits of Hormuz but I believe those sights could be neutralised with persistent air attack.
    Naturally the problem is far more acute when rogue action is taken in the build up to conflict or simply to test the resolve of those protecting FON
     
  18. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    I had in mind less that a hot shooting war had broken out, and more someone with authority over the AShM launcher batteries might decide to use a nearby vessel as an object lesson. Once an actual conflict has broken out, then I would expect some of the usual international participants to take action to permit FON and keep the SLOC open.

    As for the islands in the SCS, I think any strikes originating from them would be after a further decline in the security situation, and the chances of a commander deciding on their own to order launches to be less likely. It does raise the interesting question of what does it look like when you sink an island? Also, how would one mark that 'kill' on the side of a ship or aircraft?
     
  19. Wombat000

    Wombat000 Member

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    Clearly, I'm no expert.
    When considering question of persistence, I don't think the vessel will leave the AO to reload, unarmed.
    So therefore a budget of the magazine will theoretically, all things going spiffy, SHOULD never be used.
    But it also impacts on the usable numbers of rounds available.

    Historically, since the VLS launch system has been used, western navies have had the luxury of independent operations without pressure on ammunition supply.

    The whole concern rests on the lack of innovation in addressing the 'reload at sea' capability, "havnt needed it yet so let's not bother"
     
  20. SteveR

    SteveR Active Member

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    I appears integration of NSM onto the MH-60R is included in the FMS case cleared for sale to India - see the inclusion of an NSM emulator and inert training round as part of the FMS list:

    US approves MH-60R sale to India | Jane's 360