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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. spoz

    spoz Active Member

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    I think we may be getting a little ahead of ourselves here. With Sydney not yet commissioned it might be a little early to start suggesting we give them away. Plus, I seem to remember there is already a project to upgrade parts of the Hobart CMS as Aegis is managed by the USN through a series of rolling major and minor mods. Whether they would ever need a MLU in the way the fag boats did is, at this stage anyway, a moot point.
     
  2. StingrayOZ

    StingrayOZ Well-Known Member

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    • With SM3 deployed in Poland I imagine the Aegis part is doable. While Poland is looking at building ships, they are in a vulnerable position that could put them in a situation looking for a ship with reasonable manpower/operating requirements and Aegis.
    • Norway is already a frigate down, but 20 years is a long time in the future, but again they are in a situation which puts them right in tight situation. Given the right climate, it could be something they consider. But typically they aren't in the 2nd hand market.
    • Spain might take it on and offer a MLU and on sell to someone else. But then again it has its own Frigates that by then would be looking pretty ancient and putting them onto market as well. The younger build might be more attractive to somebody.
    • Singapore has purchased 2nd hand ships before. The Hobarts would be a size bigger than anything they have operated before so might only be taken on as a short term effort.. However, at the right time, having something that could operate with US/Australian forces in the region when pressure is particularly high.
    • I think Philippines Brazil and Indonesia really depend on what happens in the next 20 years. I agree not in the current climate, but that could change.
    • 20 years is a long time into the future, Chile just purchased some FFG's.. Maybe they might be interested in some older Hobarts to replace those.
    I agree none of those seem quite likely. Its also likely they won't be the only F-105's on offer when they do go from the RAN.

    Maybe we keep them around and make the RAN a 14-15 surface combatant Navy in 2040+. Then we just incorporate the continuous build based around replacing 15 ships. It doesn't even have to cost anymore in terms of procurement.
     
  3. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    As I see it, there are two different paths any hypothetical on-sale of Hobart-class vessels could follow.

    These two paths are either as a largely emptied vessel/hull, with most sensors, shipboard electronics, weapons and CMS removed (which IMO would dramatically reduce or eliminate any US ITARS or FMS issues) however any purchaser would then need to carry out a fairly thorough MLU to get something other than a destroyer-sized patrol vessel. The alternative would be for a number of major systems like SPY and/or the Aegis CMS to be retained, which IMO would cause the US to be quite careful about who was allowed to purchase the vessels. Please keep in mind that currently there are only a half-dozen nations, including the US, which field Aegis and apart from the US, two are NATO members and the other three have a status with the US as major, non-NATO allies. I do not really foresee Brazil, Indonesia or the Philippines having a close enough relationship to the US to be permitted to get SPY and/or Aegis, unless the systems have become so obsolete in which case they would need replacement anyway.

    Singapore currently is operating fairly new frigates which commissioned just over a decade ago, which are also about half the displacement. Singapore might be permitted to acquire SPY and/or Aegis, but IMO it would be really questionable whether or not it would be worth it for them to purchase one or more significantly larger surface vessels which are 2nd hand, in 20 years. By my estimate, I would expect that Singapore would either be in the process of, or have just completed replacing their Formidable-class frigates. With that in mind I really do not see why there would be interest or value to Singapore in getting vessels which would be due to a major MLU.

    Norway is currently down a frigate, which could use replacement now, not 20 years in the future with what might be a one-off class for the RNoN. Particularly since the current Aegis-kitted frigates would also likely be due for replacement at the time the RAN might be interested in disposing of the Hobart-class destroyers. With that in mind, I would expect that the RNoN would have a programme again either underway or just completed to replace their frigates when the RAN might be looking for buyers.

    I honestly would discount any notion of Spain purchasing the Hobart-class on speculation, since that would also run into ITARS and FMS issues unless the vessels were stripped, and then Spain would need to find buyers for the vessels while also finding a way to at least break even in terms of costs to acquire, carry out any upgrades and then on-sell them.

    Poland I also discount having any interest in the vessels, since the Polish Navy largely operates in the confined waters of the Baltic Sea and seems to be moving their warship acquisitions to smaller surface vessels which are under 2,000 tonnes and a length of 100 metres or less. If one looks at the current makeup of the Polish fleet, as well as some of the ongoing projects, warships the size of a DDG would really not fit. If the Polish Navy was looking conduct blue water operations things would be different, but at present it seems the concern is much more littoral ops.
     
  4. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Guys, can we consider not discussing Singapore as a purchaser of 2nd hand Hobarts in this RAN thread? This sort of development is very unlikely (x3000) as:

    1. Singapore has its own naval ship building industrial base to protect (i.e. strong preference to place order for navy ships from ST Marine) and has locally developed/modified CMS and modules starting with the littoral mission vessels (eg. USV modules or even a medical module) to be used for all classes of ships as plug and play;

    2. As a small navy that has to fight in the littoral zone, the RSN has a different concept of operations from the RAN — leading to very different naval ship design choices and trade-offs. The Vanguard 130 mothership design concept (see: IMDEX 2019: ST Engineering unveils Vanguard 130 multi-role combatant concept | Jane's 360) that was introduced by ST Marine at IMDEX 2019 is probably indicative of RSN priorities (for the up coming Victory Class replacements). IMHO, the RSN needs lean manning for its 6 existing Formidable Class frigates and very lean manning for its future replacement frigates — as Singapore will have a bigger manning crisis ahead in the 2030s onwards;

    3. Hobarts are not cost effective for Singapore, as:

    (i) there only 3 of the class (to replace 6); and

    (ii) it has missiles and radar systems that are different from SAF’s existing investments and future system of systems roadmap (whereas the ASTER missile is being used by both the RSAF and RSN); and​

    4. Singapore not only requires sovereign control of some key technologies it acquires (i.e. favourable existing defence science relationships with France, Germany and Israel — some access to source codes and so on), the country also engages in some level of risk diversification by not only buying American weapon systems that come with a lot of strings attached. Currently, all Singapore fighters (F-16, F-15 and F-35), attack helicopters and naval helicopters are American made. Buying more systems that come with a US veto, in the era of America First, may not be in Singapore’s defence science and industrial base interests — as the US government has prevented or restricted Singapore access to some technologies that the country is willing to pay for to further develop (eg. with Abraham Karem and his team at Frontier Systems that the US is not using), in the past. Singapore is committed to investing and developing its defence industrial base, R&D base, and acquisition expertise; but is not doing it alone. Thus it is important to maintain defence science partnerships with the French, the Germans, the Israelis and others, to enable Singapore to go further than travelling alone. The goal is to collaborate to go far; not just go fast.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019 at 5:47 AM
  5. ASSAIL

    ASSAIL Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Discussing disposal of the Hobarts is a waste of effort.
    No one can predict the strategic circumstance in 20+ years, not only for the RAN but for many of the navies touted as recipients.
    “If” they are to be replaced in just 20 years I suspect they would simply be properly preserved and mothballed until their relevance dwindled at which time they will be scrapped.
    This leaves options for our capability planners in an increasingly unstable strategic environment.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019 at 10:17 PM
  6. Volkodav

    Volkodav Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    The trouble is SPY-1 D(v) was a very tight fit on the F-100 base design, the ships are also tight in terms of access to remove and replace major items of equipment. I'm not saying it can't be done, just that even if it was possible it would be difficult and expensive, as well as highly likely to have major compromises.

    The Hobart Class procurement is appearing more and more to be a repeat of the Perth acquisition, very capable ships that are transformational for the RAN, yet did not fully meet the RANs actual requirements and required extensive and expensive upgrades to remain viable, often falling behind the curve during their service lives. David Shackleton suggested that the Belknap Class may have proven better value for money for Australia than the Adams, once the cost and risk of extensive upgrades were factored in to the overall cost of ownership, the same could be said for a Flight IIA Burke verses the F-100.

    The Adams Class (Perths) were good ships but they were the cheapest option that came close to what was required, Shackleton states that it was fortunate nothing cheaper was available. I believe the same can be said of the Hobarts.
     
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  7. Volkodav

    Volkodav Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    My wife works in the finance industry, where a large number of polies come from (finance and law seem to be the big two these days), and discussions at functions with these people are a real struggle, many of them quite literally have no idea about anything outside of their industries. There also seems to be a general assumption that Australia is only good at finance, resources, primary industry and tourism, nothing else.