Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Fifth column covertly facilitating the acquisition of all required infrastructure and expertise prior to slipping two dozen Bs into the future plans.

Once the Bs are proving themselves on the Canberras the Hunters can be followed by a class of DDHs to permit the LHDs to return to their primary role. :cool:
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Argh to dream.............................Volk you know not to mention that F35B flying thing

Regards S
You did have to go and bring that up didn't you. Naughty boy. You know that we have to give NT posters special dispensations because of their inherent geographically misplaced thought processes ;) That they freak out if they can't see a pub or bottlo.
 

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
You did have to go and bring that up didn't you. Naughty boy. You know that we have to give NT posters special dispensations because of their inherent geographically misplaced thought processes ;) That they freak out if they can't see a pub or bottlo.
Even worse, working from home during school holidays...." No darling, we can't go out, I have to work", ten minutes later, " No darling, we can't go out, I have to work".
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
You did have to go and bring that up didn't you. Naughty boy. You know that we have to give NT posters special dispensations because of their inherent geographically misplaced thought processes ;) That they freak out if they can't see a pub or bottlo.
Apologies - Symptom of Stage four lockdown

S
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
osumi class
Bow doors, big ship to go beaching, no hangar facilities. Also a bit long for a local build.
San Giorgio
Only two deck landing spots if built to the more recent Algerian spec. 4 if to the original Italian spec
I'm not sure either have much in terms of hospital facilities as standard. Both designs are a bit long in the tooth. I'm not sure either design is that attractive for a pacific ship.

That being said, the general layout of San Giorgio I quite like. I could certainly see some sort of light ASW ship/anti-piracy/amphibious ship fitting that design shape. We could certainly build a ship of that type.

4 landing spots, 2 for chinook/MV22. Able to hangar four MH60R's and UAV's.
Able to embark and deploy 1 x LCM1E.

But then again such a design would run into the JSS design by Navantia. Unless you are specifically in need of significantly improved aviation facilities (ASW?), you would seem to get a lot more out of the JSS design.
 

Sideline

Member
The JSS design by Navantia, is almost the only option IMHO, as it would have so many operations, systems and parts in common with the LHD's and the Supply Class AOR that any cost differences would be repaid in reduced training, parts and the standing relationship/understanding with Navantia.

Besides, There is also another major technical point to consider that a fleet of 2 x LHD's, 2 x Supply Class AOR, 2 x JSS, 2 x Hunter Class FFG and 2 x Hobart Class DDGs would look SO VERY COOL. :cool::D
 

swerve

Super Moderator
osumi class
Bow doors, big ship to go beaching, no hangar facilities. Also a bit long for a local build.
San Giorgio
Only two deck landing spots if built to the more recent Algerian spec. 4 if to the original Italian spec
I'm not sure either have much in terms of hospital facilities as standard. Both designs are a bit long in the tooth. I'm not sure either design is that attractive for a pacific ship.
Oosumi class doesn't have bow doors. It has a stern dock, as shown in the photo linked to below -
https://www.carrushome.com/media/2018/03/9-10.jpg

LSTs generally have bow doors, but calling the Oosumis LSTs may have been one of those cases of Japanese creative naming, like calling a 27,000 ton through-deck helicopter carrier a destroyer. An LST is generally smaller than an LPD. Oosumi's about the same length as the Navantia JSS design, BTW.

The original Santi were designed & built a long time ago, but I think the design of the new ones for Algeria & Qatar was brought up to date, though I can't say by how much. There is another issue, though: they're small. Even the Algerian & Qatari ships, which are about 10 metres longer, are small: only about 9000 tons full load. Would the RAN want a follow-on to a Bay-class which isn't much more than half the size?
 

DDG38

Defense Professional
Verified Defense Pro
Again, until we see actual spec requirements and definitive mission role all of this is just "coulda woulda shoulda" speculation. There isn't even any project data on the Defence network for the Pacific support ship, so I would suggest holding your water until something official is released and we save pages of forum discussion covering multiple wish lists for thought bubbles. ;)
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
LSTs generally have bow doors, but calling the Oosumis LSTs may have been one of those cases of Japanese creative naming, like calling a 27,000 ton through-deck helicopter carrier a destroyer. An LST is generally smaller than an LPD.
Woh, woops. yes, the wacky Japanese naming. They sometimes like to name things for the things they replaced. But yes, thats quite a large dock, looks much larger than what is on the santi. That dock must take up quite a bit of interior room.

An LST is generally smaller than an LPD. Oosumi's about the same length as the Navantia JSS design, BTW.
Yes, I think the JSS design may become an issue if we want to build it here, we will need to make the osborne dock a tad larger. However, the argument for that seems to be getting stronger, particularly with large frigates in design, and future designs likely to get larger.
The original Santi were designed & built a long time ago, but I think the design of the new ones for Algeria & Qatar was brought up to date, though I can't say by how much. There is another issue, though: they're small. Even the Algerian & Qatari ships, which are about 10 metres longer, are small: only about 9000 tons full load. Would the RAN want a follow-on to a Bay-class which isn't much more than half the size?
The Singaporeans were very excited about them and it was a local developed variation that inspired The endurance 170 (famously the Singaporean f-35b carrier). I find the whole carrier thing particularly odd, because the ship is too short to let a F-35B take off, and none of the lifts can take anything other than a folded or blade removed helicopter.

So I imagine if we wanted something like that, we would be making progress off what the Singaporeans are working on. But that is quite a bit larger than the original design, and yet still far smaller than our LHD's. Current speculation has countries like Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, possibly NZ interested in such a design.

I do think the Endurance 170 and the Navantia JSS are two designs being circulated in the region for similar outcomes.

For Australia, IMO, the JSS design is more attractive and complimentary to our existing capabilities.

But the San Giorgio/endurance 170 type format would be attractive if you ever wanted an ASW/commando carrier, or a minilhd. But for Australia, who currently already operates 2 x LHD, I don't see where it fits in. It wouldn't be able to take on Nh90's in the hangar, certainly chinooks are off the hangar bay too. Any situation where the JSS aviation capabilities are inadiquate, we would be sending a LHD.
 

vonnoobie

Well-Known Member
I swear it was only a couple years ago (possibly less) that me and others where thinking of such ships and getting knocked down by it.. how times change :p

In regards to the future replacement for choules well it all comes down to navy and army thinking. Does it have the space needed for the task but they don't like only have the one hull for it in which case a smaller ship could be acceptable or are they thinking they will need twice or more lift in which case a ship equal or even slightly larger. Only time will tell but no matter what we go for we are becoming more and more capable and self sufficient.

On subject of ASW at rate people want to put them into our ships we going to have to double our fleet of helicopters. With our combat ships taking away half of them, training more still LHD's and any LPD/JSS will have 1 - 2 birds. Want more on them then find more funds for the assets and manpower or we will find our birds being over worked quickly. Let's relax about turning every large ship into an ASW combatant.
 

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Looking outside the square, something capable of operating and supporting UAV, USV, and UUV, in addition to its primary role would future proof the RAN.

As for specific types and classes, I just mentioned a couple of approximately 10000ton through deck designs as examples. It's the configuration of the through deck, docking well and flexible spaces I believe are important going forward. Add compatibility with containerised systems, say a container deck with power and cooling interfaces, a hangar etc. and you have a highly capable, flexible, and above all affordable ship.

Again looking more at the configuration than a specific class or even size, something that can do what it was bought to do, but can also trial and develop new technologies for possible incorporation in the eventual replacements for the destroyers, frigates, opvs and LHDs.

Be smart now and save time and money down the road.
 
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StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
On subject of ASW at rate people want to put them into our ships we going to have to double our fleet of helicopters. With our combat ships taking away half of them, training more still LHD's and any LPD/JSS will have 1 - 2 birds. Want more on them then find more funds for the assets and manpower or we will find our birds being over worked quickly. Let's relax about turning every large ship into an ASW combatant.
I should preface everything with this is just a broader discussion about designs/conops/doctrine/capabilities not a proposal specifically for immediate acquisition.

I was more pointing out the key advantage of say a through deck ship like the LHD/Endurance 170 over a traditional JSS type design. The key advantage is much improved space and capability in aviation ops. Because other than that, the JSS configuration is going to walk all over other through deck designs as you get spaces/volume for things like hospitals, 70% AOR, embarked forces/amphibious landing capability, and your aviation doesn't interfere with your amphibious loads. There is a tremendous amount of more volume in a traditional ship layout.

One of the few times you would want to have sustained high intensity aviation operations would be in anti-submarine operations. And yes, if things ever went pear shaped against a near peer, we would have to double our helo fleet and we would have to dedicate a significant portion of our entire ADF resources to ASW operations. If there is something to be learnt from the Falkland's campaign is not to underestimate subs. Your navy is useless and undeployable if you can't counter them.

With the proliferation of submarines, ASW becomes more important. Other than operating one or two helicopters, alone insufficient for any sort of screen, that would then burden the LHD's with that role. Something that came up in INDEX 2019. LHD's can't do amphibious taskings and ASW taskings at the same time.


The RAN is also acquiring more utility helicopters most likely romeos.

Not only that, it may be useful to have the ASW platform not be the platform you are trying to protect. You may wish to sail them in different directions. The ASW platform may wish to focus on and around choke points, etc, while the amphibious platforms you will probably want to keep well away.

Even a small 9,000t 4 spot through deck ship would be immensely more capable than sending 3 or 4 frigates to do ASW work. You also more likely to see better capability embarking 6 ASW helos off a single purpose platform than embarking 6 ASW helos on 3 crowded multirole frigates/destroyers burdened with ASW on top of other duties. Crewing, piloting, scheduling, maintaining, coordination, training arming etc is going to improved immensely. Having the air support split across three separate ships is going to be extremely inefficient and centralizing them will make a lot of sense. Relying on the small frigate torpedo magazines, which is already juggling mu90/mk54's would seem limiting.

Embarking the 6 ASW helos and perhaps half a dozen UAV's onto a single purpose platform would then free up the other ships. Also such ship could also embark ASW units from other forces, Singapore, Korea, NZ, US, Japan, India etc.

I don't see a tremendous amount of value for tiny through deck cruisers for amphibious ops for the RAN, particularly over a traditional ship. However as an aviation focused platform, or as a ASW platform. Yes definitely. That isn't to say that the then acquired platform wouldn't be useful in other roles, but its raison d'être would be for other purposes. Being focused on operating marine helicopters, it wouldn't need huge lifts and huge hangar spaces.

Such a ship might be of particular interest to India/Singapore etc. For the RAN, maybe it looks at those sorts of ships and decides it is already happy, or other platforms offer more useful and compelling alignment. For NZ it might be attractive to operate as a replacement to hmnzs Canterbury if they cost and manning can be reduced enough. Particularly if allies operated a similar vessel. While they probably wouldn't be interested in any ASW capability, the mini-amphibious capability would probably be more than sufficient.
 

MickB

Active Member
I should preface everything with this is just a broader discussion about designs/conops/doctrine/capabilities not a proposal specifically for immediate acquisition.

I was more pointing out the key advantage of say a through deck ship like the LHD/Endurance 170 over a traditional JSS type design. The key advantage is much improved space and capability in aviation ops. Because other than that, the JSS configuration is going to walk all over other through deck designs as you get spaces/volume for things like hospitals, 70% AOR, embarked forces/amphibious landing capability, and your aviation doesn't interfere with your amphibious loads. There is a tremendous amount of more volume in a traditional ship layout.

One of the few times you would want to have sustained high intensity aviation operations would be in anti-submarine operations. And yes, if things ever went pear shaped against a near peer, we would have to double our helo fleet and we would have to dedicate a significant portion of our entire ADF resources to ASW operations. If there is something to be learnt from the Falkland's campaign is not to underestimate subs. Your navy is useless and undeployable if you can't counter them.

With the proliferation of submarines, ASW becomes more important. Other than operating one or two helicopters, alone insufficient for any sort of screen, that would then burden the LHD's with that role. Something that came up in INDEX 2019. LHD's can't do amphibious taskings and ASW taskings at the same time.


The RAN is also acquiring more utility helicopters most likely romeos.

Not only that, it may be useful to have the ASW platform not be the platform you are trying to protect. You may wish to sail them in different directions. The ASW platform may wish to focus on and around choke points, etc, while the amphibious platforms you will probably want to keep well away.

Even a small 9,000t 4 spot through deck ship would be immensely more capable than sending 3 or 4 frigates to do ASW work. You also more likely to see better capability embarking 6 ASW helos off a single purpose platform than embarking 6 ASW helos on 3 crowded multirole frigates/destroyers burdened with ASW on top of other duties. Crewing, piloting, scheduling, maintaining, coordination, training arming etc is going to improved immensely. Having the air support split across three separate ships is going to be extremely inefficient and centralizing them will make a lot of sense. Relying on the small frigate torpedo magazines, which is already juggling mu90/mk54's would seem limiting.

Embarking the 6 ASW helos and perhaps half a dozen UAV's onto a single purpose platform would then free up the other ships. Also such ship could also embark ASW units from other forces, Singapore, Korea, NZ, US, Japan, India etc.

I don't see a tremendous amount of value for tiny through deck cruisers for amphibious ops for the RAN, particularly over a traditional ship. However as an aviation focused platform, or as a ASW platform. Yes definitely. That isn't to say that the then acquired platform wouldn't be useful in other roles, but its raison d'être would be for other purposes. Being focused on operating marine helicopters, it wouldn't need huge lifts and huge hangar spaces.

Such a ship might be of particular interest to India/Singapore etc. For the RAN, maybe it looks at those sorts of ships and decides it is already happy, or other platforms offer more useful and compelling alignment. For NZ it might be attractive to operate as a replacement to hmnzs Canterbury if they cost and manning can be reduced enough. Particularly if allies operated a similar vessel. While they probably wouldn't be interested in any ASW capability, the mini-amphibious capability would probably be more than sufficient.
Sounds similar to an earlier proposal by Volk to reduce the Hunter buy and replace the final batch with DDH style ships.
 
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alexsa

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I should preface everything with this is just a broader discussion about designs/conops/doctrine/capabilities not a proposal specifically for immediate acquisition.

I was more pointing out the key advantage of say a through deck ship like the LHD/Endurance 170 over a traditional JSS type design. The key advantage is much improved space and capability in aviation ops. Because other than that, the JSS configuration is going to walk all over other through deck designs as you get spaces/volume for things like hospitals, 70% AOR, embarked forces/amphibious landing capability, and your aviation doesn't interfere with your amphibious loads. There is a tremendous amount of more volume in a traditional ship layout.

One of the few times you would want to have sustained high intensity aviation operations would be in anti-submarine operations. And yes, if things ever went pear shaped against a near peer, we would have to double our helo fleet and we would have to dedicate a significant portion of our entire ADF resources to ASW operations. If there is something to be learnt from the Falkland's campaign is not to underestimate subs. Your navy is useless and undeployable if you can't counter them.

With the proliferation of submarines, ASW becomes more important. Other than operating one or two helicopters, alone insufficient for any sort of screen, that would then burden the LHD's with that role. Something that came up in INDEX 2019. LHD's can't do amphibious taskings and ASW taskings at the same time.


The RAN is also acquiring more utility helicopters most likely romeos.

Not only that, it may be useful to have the ASW platform not be the platform you are trying to protect. You may wish to sail them in different directions. The ASW platform may wish to focus on and around choke points, etc, while the amphibious platforms you will probably want to keep well away.

Even a small 9,000t 4 spot through deck ship would be immensely more capable than sending 3 or 4 frigates to do ASW work. You also more likely to see better capability embarking 6 ASW helos off a single purpose platform than embarking 6 ASW helos on 3 crowded multirole frigates/destroyers burdened with ASW on top of other duties. Crewing, piloting, scheduling, maintaining, coordination, training arming etc is going to improved immensely. Having the air support split across three separate ships is going to be extremely inefficient and centralizing them will make a lot of sense. Relying on the small frigate torpedo magazines, which is already juggling mu90/mk54's would seem limiting.

Embarking the 6 ASW helos and perhaps half a dozen UAV's onto a single purpose platform would then free up the other ships. Also such ship could also embark ASW units from other forces, Singapore, Korea, NZ, US, Japan, India etc.

I don't see a tremendous amount of value for tiny through deck cruisers for amphibious ops for the RAN, particularly over a traditional ship. However as an aviation focused platform, or as a ASW platform. Yes definitely. That isn't to say that the then acquired platform wouldn't be useful in other roles, but its raison d'être would be for other purposes. Being focused on operating marine helicopters, it wouldn't need huge lifts and huge hangar spaces.

Such a ship might be of particular interest to India/Singapore etc. For the RAN, maybe it looks at those sorts of ships and decides it is already happy, or other platforms offer more useful and compelling alignment. For NZ it might be attractive to operate as a replacement to hmnzs Canterbury if they cost and manning can be reduced enough. Particularly if allies operated a similar vessel. While they probably wouldn't be interested in any ASW capability, the mini-amphibious capability would probably be more than sufficient.
I understand your reasoning but you do then limit your flexibility by relying on one or two assets in a task group to carry all the organic ASW and ASuW air tasking. Basically, in your scenario .. if the through deck vessel is not there then you cannot support helicopter for the ASW task, or any other task for that matter. Then you really are limited to the shipboard systems.

Trust me ... helicopters are feared by submariners for good reason and the combination of dipping SONAR and sonar buoys (combined with the multi-static system to be carried on the Hunters) is formidable and can cover a very wide area. Combine this with surface USV with a tail then a couple of frigates can cover a very side area and it will not necessarily be close to the task group or convoy you are escorting. While modern conventional submarines have a much lower indiscretion ratio .... they still have to snort and have to move to get in the way of a target if it is not headed for a choke point. If they are waiting in a choke point the objective would be to soak that area to kill them or keep them out of the way. The has to be done before the HVU turns up.

The other issue is the helicopter is not limited to ASW work and they provide significant support in the anti surface/interdiction role. Again having to escort a small flat top to undertake this task limits flexibility.

I have long been an advocate of additional organic air for the Navy and more helos on more ships (including the LHD's) to provide more cover is the solution in my view rather that constraining tactical flexibility by concentrating these on one or two vessels.

It is useful to reflect on the fact the USN amphib and carrier groups do not concentrate all ASW/ASuW helicopter assets on carrier or amphib.
 

vonnoobie

Well-Known Member
I'm all for such a ship, I liked the idea of one long ago to replace choules so won't get any argument from me on that. My main contention centred around the ASW assets due to numbers constraints. While such a role would be of use we just don't have the manpower and while many of the more experienced on here could debate the topic logically those with little to no experience can easily turn it off into fantasy land that's all.

That all said into the future we really could use more aircraft but does for the main part come to manpower, a lot easier to shift some funds or add in supplimental funding for a particular acquisition then it is to get the aircrew and support staff signed up, trained and deployed.

I do have a couple of questions, is there anything existing or under development in the UAV world to perform ASW tasks and does anyone have any broad idea on manpower requirements in operation and sustainment of a manned helicopter vs UAV? not advocating anything yet just want to know any facts before coming to an opinion.

Cheers.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
I understand your reasoning but you do then limit your flexibility by relying on one or two assets in a task group to carry all the organic ASW and ASuW air tasking. Basically, in your scenario .. if the through deck vessel is not there then you cannot support helicopter for the ASW task, or any other task for that matter. Then you really are limited to the shipboard systems.

Trust me ... helicopters are feared by submariners for good reason and the combination of dipping SONAR and sonar buoys (combined with the multi-static system to be carried on the Hunters) is formidable and can cover a very wide area. Combine this with surface USV with a tail then a couple of frigates can cover a very side area and it will not necessarily be close to the task group or convoy you are escorting. While modern conventional submarines have a much lower indiscretion ratio .... they still have to snort and have to move to get in the way of a target if it is not headed for a choke point. If they are waiting in a choke point the objective would be to soak that area to kill them or keep them out of the way. The has to be done before the HVU turns up.
You just have to look at the Battle of the Atlantic in WW2 for the effectiveness of the Aerial threat to Subs, from mid 1943 when the Allies were able to cover the entire North Atlantic with Air Cover using Escort Carriers and LR Maritime Patrol Aircraft in conjunction with the Escorts, the U-Boat threat pretty much disappeared.
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
Oh, yes, definitely, this isn't an argument to deplete any organic capability on the escorts and arguing against ASW frigates. Particularly in a Navy like the RAN, who has so much area and volume and so few assets. Its not going to work any other way. I certainly don't want to put it across as a fits all solution. I certainly don't want to see less..

I guess I am just looking at the Quad, and India and Japan keenness for ASW work at the moment. I am puzzled by Singapore and Skorean "carrier" proposals, and see more value in a ASW carrier type configuration than some of the others. A small ship isn't going to be able to carry the entire load by itself, and we would most definitely be dependent on the organic air capabilities of individual ships.

But also we may not just be prosecuting single subs, but sub packs and other UUV's. We may be defending choke points, not just putting up a defence screen for a task force. I guess it is also important if we are still in range of the P8's or beyond them, or in space P8's can't fly.

Sounds similar to an earlier proposal by Volk to reduce the Hunter buy and replace the final batch with DDH style ships
Not my intention. As alexa points out, that really isn't ideal either. I think there are serious issues reducing below ~12 proper surface combatants. But that isn't to say there isn't value in those type of ships and that it isn't worth exploring.

If its a discussion between a AOR/JSS/LHD/through deck hybrid, well there are options. I guess is more about where our priorities and capabilities need to be. If we want a realistic trade off, well then its 3rd AOR, or JSS, or Choules or one of these type of hybrids. The mysterious pacific ship could also fit in this space given the lack of information about it.

Even if we don't go with that platform, well then it may be how do we adapt existing units to meet that capability.

A small through deck could operate 4 or 5 MH60R's at the same time, and take that load off other assets (such as the LHD) which are better suited to operate say larger helos like the MRH90 and chinook and perform its amphibious mission. It may also make sense when operating UAV's so they don't disrupt flight operations on the big amphibs, while requiring more space than the escorts can offer.

San Giorgio class was heavily modified to become what it is. San Guisto wasn't modified and is very different. Osumi evolved from her original design brief and the Hyugas are probably closer to that original intention.

I see a bit of similarity in the type 26 flex space with the Haruna/shirane class, (and similar ships in other navies). Japan seems to flip between building central ASW units and dispersing capability across the fleet. It may be a combination of both approaches can be useful.

I guess it would be interesting to see what a modern design study would throw up if working around 10,000t, aviation and amphibious capabilities, low crew, etc. < 155m long, <30m wide. Not specifically to build it, just to see what is possible in that space and if it would be useful.
 

spoz

The Bunker Group
There was a proposal for something very like that about 30 years ago - the Training and Helicopter Support Ship. The last design study I recall was about 8,000 tons with 4 spots which could take the then current ASW helo, the Sea King. It was also to give some amphib capability but that was a secondary role. The design was quite well developed but the Gov of the day said "no" - possibly because it looked a bit too much like an aircraft carrier (albeit a very small one) for their liking
 

vonnoobie

Well-Known Member
@StingrayOZ I think you would be hard pressed to get a ship at such weight unless you want Austal involved ;) more likely at those capabilities and dimensions around 14,000 tons give or take. Perhaps Mistral 140 design.
 

spoz

The Bunker Group
If you were just setting yourself up to be able to do about 20-23 knots with only basic sensors and self defence systems you could almost certainly go close to if for that - the San Giorgios are a bit smaller but they are carrying a bit more in capability on 8,000 tons. Endurance 160 has that kind of capability on that kind of size - probably 1000 tons either way. Of course it does sort of depend on whether one is talking light ship, standard or full load - that'll vary by up to about 3000 tons or so for a ship of this type.
 
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