Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates

Git_Kraken

Member
The Arafura’s will carry the turreted Oto Marlin 40mm Autocannon which is a major improvement over the open Rafael Typhoon 25mm.
I'm not I understand a 40mm on OPV's. By using an EOIR fire control system you are wasting half of the 40mm capability (that being proper ranking and engagement of air targets). Seems over gunned for a ship that is supposed to intercept illegal migrants, arrest polluters and provide RMP. It's not a bad weapon by far, I quite like it, just in the right circumstances. Perhaps I'm missing something.
 

vonnoobie

Well-Known Member
On top of this are the Cape Class being built as a contingency for the RAN (plus the two already in service with the RAN) pending the Arafura's coming on stream and the disposal of the ACPB. There will be a total of 16 Capes between Border Force and the RAN. If these are in good condition when no longer needed they may pass down to Border Force once the RAN focus on the Arafura (or they may remain in RAN service). As far as I can tell there is no formal indication of what the long term future of the Navy Capes.
All depends if they can man the ships. With the crew sizing alone for the current 11 ships in border force adding an additional 8 capes would be a 70%+ increase in ship crew numbers.

If they could get the budget and manpower for that would they be better off with 8 extra capes or a couple of Arafura's of their own?

I'm thinking they are more likely to be sold off to one of the ASEAN nations if not donated to them. Improves their policing and gets us political browny points.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
I can understand that, but I would prefer they were not used for patrol craft given the combined war records.
I’m a big fan of the Geographic and town names for the OPVs, I wouldn’t actually mind the V names used for the Subs, i think they are great names for Submarines and go well with Attack. I really believe one of the Anzacs should have been named Voyager in tribute to the 83 crew who died.
It will be interesting to see what names we get for the follow on Hunters, especially if Ships 4-6 are a batch 2 design, my money is on Melbourne, Darwin, Newcastle though.
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
Not forgetting the eight Cape Class vessels, the Ocean Shield and Thaiyak (stationed at Ashmore Reef) which are all armed with 50 cals. A 50 cal HMG is more than enough to shred a fishing boat.

Patrol vessels (abf.gov.au)

On top of this are the Cape Class being built as a contingency for the RAN (plus the two already in service with the RAN) pending the Arafura's coming on stream and the disposal of the ACPB. There will be a total of 16 Capes between Border Force and the RAN. If these are in good condition when no longer needed they may pass down to Border Force once the RAN focus on the Arafura (or they may remain in RAN service). As far as I can tell there is no formal indication of what the long term future of the Navy Capes.
No doubt a 50 cal will play havoc with a fishing boat but I'm still mindful that the Armidale Class were armed with the larger 25mm Typhoon.
A photo in a recent edition of Australian Warships depicts a model of a Cape Class with a 25mm bushmaster.
Not suggesting that this is what they will initially be fitted for, but see no probs with it being a future addition.
As the Armidales retire the 25mm Bushmasters could be bought over to the Navy operated Capes.

If this is done, it then begs the question then why not install them across all of the class.
Which further begs another question, as the same class of vessel are operated by two different Commonwealth departments doing the same job, why not consolidate them with either Navy or Boarder Force.

So who would get to operate this fleet of 18 Capes?


Regards S
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
I'm not I understand a 40mm on OPV's. By using an EOIR fire control system you are wasting half of the 40mm capability (that being proper ranking and engagement of air targets). Seems over gunned for a ship that is supposed to intercept illegal migrants, arrest polluters and provide RMP. It's not a bad weapon by far, I quite like it, just in the right circumstances. Perhaps I'm missing something.
A 40mm future proofs Navy's options to do more things than what you can with a 25mm Typhoon.
It does not make it a battle ship, just a more robust OPV.



Regards S
 

aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
With regards to the Arafura's we also need to keep in mind the force multiplier affect they will have up the line to our MFU's, they will actually be able to concentrate on what they are meant to do and what they are designed for, they should never have to be pulled for constabulary duties again !

The deep south being an exception of course :)

This is where the focus and chatter about up gunning/arming them is misguided fantasy, people are not understanding the bigger picture here and what they will do across the Navy as a whole.

Cheers
 

Git_Kraken

Member
With regards to the Arafura's we also need to keep in mind the force multiplier affect they will have up the line to our MFU's, they will actually be able to concentrate on what they are meant to do and what they are designed for, they should never have to be pulled for constabulary duties again !

The deep south being an exception of course :)

This is where the focus and chatter about up gunning/arming them is misguided fantasy, people are not understanding the bigger picture here and what they will do across the Navy as a whole.

Cheers
MFU? Stands for... Main fighting unit?

Freeing up a major warship away from constabulary duties is a very loose definition of a force-multiplying effect. It's more of increasing the availability of another asset.

A 40mm future proofs Navy's options to do more things than what you can with a 25mm Typhoon.
It does not make it a battle ship, just a more robust OPV.
Space, weight, and power reservation future-proof things. A weapon never does that. A weapon mount may do that if it's flexible enough (Mk 41 VLS is probably the best example). If you are arguing that a 40mm is able to do more tasks than a 25mm then I would agree that a 40mm was designed originally for AAW, so this is true. It can carry different shells. I assume the RAN purchased them for specific tasks within their own geopolitical and threat context.

I can fully understand the MCM ships having a 40mm. Something to shoot floating mines with that has both AP and HE rounds is a useful tool.

That's all I'm looking for here. The task a 40mm armed OPV is supposed to do that a 25mm armed OPV can't (all other things being equal), within the Australian context. If the weapon is a "nice to have" instead of a "need to have" I get that as well.
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
MFU? Stands for... Main fighting unit?

Freeing up a major warship away from constabulary duties is a very loose definition of a force-multiplying effect. It's more of increasing the availability of another asset.



Space, weight, and power reservation future-proof things. A weapon never does that. A weapon mount may do that if it's flexible enough (Mk 41 VLS is probably the best example). If you are arguing that a 40mm is able to do more tasks than a 25mm then I would agree that a 40mm was designed originally for AAW, so this is true. It can carry different shells. I assume the RAN purchased them for specific tasks within their own geopolitical and threat context.

I can fully understand the MCM ships having a 40mm. Something to shoot floating mines with that has both AP and HE rounds is a useful tool.

That's all I'm looking for here. The task a 40mm armed OPV is supposed to do that a 25mm armed OPV can't (all other things being equal), within the Australian context. If the weapon is a "nice to have" instead of a "need to have" I get that as well.
I'm sure Navy could of continued with the 25mm to arm the future OPV's if they wanted.
They chose a larger weapon for a reason and yes a gun is not just a gun, its a package deal of all the things necessary to make it work.
And yes Space, weight, and power reservation future-proof things as well which appears the case in the Arafura Class.
Will watch the Arafuras with interest.


Regards S
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
MFU? Stands for... Main fighting unit?

Freeing up a major warship away from constabulary duties is a very loose definition of a force-multiplying effect. It's more of increasing the availability of another asset.



Space, weight, and power reservation future-proof things. A weapon never does that. A weapon mount may do that if it's flexible enough (Mk 41 VLS is probably the best example). If you are arguing that a 40mm is able to do more tasks than a 25mm then I would agree that a 40mm was designed originally for AAW, so this is true. It can carry different shells. I assume the RAN purchased them for specific tasks within their own geopolitical and threat context.

I can fully understand the MCM ships having a 40mm. Something to shoot floating mines with that has both AP and HE rounds is a useful tool.

That's all I'm looking for here. The task a 40mm armed OPV is supposed to do that a 25mm armed OPV can't (all other things being equal), within the Australian context. If the weapon is a "nice to have" instead of a "need to have" I get that as well.
The RAN have a different CONOPS and operate in a completely different environment to the RCN. They face different threat matrixes and their OPVs will eventually have to deal with the Chinese fishing fleet, especially up around the top end when that Chinese company builds its fish processing plant in the western part of PNG just across the water from the Tiwi Islands in the Torres Strait. Canada doesn't face that or the boat people etc.
 

Git_Kraken

Member
The RAN have a different CONOPS and operate in a completely different environment to the RCN. They face different threat matrixes and their OPVs will eventually have to deal with the Chinese fishing fleet, especially up around the top end when that Chinese company builds its fish processing plant in the western part of PNG just across the water from the Tiwi Islands in the Torres Strait. Canada doesn't face that or the boat people etc.
We do get boat people but it's usually once every decade or so and in smaller numbers than Australia. Our immigration issues come by plane and the southern border. Normally the RCN is tasked to escort/provide taxi services for the immigration officers/border service officers, as the military has no policing powers.

What I get from this is the Arafura has the potential to rub up against other countries' OPVs or the "fishing militia" of China. In which case, a bit more diameter in the gun category may be necessary should one of those interactions take a bad turn. The MCM weapon has further uses vs floating mines and other navigational hazards. Ok all makes sense to me now. Thanks!
 

alexsa

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
MFU? Stands for... Main fighting unit?

Freeing up a major warship away from constabulary duties is a very loose definition of a force-multiplying effect. It's more of increasing the availability of another asset.



Space, weight, and power reservation future-proof things. A weapon never does that. A weapon mount may do that if it's flexible enough (Mk 41 VLS is probably the best example). If you are arguing that a 40mm is able to do more tasks than a 25mm then I would agree that a 40mm was designed originally for AAW, so this is true. It can carry different shells. I assume the RAN purchased them for specific tasks within their own geopolitical and threat context.

I can fully understand the MCM ships having a 40mm. Something to shoot floating mines with that has both AP and HE rounds is a useful tool.

That's all I'm looking for here. The task a 40mm armed OPV is supposed to do that a 25mm armed OPV can't (all other things being equal), within the Australian context. If the weapon is a "nice to have" instead of a "need to have" I get that as well.
MFU is major fleet unit. It relates to the frigates, destroyers and large auxiliary units as indicated in the RAN's own web page

In 1987 the Australian Government announced the ‘Two-Ocean Basing Plan’ which established a permanent RAN major fleet unit and submarine presence in Western Australia. Since then, the RAN has maintained a two-ocean navy (Pacific and Indian) capable of responding quickly to national tasking from either seaboard. .

ttps://www.navy.gov.au/establishments/fleet-base-east
 

aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
MFU? Stands for... Main fighting unit?

Freeing up a major warship away from constabulary duties is a very loose definition of a force-multiplying effect. It's more of increasing the availability of another asset.
MFU - Major Fleet Unit, as pointed out above.

"Very loose definition" really ? please do impart your knowledge on force multiplication, how is applies to the ADF and the RAN specifically and how that relates to the current v future force structure and the RAN CONOPS ? Then more than welcome to break that down into how it directly and indirectly relates to the OPV's and what they bring to the table for the RAN and ADF as a whole ?

You can loop in Customs and Border Force along with civil agencies as well if you like ?

Cheers
 
MFU - Major Fleet Unit, as pointed out above.

"Very loose definition" really ? please do impart your knowledge on force multiplication, how is applies to the ADF and the RAN specifically and how that relates to the current v future force structure and the RAN CONOPS ? Then more than welcome to break that down into how it directly and indirectly relates to the OPV's and what they bring to the table for the RAN and ADF as a whole ?

You can loop in Customs and Border Force along with civil agencies as well if you like ?

Cheers
My reading was that the comment "very loose definition of a force-multiplying effect" isn't about how it applies to the ADF, etc, but simply an observation on the use of the term in this context. The evidence is the following comment - "It's more of increasing the availability of another asset." I haven't seen the term "force-multiplying effect" used in the context of one asset being used in the place of another. Examples I have seen are AAR aircraft extending the range of strike aircraft, guidance systems meaning smaller bombs can be carried and have the same effect, etc. Anyway, the point is you're likely not in disagreement; they just thought the term wasn't so much applicable, but another one was. You're still right that the larger OPVs mean the RAN is less likely to need frigates for constabulary duties.
 

Git_Kraken

Member
MFU - Major Fleet Unit, as pointed out above.

"Very loose definition" really ? please do impart your knowledge on force multiplication, how is applies to the ADF and the RAN specifically and how that relates to the current v future force structure and the RAN CONOPS ? Then more than welcome to break that down into how it directly and indirectly relates to the OPV's and what they bring to the table for the RAN and ADF as a whole ?

You can loop in Customs and Border Force along with civil agencies as well if you like ?

Cheers
How about a professional response like the "Verified Defence Pro(fessional)" you are. The onus is on you to "impart your knowledge" to explain your point of view, given you obviously know more than me and have more experience in the Australian context. I explained my point of view with a logical response a completely valid point and a valid understanding of force multiplication (see @Anthony_B_78 response who got my point).

I'm happy to be wrong. Show me exactly how instead of getting irritated because someone questioned your point of view.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
A project i suspect the ADF will keep a keen eye on with JP 2048 phase 5 due later in the decade. They have awarded design contracts to
Austal USA
Fincantieri
VT Halter Marine
Bollinger
TAI Engineers
Will be interest to see what they present.
 

FormerDirtDart

Active Member
A project i suspect the ADF will keep a keen eye on with JP 2048 phase 5 due later in the decade. They have awarded design contracts to
Austal USA
Fincantieri
VT Halter Marine
Bollinger
TAI Engineers
Will be interest to see what they present.
Well, we know the USMC has a serious woody for the STS' Stern Landing Vessel concept. I wonder who amongst the selected companies has teamed up with STS.
There is a bit of leeway in the program requirements.

Navy Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) Program: Background and Issues for Congress - Congressional Research Service (Updated Jun 7, 2021)
The Navy wants LAWs to be a relatively simple and relatively inexpensive ships with the following features, among others:
  • a length of 200 feet to 400 feet;
  • a maximum draft of 12 feet;
  • a displacement of up to 4,000 tons;
  • a ship’s crew of no more than 40 Navy sailors;
  • an ability to embark at least 75 Marines;
  • 4,000 to 8,000 square feet of cargo area for the Marines’ weapons, equipment, and supplies;
  • a stern or bow landing ramp for moving the Marines and their weapons, equipment, and supplies the ship to shore (and vice versa) across a beach;
  • a modest suite of C4I equipment;
  • a 25mm or 30mm gun system and .50 caliber machine guns for self-defense;
  • a transit speed of at least 14 knots, and preferably 15 knots;
  • a minimum unrefueled transit range of 3,500 nautical miles;
  • a “Tier 2+” plus level of survivability (i.e., ruggedness for withstanding battle damage)—a level, broadly comparable to that of a smaller U.S. Navy surface combatant (i.e., a corvette or frigate), that would permit the ship to absorb a hit from an enemy weapon and keep the crew safe until they and their equipment and supplies can be transferred to another LAW;
  • an ability to operate within fleet groups or deploy independently; and
  • a 20-year expected service life.
In addition to the above points, the Navy states that the LAW’s design can be based on a commercial-ship design.
 
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