Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates

Status
Not open for further replies.

hauritz

Well-Known Member
It would probably make more sense for Australia to acquire a small number of new build frigates rather than try to keep the Anzacs operational into the 2040s. It should be concerning that by the start of the 2030s the average age of the frigate and submarine fleets will be 28 and 30 years respectively with their replacements still years away from entering service.

The proviso though is that they should be built in a foreign ship yard that has the spare capacity. No doubt there would be much whining from local shipbuilders but the fact is they have no spare capacity and the Chinese represent a clear and present threat to Australia's security.

If you had just three of these new frigates enter service around the same time as HMAS Hunter you could pay off half the Anzac fleet straight away. Something I think is worth seriously considering.

I wouldn't go too small either. The Iver Huitfeldt class has always appealed to me.
 
Last edited:

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
It would probably make more sense for Australia to acquire a small number of new build frigates rather than try to keep the Anzacs operational into the 2040s. It should be concerning that by the start of the 2030s the average age of the frigate and submarine fleets will be 28 and 30 years respectively with their replacements still years away from entering service.

The proviso though is that they should be built in a foreign ship yard that has the spare capacity. No doubt there would be much whining from local shipbuilders but the fact is they have no spare capacity and the Chinese represent a clear and present threat to Australia's security.

If you had just three of these new frigates enter service around the same time as HMAS Hunter you could pay off half the Anzac fleet straight away. Something I think is worth seriously considering.

I wouldn't go too small either. The Iver Huitfeldt class has always appealed to me.
Ok some questions.
  • Where are you going to build them?
  • How are you going to pay for them?
  • Where are you going for find the crews for them?
  • Where are you going to find the funding to sustain them?
  • What other capabilities are you going to delete in order to pay for these?
  • In what time frame do you expect the first ship to achieve IOC?
  • Will an offshore build and fitout be politically acceptable?
If you can provide clear consistent, practical, logical and fiscally responsible answers to these questions then we may have something to discuss. Why fiscally responsible? Because the RAN like you and I has a budget that it has to adhere to and the Commonwealth of Australia does not have an endless pot of money. It too has to live within its means.
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
It would probably make more sense for Australia to acquire a small number of new build frigates rather than try to keep the Anzacs operational into the 2040s. It should be concerning that by the start of the 2030s the average age of the frigate and submarine fleets will be 28 and 30 years respectively with their replacements still years away from entering service.

The proviso though is that they should be built in a foreign ship yard that has the spare capacity. No doubt there would be much whining from local shipbuilders but the fact is they have no spare capacity and the Chinese represent a clear and present threat to Australia's security.

If you had just three of these new frigates enter service around the same time as HMAS Hunter you could pay off half the Anzac fleet straight away. Something I think is worth seriously considering.

I wouldn't go too small either. The Iver Huitfeldt class has always appealed to me.
Where would these suggested new build frigates fit into the RAN OrBat? Where would the funding for them come from? Where would the personnel to crew them come from? What kit would they be fitted out with? And so on...

The RAN have already selected the Hunter-class frigates to replace the ANZAC-class, and these replacements should be occurring around the time that individual RAN frigates are reaching the 30 years in commission mark, though some could end up not getting replaced until closer to 35 years in commission. If an additional class of foreign-built frigates were to be ordered and brought into RAN service, would they be replacing ANZAC-class frigates, or taking the spots of yet to be built Hunter-class frigates? Or is the idea to do something else instead and increase the size of the RAN's fleet of MFU's beyond the currently planned dozen frigates and destroyers?

Come to think of it, what sort of time frame is the idea supposed to be occurring within? The consensus on those who feel a major conflict is going to impact Australia and most likely involving the PRC, seems to be within a five to 10 year timespan. Could the idea as raised above actually be put into action within a certain timeframe?
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
  • Where are you going to build them?
This was my proviso. They would have to be built overseas in a yard with spare capacity. If that can't be found then the program is a non starter.
  • How are you going to pay for them?
Slow down the Hunter program drumbeat. Reduction in sustainment costs. Savings from not having to extend the life of the Anzac class. Depending on the class of ship you might even save manpower costs.
  • Where are you going for find the crews for them?
They would be a direct replacement for the Anzac class.
  • Where are you going to find the funding to sustain them?
Once again these would be a direct replacement for the Anzac class and the cost of sustaining that class. You would probably save money.
  • What other capabilities are you going to delete in order to pay for these?
They would simply replace the Anzac class.
  • In what time frame do you expect the first ship to achieve IOC?
ASAP but even if IOC was concurrent with the Hunters it would allow for the early retirement of part of the Anzac fleet.
  • Will an offshore build and fitout be politically acceptable?
I agree politics is an issue here ... but this is a matter of national security. It would take a certain amount of political guts to to push for an overseas build.
 

CJR

Member
If you can provide clear consistent, practical, logical and fiscally responsible answers to these questions then we may have something to discuss. Why fiscally responsible? Because the RAN like you and I has a budget that it has to adhere to and the Commonwealth of Australia does not have an endless pot of money. It too has to live within its means.
Thinking in purely financial terms, Australia's defence budget as a percentage of GDP is well below where it was for most of the Cold War (1.8-2% vs 2.2-2.5% for most of the 1970s and 1980s) and both corporate and personal tax rates are at historical lows, with both major political parties signed up for another round of tax cuts from 2024 onwards that'll take ~$17B per year out of the budget.

The issue isn't if Australia could afford it, the issue is whether there's the political and public will to afford it...
 

alexsa

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
It would probably make more sense for Australia to acquire a small number of new build frigates rather than try to keep the Anzacs operational into the 2040s. It should be concerning that by the start of the 2030s the average age of the frigate and submarine fleets will be 28 and 30 years respectively with their replacements still years away from entering service.

The proviso though is that they should be built in a foreign ship yard that has the spare capacity. No doubt there would be much whining from local shipbuilders but the fact is they have no spare capacity and the Chinese represent a clear and present threat to Australia's security.

If you had just three of these new frigates enter service around the same time as HMAS Hunter you could pay off half the Anzac fleet straight away. Something I think is worth seriously considering.

I wouldn't go too small either. The Iver Huitfeldt class has always appealed to me.
Lets look at this logically using an example related to the Iver Huitfeld. The decision to go with the Type 31 arose out of the 2015 strategic review. Design tenders were received in 2017 with Babcock offering the Arrowhead 140. The competitive phase commenced in December 2018 with the contract awarded to Babcock in November 2019. First steel cut is scheduled for September this year. Planned in service for future HMS Venturer is 2027

Even in the unlikely event that Government whet with a sole source provider and decided to use Babcock today as they are the only folk building this ship at the moment (which highly improbable and and political suicide) you are not going to see three of these ships (if any) by the time the Hunter is planned to be in service. And that is based on building the same ship as is being built for the RN on the expectation they may be additional flex in the logistic train they have established to support this build (systems and equipment have a lead time). If there is any sort of competition for this build, overseas or otherwise, then the time will blow out further.

Any design changes to align with current and future RAN systems (CEAFAR, 5" Mk45, SAAB 9LV, MK41 or equivalent for ESSM - noting I am not sure these ships could take AEGIS or CEC) will blow that time out as well. In addition you are going to need these systems to be available and it is probable that the only way to do that is to pull them from the Hunters ... further delaying that ship

While I note your connection to the Iver Huitfeld it is not as capable as the T26 in its Hunter iteration. Trying to bring the design up to the same ASW capability will have a cost and time penalty. Even if you do this it will not have the multi-role capability of the Hunter (particularly in the AAW aspect).

Basically to do this you would need to gut the Hunter budget for a less capable unit that is unlikely to be delivered before the projected time the Hunter will be in service.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
Where would these suggested new build frigates fit into the RAN OrBat? Where would the funding for them come from? Where would the personnel to crew them come from? What kit would they be fitted out with? And so on...

The RAN have already selected the Hunter-class frigates to replace the ANZAC-class, and these replacements should be occurring around the time that individual RAN frigates are reaching the 30 years in commission mark, though some could end up not getting replaced until closer to 35 years in commission. If an additional class of foreign-built frigates were to be ordered and brought into RAN service, would they be replacing ANZAC-class frigates, or taking the spots of yet to be built Hunter-class frigates? Or is the idea to do something else instead and increase the size of the RAN's fleet of MFU's beyond the currently planned dozen frigates and destroyers?

Come to think of it, what sort of time frame is the idea supposed to be occurring within? The consensus on those who feel a major conflict is going to impact Australia and most likely involving the PRC, seems to be within a five to 10 year timespan. Could the idea as raised above actually be put into action within a certain timeframe?
If there is a major war in 5 to 10 years we are stuck with what we have. There isn't much we can do about that ... but if we were to end up in a war in say 10 to 15 years would we not be better off having as many newer builds in the water as possible?

These ships would simply allow Australia to keep its fleet young and give us hulls that could be more easily upgraded. The Hunter program would continue as usual with the drumbeat perhaps slightly reduced. It is impossible to predict what sort of strategic environment will exist in the late 30 and 40s. We might need to further expand the fleet at that time ... who knows.
 

alexsa

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
If there is a major war in 5 to 10 years we are stuck with what we have. There isn't much we can do about that ... but if we were to end up in a war in say 10 to 15 years would we not be better off having as many newer builds in the water as possible?

These ships would simply allow Australia to keep its fleet young and give us hulls that could be more easily upgraded. The Hunter program would continue as usual with the drumbeat perhaps slightly reduced. It is impossible to predict what sort of strategic environment will exist in the late 30 and 40s. We might need to further expand the fleet at that time ... who knows.
A better solution is to increase the drum beat and build more ships. In an emergency retain more of the ANZACs and find crew for them. At least we have a stores and sustainment system for this class even if it needs review. Added to that they use weapons and systems that will also be used on the Hunter so there is greater commonality.

Once the build is underway there are generally improvements in efficiency and production. Another class of less capability (noting the Type 31 is less capable in many ways than the ANZAC in respect of weapons and systems) simply drains the budget.

The continuous build programme is designed to keep future hulls younger and avoid the MLU costs.

The problem is that we needed the continuous build programme to be in place and ready to go when the DDG project finished. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
  • Where are you going to build them?
This was my proviso. They would have to be built overseas in a yard with spare capacity. If that can't be found then the program is a non starter.
  • How are you going to pay for them?
Slow down the Hunter program drumbeat. Reduction in sustainment costs. Savings from not having to extend the life of the Anzac class. Depending on the class of ship you might even save manpower costs.
  • Where are you going for find the crews for them?
They would be a direct replacement for the Anzac class.
  • Where are you going to find the funding to sustain them?
Once again these would be a direct replacement for the Anzac class and the cost of sustaining that class. You would probably save money.
  • What other capabilities are you going to delete in order to pay for these?
They would simply replace the Anzac class.
  • In what time frame do you expect the first ship to achieve IOC?
ASAP but even if IOC was concurrent with the Hunters it would allow for the early retirement of part of the Anzac fleet.
  • Will an offshore build and fitout be politically acceptable?
I agree politics is an issue here ... but this is a matter of national security. It would take a certain amount of political guts to to push for an overseas build.
My take on the idea is that it would be a non-starter, with the build occurring in an overseas yard with spare capacity (if there is in fact one available) being at best a minor reason against doing so.

Much more significant issues IMO is the timeframe, or lack thereof. How long would it take the RAN to go through the processes involved in getting a new class of vessel built, regardless of where it was to be built? Let us look back to prior RAN projects to get an idea.

Planning for the Hobart-class DDG started following the 2000 DWP, with 2007 having the Second Pass selection which ended up choosing the actual design which became the Hobart-class DDG, with the first in class being laid down in 2012 IIRC. Now ignoring the whole set of potential issues involving whether or not there is a yard with available building capacity, it took about seven years from the start of the idea to actually signing a contract. Any ship which would be built overseas would similarly need to be ordered first, and then built afterwards. If the timeline for getting a new design selected and built for the RAN were to follow a similar path, then one it talking about a decade or more before the first ships could possibly be ready for the RAN, and that is also making a number of assumptions that IMO would be very unlikely.

The first of the Hunter-class frigates is due to be laid down circa ~2022 and is expected to enter RAN service sometime towards the end of the 2020's or possibly the early 2030's, which should be before a foreign-built warship could be ready for the RAN.

Now a possible but IMO still very unlikely exception, would be if the RAN were to order warships from another nation's existing build programme that had a 'hot' production yard AND the nation was willing to let the RAN/Australia jump the order queue, not unlike how the USN let the RAAF take SHornet production slots intended for USN orders. It would likely still take at least a few years for the contracting to be worked out, and several more years after that before vessels were completed. Also, the RAN would to go along with how whatever class ended up getting selected was being kitted out for service in the original navy's order. This would mean that the RAN would likely have a range of new systems and possibly even weapons which personnel would need to become familiar with, as well as setting up the needed logistics and support chains. Going back to using the Mogami-class frigate as an example, if the RAN were to purchase a number of these vessels from the Japanese 'as is' then the RAN would need to be able to both operate the different sensor, electronics and weapons systems, but also be able to perform the needed maintenance to keep them operational.

This is just my opinion, but I just do not think the RAN would have sufficient time to get another class into service as a replacement for the ANZAC-class frigate, before the already planned Hunter-class frigates would have begun to replace them.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
If that is the case then the navy and by extension Australia is going to have a very tough time during the early 2030s.

This is the current plan for the Anzacs. We could see three or four ships withdrawn before the first Hunter enters service. Of course further life extensions are possible but just how much more can you reasonably expect out of an already overweight worn out hull?

While I don't say that Australia needs to go onto a war footing we certainly need to proceed with a lot more urgency other wise we really will have to look at turning our OPVs into mini-frigates.

Auditor-General_Report_2018-2019_30_figure_02_02.png

* Graph come from here
 
Last edited:

MickB

Active Member
As I said not looking at the Mogami as a replacement for the Anzac or Arafura. But looking at it as a possable means to increase RAN numbers without screwing around the build program.

If I was a keen senior DFAT official I think I could come up with a two way agreement such as Australia orders a batch of basic Mogami hulls to be fitted out in Australia with equipment of local manufacture such as CMS, mast and radar (similar to the Anzac upgrade).
In return Japan orders a large batch of Loyal Wingman for example.
Both countries keep local manufacturing and jobs secure.

Increased interaction between defence industries in both countries.
The tech transfer of the manpower reduction systems will help in future aussie builds such as later batch Hunters. Reducing overall operating costs of the fleet.

If commisioned at a rate of one a year or 18 months then this is a small gradual increase in overall RAN manpower requirements.
It wont happen overnight, allowing several years to plan a measured approach.

While past builds offer some guidance the international situation was less tense back then, I think future programs will happen at a faster pace.

Not sure where the idea comes from that if something can not be introduced in the next 5 years lets just sit on our arse and do nothing. No matter what happens in the next 5 years we still have to plan for the future.

For all in this thread. If you are going to suggest a new build then you are going to need to justify it in respect of the Orbat and capability. A lot of defence pro's are getting pretty tired of trying to steep this thread in reality. The comments above are not a justification and contain some impractical ideas that assume Japan would be willing to do this and that these vessels are suitable for the task and can be afforded. None of this considers the political reality of our situation.

I like to see robust discussion .... but it must be informed.

Alexsa
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
Not sure where the idea comes from that if something can not be introduced in the next 5 years lets just sit on our arse and do nothing. No matter what happens in the next 5 years we still have to plan for the future.
I agree that Australia needs to plan for the future, not just across the RAN, but the whole of the ADF. Here is the thing though, Australia has planned for the future, and is in the process of executing those plans. The Hunter-class frigates and the Arafura-class OPV's being a part of the overall plan, along with the continuous build programme.

Is it possible that those plans need revising, due to changes in the current and expected security situation when compared to what the situation was planned for? Sure, things might need revising.

However, major or drastic changes in plans, plans that have elements expected to last for decades, need time to be considered, and a great deal of time and resources to execute. Also, a number of the ideas people have brought up would take significant time and resources to bring to fruition. Given the amount of time, personnel and resources which would need to be dedicated to making some of the ideas possible, or then making use of the outcomes of the ideas raised, it would behoove the RAN, ADF, and Australia as a whole to give it a good hard think to see if the intended outcome would be acceptable.

If somehow the RAN was able to get another replacement frigate programming up and running alongside (pun intended) the Hunter-class frigate build, and therefore enabling some of the ANZAC-class frigates to be decommissioned earlier than the currently planned schedule, have people considered what impact that would have on future plans and the need for further future planning? I would expect that if the FFH's were replaced earlier than currently planned, particularly by having a second class of frigates built overseas, then not only would fewer Hunter-class frigates be built, but the shipyards which are supposed to be running a continuous build would run out of work. To prevent this, the RAN would need to order additional vessels or bring the replacement programmes for other classes like the DDG's forward, possibly by a significant degree.

One question I would be very interested in the to, is how long does the RAN think it would take to increase the number of the right kind of RAN personnel, so that the number of frigates and destroyers could be increased to back to 12 active vessels, or raised to 13?
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
This discussion is running around in circles like headless chooks. If it isn't advanced with feasible, practical, realistic, propositions and discussion backed up by good quality evidence then the Moderators will be seriously considering shutting the thread down for an indeterminate period of time.

We understand that people are enthused and keen, however as always people must look at the whole picture not just one part of it. What are the consequences and ramifications of each change you intend to make to the National Ship Building Strategy etc. Don't get trapped in the single platform spiral; also known as target fixation. Finally a shipbuilding program is not something that you can kick start overnight and expect to be cutting steel the following week. You can't ring up Amazon and have one delivered overnight by FedEx.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
  • Where are you going to build them?
This was my proviso. They would have to be built overseas in a yard with spare capacity. If that can't be found then the program is a non starter.
Have fun getting that past the Victorian, SA, QLD, & WA Mafia in both the State and Federal Parliaments
  • How are you going to pay for them?
Slow down the Hunter program drumbeat. Reduction in sustainment costs. Savings from not having to extend the life of the Anzac class. Depending on the class of ship you might even save manpower costs.
Why would you want to do that? If anything you would be wanting to increase the drumbeat. Do you really believe that you can build a new class of ship in a foreign yard and have it in service before the first of the Hunter Class? TBH if you believe that you must have been on them magic mushrooms. How long do you think it will take to start from scratch until a contract is signed? Hint the first Hunter will be in the water.
  • Where are you going for find the crews for them?
They would be a direct replacement for the Anzac class.
The Hunter Class is the direct replacement for the ANZAC Class so you propose spending extra funds replacing the ANZAC Class with a ship that isn't as anywhere capable as the Hunter Class.
  • Where are you going to find the funding to sustain them?
Once again these would be a direct replacement for the Anzac class and the cost of sustaining that class. You would probably save money.
That's a false economy iI ever saw one. I cannot see any real Value for Money to the Australian taxpayer at all.
  • What other capabilities are you going to delete in order to pay for these?
They would simply replace the Anzac class.[/QUOTE]
But you propose slowing the drumbeat of the Hunter Class. That has consequences such as delaying the availability of a new highly developed capability that is required. As it is the drumbeat is pretty slow and it's barely turning over. Any slower and the drummer boy will die of old age.
  • In what time frame do you expect the first ship to achieve IOC?
ASAP but even if IOC was concurrent with the Hunters it would allow for the early retirement of part of the Anzac fleet.
You're dreaming. C/REF My reply to your answer to my question about paying for them. To whit: Do you really believe that you can build a new class of ship in a foreign yard and have it in service before the first of the Hunter Class? TBH if you believe that you must have been on them magic mushrooms. How long do you think it will take to start from scratch until a contract is signed? Hint the first Hunter will be in the water.
  • Will an offshore build and fitout be politically acceptable?
I agree politics is an issue here ... but this is a matter of national security. It would take a certain amount of political guts to to push for an overseas build.
You really don't get it do you? Why do you think I asked those questions? It's not because I am in lockdown and have nothing better to do. It's to get you to really think about the answers and look beyond just the platform. There's a whole lot more involved than just saying oh shit we need more this, lets buy so many of those. You have to look at a wide set of parameters and well beyond just the capability or platform itself. The questions that you have to ask are if we do this what are all of the consequences?

You say it involves national security, well so does a 50 cal HB HMG, but you don't hear us saying times are tense we have to go and buy some more. For that matter define national security and what comes under it. Does Australia have a National Security Strategy? If it does I am sure that it is more than some frigates. If they've done it right it's a whole of government strategy of which the RAN and ADF are only one part.
 

Meriv90

Active Member
The first of the Hunter-class frigates is due to be laid down circa ~2022 and is expected to enter RAN service sometime towards the end of the 2020's or possibly the early 2030's, which should be before a foreign-built warship could be ready for the RAN.
I'm no expert, but the first of the Constellation class will be laid down this summer and by 2026 will enter in service.
Or if we take a complete new design, the DDX, our new 10k tons Destroyer, not laid down yet and still in design phase will probably enter in service by 2028.
And we sold and will produce N° FREMMs in this time arc.

IMHO and again im not expert. But if you have time constraints (China demographic window of opportunity) this is why you choose a proven design with a solid shipbuilding background. Probably with the FREMM/F-5000 this wouldn't have happened. You would have had a faster built design and the ability to fast produce abroad in the worst case.

p.s. not proposing anything for the future just looking back at the decision taken.
 

Massive

Active Member
Defence professionals are continuing to discuss increasing the armament/capability of the OPVs.

Today in The Strategist:


Regards,

Massive
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
I'm no expert, but the first of the Constellation class will be laid down this summer and by 2026 will enter in service.
Or if we take a complete new design, the DDX, our new 10k tons Destroyer, not laid down yet and still in design phase will probably enter in service by 2028.
And we sold and will produce N° FREMMs in this time arc.

IMHO and again im not expert. But if you have time constraints (China demographic window of opportunity) this is why you choose a proven design with a solid shipbuilding background. Probably with the FREMM/F-5000 this wouldn't have happened. You would have had a faster built design and the ability to fast produce abroad in the worst case.

p.s. not proposing anything for the future just looking back at the decision taken.
Seriously? comparing Australian Shipbuilding to that of the US and Italy. How many Destroyers and Frigates has The US and Italy laid down in the same Timeframe as Australia laid down its last Ship HMAS Sydney(V) in Nov 2015? The US has the resources in place to be able to throw together a Frigate program at short notice, they have the Shipyards ready to go, have the people in place to be able to quickly expand their Workforce.
Australia has to all but start from scratch using a Shipyard that has never built an entire Surface Warship from scratch(the Hobarts were consolidated at Osbourne using sections built elsewhere) the build sheds have to be constructed and Workforce trained. Compare that to Italy, when was the last time there was no ship for the Italian Navy or for export under construction?
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
Defence professionals are continuing to discuss increasing the armament/capability of the OPVs.

Today in The Strategist:
In which the explore the same issues and come to a similar conclusion, a new type of ship isn't really viable in the budget/manpower/timeframe we want.

While you can add capability to the OPV's, there are limitations.
We won't be fitting anymore than Two-four Harpoons, a couple of decoy launchers, better coms/radar. Even fitting that will involve compromises. However, if they were all armed as such, thats still 80+ worth of at sea harpoons. Margin for Harpoons could go with something else I suppose. Perhaps a self defence missile system. Perhaps half fitted with harpoons and half fitted with a self protection missile. Towed arrays are another option. Many of these are bolt on bolt off, which means they can be assigned as needed. We are already building them, I think we basically just keep churning out the OPV 80 design, even if it means we have a few light crews, and low operational tempo. This is exactly the type of ship allies would want to acquire instantly if the war becomes hot or even warm.

Anzacs are already maxed out.

We can look at adding somewhat to the Hobarts (thin margins though)
Which then leaves Collins class, Hunter, Attack and the LHD's, the AOR's. Hunters and attacks are more 2030's objects.

So really just Collins and the LHD and AORs. The LHD/AOR seaRAM or possible ESSM fits. Collins could get a VLS system, but it does come with significant project risk.

Beyond that its things like more P8's. Which is quite a capable platform. OPV's won't be individual elements out operating by themselves. An additional platform could be acquired from overseas.
 
Last edited:

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
I'm no expert, but the first of the Constellation class will be laid down this summer and by 2026 will enter in service.
Or if we take a complete new design, the DDX, our new 10k tons Destroyer, not laid down yet and still in design phase will probably enter in service by 2028.
And we sold and will produce N° FREMMs in this time arc.

IMHO and again im not expert. But if you have time constraints (China demographic window of opportunity) this is why you choose a proven design with a solid shipbuilding background. Probably with the FREMM/F-5000 this wouldn't have happened. You would have had a faster built design and the ability to fast produce abroad in the worst case.

p.s. not proposing anything for the future just looking back at the decision taken.
Something which I think requires a bit of clarification. The first Constellation-class FFG is currently scheduled for delivery in 2026, but IOC is not expected until 2030, and FOC until 2032.

Another factor to also look at is the pace that the US can produce and commission warships. If one looks at the build history for USN Arleigh Burke-class DDG's, even the early ships only took between two and three years between being laid down and getting commissioned into service, with some of the newer builds taking up to four years.

Couple the building and engineering capabilities of US naval yards with the fact that the Constellation-class is supposed to be utilizing many systems already in use across the USN, and/or already developed from variants from active systems, then it is little wonder that the US might expect to have a new build vessels in the water so soon. Unfortunately Australia does not have the same level of shipbuilding capacity as the US, and what it does currently have has had to be re-built following a long hiatus in gov't placing orders for the RAN.
 
Last edited:

Takao

The Bunker Group
This discussion is running around in circles like headless chooks. If it isn't advanced with feasible, practical, realistic, propositions and discussion backed up by good quality evidence then the Moderators will be seriously considering shutting the thread down for an indeterminate period of time.

We understand that people are enthused and keen, however as always people must look at the whole picture not just one part of it. What are the consequences and ramifications of each change you intend to make to the National Ship Building Strategy etc. Don't get trapped in the single platform spiral; also known as target fixation. Finally a shipbuilding program is not something that you can kick start overnight and expect to be cutting steel the following week. You can't ring up Amazon and have one delivered overnight by FedEx.
In order to help the audience meet the above advice:

Finance
* In reality, if you open the FSP you have a guide to how much money over each year is possible. It's obviously not exact, but that's the envelope. Projects there can be touched (hypothetically), projects not mentioned there can't be.

* The Defence budget isn't being increased beyond that. There is no justification to do so, especially when the other Department's have similar justifications. Health, education, social services and DFAT are all more important than an increase in Defence now - especially with COVID and increasing tensions.

* Roughly speaking, the Service gives CASG a chunk of money to sustain capabilities under an Agreement. If the capability goes away, in theory so does the money. In reality, the money tends to stay to help sustain the replacement, with top ups if needed. So, for instance, Kiowa sustainment was designed to transition across to Tiger as the latter replaced the former. Keeping Kiowa's going hurt Tiger sustainment, but likewise, if you replaced Kiowa with (say) R44s in addition to Tiger, you'd have an even bigger problems. You'd now have two fleets off the one sustainment line, that already wasn't enough

Politics
* Major platforms have to be built in Australia where possible. There is very little wiggle room on this. Like it or not, that's the direction from the bosses. Even projects that are purchasing stuff that cannot be built here (ie, CH-47s) need to justify why.

* Do not under-estimate the inter-State politics. And you can't take stuff from the NT or northern Australia.

Workforce
* The ADF is understrength for what we have now. Recruitment is hard. We peaked a bit last year, but have fallen again. There is a growth plan, and there are efforts to improve how we use civilians, regulars and reservists, but that all needs time. The RAN workforce in this case will need years to build to where it needs to be. And remember, it's not just about recruiting 240 people today. The ship needs officers and senior sailors. That's recruiting 10, 15 years ago.

Other
* Read the FIC. Each needs an answer for the overall solution to be remotely feasible

* Remember that nothing comes into service fully working. You need to allow for training, for time to prove the capability. IOC and FOC are vital to ensure we know what we have. I could buy an aircraft carrier and 5k crew tomorrow with a big novelty cheque, but the RAN wouldn't have an aircraft carrier for years while we learnt it.

* The acquisition process can be sped up - but you need the justification as to why. We have done it before, but there is another justification to be done.

* what is the supply chain? I think @ADMk2 did a list of 30mm systems a few pages back - do we need another one? Do we go US or Euro noting issues in the past with both? What happens if the supplier disagrees with our ADF use?

If I think of more I'll update this. But these are the questions and thoughts that the FSP team had to deal with. It's the minimum
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top