Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates

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Stampede

Well-Known Member
I know there has been much discussion but I recall HMAS Hobart was taking about 180 man hours/ton rather than the world datum of 60 hours/ton. And as you say DDG42 was built quite efficiently which is exactly my point, the first one will always take much longer but by the time you get to #3 you are matching world's best practice. There are delays on the relatively simple Arafura class:
RAN's second Arafura-class patrol vessel to be delayed by six months - Baird Maritime
To quote from the article

"No reasons for the delay have been disclosed, though DOD officials have denied that reported problems with weapons integration were a contributing factor."

One 40 mm cannon and a couple of .50 Cal.........................................Glad the weapons integration was not a contributing factor!

Regards S ;)
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Figure I would put this in here, the latest Guardian Class handed over to PNG today at Henderson.


Something I had missed, Australia has agreed, apparently some time ago, to arm the Guardian's for PNG.


Does anyone know what we are supplying ? have not been able to find anything

Cheers
I think someone did post a link on here a couple of months ago concerning arming the PNG Guardians but there was nothing about what Weapon system it would be.
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
I know there has been much discussion but I recall HMAS Hobart was taking about 180 man hours/ton rather than the world datum of 60 hours/ton. And as you say DDG42 was built quite efficiently which is exactly my point, the first one will always take much longer but by the time you get to #3 you are matching world's best practice. There are delays on the relatively simple Arafura class:
RAN's second Arafura-class patrol vessel to be delayed by six months - Baird Maritime
I suspect supply chain problems associated with COVID is a probable cause for the delay.
I’m not aware of what equipment is being supplied from overseas but my guess is that this is the problem.
I do know that the hull construction at both ASC and CIVMEC is proceeding at a fair pace.
 

icelord

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Figure I would put this in here, the latest Guardian Class handed over to PNG today at Henderson.


Something I had missed, Australia has agreed, apparently some time ago, to arm the Guardian's for PNG.


Does anyone know what we are supplying ? have not been able to find anything

Cheers
If you look closely you will see why Sailors dont do drill, not a single man in step
 

AndyinOz

New Member
Australian Financial Review 27/10/2021 Hybrid nuclear submarine ‘unlikely’, navy chiefs say Some interesting remarks by various characters in Senate estimates.

Vice-Admiral Jonathan Mead, head of the nuclear submarine task force said that "that Defence wanted to have at least one nuclear submarine before 2040 in a worst-case scenario and was looking to accelerate deliveries." also "Vice-Admiral Mead, who is heading up an 18-month process on embracing a nuclear fleet, told the hearing Australia wanted a “mature design” and did not plan to modify it once selected." “It is our intention that when we start the build program, the design will be mature and there will be a production run already in existence,” he said.

Then it would seem that the idea tossed around of leasing a few boats appears unlikely as does the idea of a Australian Franken-boat (apologies could not help it with the whole Halloween vibe. "Defence Department secretary Greg Moriarty poured cold water on speculation Australia could lease a nuclear submarine from the US or UK in the interim." he added "Mr Moriarty said the focus was on boosting the military’s non-submarine capability, such as long-range weapons, hosting US and UK submarines at Australian bases, and having Australian naval personnel co-crew on US and UK submarines. "

It seems that we might have to get our skates on as far as replacements go with "Navy chief Mike Noonan conceded “hull fatigue” could jeopardise attempts to extend the lives of the Collins class submarines a second time beyond an initial 10 years, saying it might see limits placed on their operations such as diving depths." I suspect one word might be useful with that comment. Yikes!
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
Australian Financial Review 27/10/2021 Hybrid nuclear submarine ‘unlikely’, navy chiefs say Some interesting remarks by various characters in Senate estimates.

Vice-Admiral Jonathan Mead, head of the nuclear submarine task force said that "that Defence wanted to have at least one nuclear submarine before 2040 in a worst-case scenario and was looking to accelerate deliveries." also "Vice-Admiral Mead, who is heading up an 18-month process on embracing a nuclear fleet, told the hearing Australia wanted a “mature design” and did not plan to modify it once selected." “It is our intention that when we start the build program, the design will be mature and there will be a production run already in existence,” he said.

Then it would seem that the idea tossed around of leasing a few boats appears unlikely as does the idea of a Australian Franken-boat (apologies could not help it with the whole Halloween vibe. "Defence Department secretary Greg Moriarty poured cold water on speculation Australia could lease a nuclear submarine from the US or UK in the interim." he added "Mr Moriarty said the focus was on boosting the military’s non-submarine capability, such as long-range weapons, hosting US and UK submarines at Australian bases, and having Australian naval personnel co-crew on US and UK submarines. "

It seems that we might have to get our skates on as far as replacements go with "Navy chief Mike Noonan conceded “hull fatigue” could jeopardise attempts to extend the lives of the Collins class submarines a second time beyond an initial 10 years, saying it might see limits placed on their operations such as diving depths." I suspect one word might be useful with that comment. Yikes!
Without any further LOTE the Collins will probably be withdrawn progressively from 2038 - 2048, assuming they get 10 years out of each hull and the dockings are completed every 2 years. You would think that by then you would have several Australian built nukes in service. I might point out that the transition from Oberon to Collins was hardly smooth either.
 

Pusser01

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
From Richo99's article it seems you're spot on:

The ship will go to tender early next year, with invitations to register already sent out.
To be honest I won't be surprised if the Ocean Protector replacement & new salvage ship go the same way instead of being built in Australia. I have heard the Defence had a good look at the MPV Everest when it was on charter to the AAD earlier this year. Other than catching on fire, apparently they were quite impressed with the capabilities that it could bring to the table. Cheers.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
To be honest I won't be surprised if the Ocean Protector replacement & new salvage ship go the same way instead of being built in Australia. I have heard the Defence had a good look at the MPV Everest when it was on charter to the AAD earlier this year. Other than catching on fire, apparently they were quite impressed with the capabilities that it could bring to the table. Cheers.
I could see the RAN looking at something with an Ice Rating for the Ocean Protector replacement, not a full on Ice Breaker but something that can operate in Antarctic Waters.
 

Geddy

Member
“It is our intention that when we start the build program, the design will be mature and there will be a production run already in existence,”
I know I’m parsing this statement quite a bit, but if they want the Astute class SSN to be in the running, Australia had better be building vessels by 2026 or earlier. Just on the basis of this alone doesn’t it suggest the Virginia class will be more in the running?
 

aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
I know I’m parsing this statement quite a bit, but if they want the Astute class SSN to be in the running, Australia had better be building vessels by 2026 or earlier. Just on the basis of this alone doesn’t it suggest the Virginia class will be more in the running?
Where do you get 2026 from ? why is that the key year ?

If the intention is to build in Australia, with stated LOTE for the Collins Class and at this stage from what we know, a consistent message from Government first boat in the water in ~2040 that leave a lot of wriggle room. Why does any of that rule out Astute Class ? Or does it rule in SSN(R) and puts Virginia on the outer ?
 

ddxx

Member
Where do you get 2026 from ? why is that the key year ?

If the intention is to build in Australia, with stated LOTE for the Collins Class and at this stage from what we know, a consistent message from Government first boat in the water in ~2040 that leave a lot of wriggle room. Why does any of that rule out Astute Class ? Or does it rule in SSN(R) and puts Virginia on the outer ?
Geddy was referring to the Astute Class build timeline - the final boat is due for delivery in 2026, after which construction of their future SSBNs will commence. Therefore, Astute is unlikely to have a production run in existence at commencement of build.

Given the statement from estimates that they would want a mature design, I think both the SSN-X and SSN(R) are rather unlikely contenders.
 

aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Geddy was referring to the Astute Class build timeline - the final boat is due for delivery in 2026, after which construction of their future SSBNs will commence. Therefore, Astute is unlikely to have a production run in existence at commencement of build.

Given the statement from estimates that they would want a mature design, I think both the SSN-X and SSN(R) are rather unlikely contenders.
Was he ? will wait for him to answer that, possible he was, any yep fully aware of the timeline for the last 2 Astute's. Hence the question to expand and discuss given the stated timeline from Government, publicly at least anyway.

Barrow does not have the room, nor do the UK have the capability to add a build for Australia, the PWR2 are all done and dusted and the RR production facility have been re tooled and set up for the PWR3 for the Dreadnought program which is already following in the production line behind Agamemnon and Agincourt with steel cut and already under construction for the first two boats which are substantially larger and more complex taking up the lions share of room in the shed.

The term mature design is a rather broad brush, if we stuck with the Astute, which would require changes to shoe horn in a new PWR than originally designed, and combat system, weapons and communications integration etc. The Virginia's less so, but by that time you are talking if we were interested in Block V/pre VPM you are into the same problem of not a hot line for that particular baseline.

If we went with either of them for a ~2040 ish first boat in the water we would certainly run into obsolescence issues with our major partners and lack of support, or then again you would be trying to upgrade the design with updated weapons, comms, combat systems etc, one again getting away from the mature design. You will also have the issue of then building boats designed in the 90's, starting construction in the early 2000's and first of class launched and commissioned in the early 2000's to 2010 and ready to go out of service as we are building our fist boats !

SSN(R) or (X) sounds pretty good. But all conjecture based on very little public information available. Never know we could be blindsided and invest a fortune to expand Barrow and build offshore, that will go down well I guess.

Cheers
 

alexsa

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I know I’m parsing this statement quite a bit, but if they want the Astute class SSN to be in the running, Australia had better be building vessels by 2026 or earlier. Just on the basis of this alone doesn’t it suggest the Virginia class will be more in the running?
You need to be careful not to conflate the drumbeat used by the UK to sustain submarine production with the time it takes to build the vessel. The UK submarine programme will move from SSN to SSBN and back to SSN in order to avoid the 'valley of death' where there is no work.

Australia are moving to the same model but we have an urgent need to start replacing the Collins. This means hull production may start sooner and be done quicker than the UK to get the programme running (after that the drum beat will be designed for continuous production).

The limiting factor is the reactor as a long lead item. How this will be managed will come out of the review but the Astute is wider than the Virginia and the solution may be a US reactor (which is in serial production) on the Astute hull (which is a know entity). Internal space is not that different given the dived displacement is very similar (note the dived displacement give you a marker for internal volume). This leaves weight and weight location to resolve. just speculating .... but this may be quite manageable.

This is a speculative assessment ... but the point is we should not be basing the likely production line on the UK or US processes because ours will be a different arrangement. There is urgency in this and I suspect GoA are not going to be forthcoming on what is intended until the time is right. It is interesting the Bill Shorten got stuck into the Greens on their defence policy. This suggests both major parties know this situation is real.
 

KiwiRob

Well-Known Member
You need to be careful not to conflate the drumbeat used by the UK to sustain submarine production with the time it takes to build the vessel. The UK submarine programme will move from SSN to SSBN and back to SSN in order to avoid the 'valley of death' where there is no work.

Australia are moving to the same model but we have an urgent need to start replacing the Collins. This means hull production may start sooner and be done quicker than the UK to get the programme running (after that the drum beat will be designed for continuous production).

The limiting factor is the reactor as a long lead item. How this will be managed will come out of the review but the Astute is wider than the Virginia and the solution may be a US reactor (which is in serial production) on the Astute hull (which is a know entity). Internal space is not that different given the dived displacement is very similar (note the dived displacement give you a marker for internal volume). This leaves weight and weight location to resolve. just speculating .... but this may be quite manageable.

This is a speculative assessment ... but the point is we should not be basing the likely production line on the UK or US processes because ours will be a different arrangement. There is urgency in this and I suspect GoA are not going to be forthcoming on what is intended until the time is right. It is interesting the Bill Shorten got stuck into the Greens on their defence policy. This suggests both major parties know this situation is real.
Isn't that then a major redesign putting the US reactor into the Astute hull? Doesn't Australia want these as fast as possible.

From another forum a poster said building 4 Astutes initially then jumping onto the UK's Astute successor program as it comes into production in the UK after the Dreadnaughts have been completed would be an idea.
 

aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Isn't that then a major redesign putting the US reactor into the Astute hull? Doesn't Australia want these as fast as possible.

From another forum a poster said building 4 Astutes initially then jumping onto the UK's Astute successor program as it comes into production in the UK after the Dreadnaughts have been completed would be an idea.
No more so than putting a PWR3 into it which is based on the current USN S9G anyway, it is about production capacity, the UK have a much slower drumbeat, are only just gearing up to start PWR3 production and no longer capable of making the previous PWR2 as the RR facility has been upgraded for the new unit.

The US have a much larger capacity to up their production and supply the PWR's for Australia, so either way you need to make the changes to the design for new unit if the Astute are selected, again all speculation, all up in the air, 18 months of this back and forth until we know the answer :)
 

John Newman

The Bunker Group
A lot of speculation here regarding what is, and isn’t, still in the Naval Shipbuilding Plan, but there is actually some information that has been in the public domain for the last six weeks (I’m a bit surprised that no one has picked up on it).

When the Government made the AUKUS announcement on 16 September, the ‘future submarine’ page on the navy.gov.au website was updated:


At the bottom of that page under ‘fact sheets’ were these two little gems.

Shipbuilding in SA:


Shipbuilding in WA:


And for comparison the Shipbuilding Plan from the 2020 DSU:


For SA shipbuilding, Attack class has disappeared (obviously), replaced by the future SSNs, other than that the rest of the projects stay the same.

For WA shipbuilding, two projects have disappeared, Pacific Support Vessel and the Young Endeavour replacement.

Ocean Protector is still there, but appears to have an increased budget allowance.

The Salvage & Repair Vessel appears to have been renamed as Forward Support Vessel, also with an increased budget allowance.

The big change is an interesting one.

In the 2020 DSU, there were two entries for Integrated Undersea Surveillance System, total budget up to $4.5b.

These projects appear to have been renamed, Undersea Surveillance Support Ships, with a significantly increased budget of up to $9b.

Two less ships, but increased spending. Hopefully we’ll get to see an update to the 2017 Naval Shipbuilding Plan sooner or later.

Cheers,
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
I think SSN(R) and SSN(X) will be a little too late. Surely Australia would need to start cutting steel before the end of this decade.
 
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