Verified Defense Pro
I think the idea for a thread with this title is a good one. Once the present 'hot' topics such as the AWD thread 'cool' down this thread could eventually cover all RAN discussions. There is certainly repetition across some of the RAN threads (same as with RAAF topics in Military Aviation).Given the dearth of different specific threads for the RAN, I thought I'd open a more general one so that each time a RAN topic comes up, it doesn't need it's own thread in the future. So here goes with a couple of questions that I've come up with.
Now that the Seasprite seems to be scrapped and that Seahawks are likely on the horizon for the RAN, are there plans to fit the Penguin Mk 2? If so, any idea on what the timeframe would be? Also, with the NSM now coming out, is it like that the RAN (and possible the RAAF too) might be interested for mounting on helis? With the Harpoon Block II now being fitted to the Anzac, and the Adelaides already operating the Harpoon, I don't think it would make sense for a ship-mounted version of NSM.
With the FFG Upgrade, is the datalink system being updated, and to which standard? My Janes guide (several years old ) has the Adelaides equipped with a helo-link, but not Link 11 or 16. It would make sense to me for that to be updated... Similarly, are the datalinks aboard the Seahawks being updated as well?
Also, again according to the same Janes book, the Huon MHC are equipped with Link 11 receive only. Are any plans to (or have they been) upgraded to also send data? Given the limited armament on a Huon, I'm not sure it could make effective use of a datalink unless it was also able to transmit, thus acting as another potential observer.
It would have been logical, IMO, for the Seahawks to have been fitted to operate the Penguin in the first place and I imagine this will be done when the Seasprite program is laid to rest. However, AFAIK there has been no comment from Defence sources about this. BTW the expected announcement confirming the scrapping of the Seasprites has not yet been made. With so many projects already under way I doubt that the RAN would be looking at the NSM at this stage.
Sorry I can't answer the questions re the datalink systems. Hopefully someone else will be able to.