Verified Defense Pro
I suspect you are right Todjaeger. Based on the above info the points you make seem pretty valid. The best support may well be to pre position a Collins in the deployment area, prior to arrival of the LHD and its escorts.Regarding the Collins SSK, from the info I have, and well all know how accurate public domain info is...
The listed surface or snorting speed is 10 kts, and the max submerged speed is 20 kts. The issue as I see it becomes the persistance of the Collins while in transit. The listed endurance on batteries is 400 n miles at 4 kts. I could be mistaken, but I wouldn't think that it would have long time on batteries while moving at greater speed. I would also expected that the normal cruising speed for the LHD would be a minimum of 10 kts, possibly 15 kts. That is where I see a problem. How long can a Collins escort a taskforce moving at 10+ kts without surfacing? Also (and this is directed a sub people) what effect does traveling on the surface or snorting have on a sub's acoustic signature? I would imagine that a surfaced sub is more easily detected by hostile subs than one completely submerged. If I'm wrong, happy to be set straight.
Once an LHD & taskforce is on-station though, a Collins would provide a very sneaky, and unpleasant surprise. It's the escort in transit where I see vulnerabilities.
BTW, I think it would be a mistake to assume that the RAN's ASW capability is seriously lacking. It is probably true that ASW has not been a high priority since the end of the Cold War (as indeed is the case in many navies) and it could be improved as suggested in some of the earlier posts, but I believe that the FFGs, FFHs and the Seahawks, along with the RAAF's AP-3Cs all have a reasonable capability in this area. They also get to exercise with the Collins class as well as USN SSNs so skill levels ought to be reasonably honed.