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Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates

Discussion in 'Navy & Maritime' started by icelord, Feb 13, 2007.

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  1. Tasman

    Tasman Ship Watcher Verified Defense Pro

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    One of the major problems suffered by the old FAA was that Australia could just not afford two airforces. I think most people outside of the RAAF would agree that there was a certain amount of 'whiteanting' of the FAA by the air force which felt funds it should be getting were going to the navy. The proposal you mention seems to be a really good compromise which would make the most economical use of funds and manpower.

    Cheers
     
  2. tphuang

    tphuang Super Moderator

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    Just wondering, is the cost vs reward really worth this? I mean you are getting a far less capable aircraft in B in terms of flight performance and range while paying far more (I remember reading figures of 80 million vs 130 million posted by M21Sniper a while back). How much extra is it to operate both A and B? I mean for UK, since they are ordering a lot.
     
  3. gf0012-aust

    gf0012-aust Grumpy Old Man Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    apparently the poms think its worthwhile. ;) emotionally it would be a bit difficult for the FAA guys to see RAF overalls on RN ships... :)

    as for the RAN, I think its a pipe dream unfortunately
     
  4. StingrayOZ

    StingrayOZ Well-Known Member

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    I think its fairly nice planning really.

    If the F-35B turns out to be a bit of a dud or expensive, then no problems, we buy the F-35A's, and use our LHD are designed, for amphibious assults, with NH-90's, tigers, chooks, tanks, landing craft, troops, vechicals etc. No loss of face, no wasted money, we have the best LHD we could get.

    If the F-35B turns out to be a fantastic plane, at only a few mill more (some estimates have put it only ~10 million more) then it may indeed be worthwhile. We have a LHD that is capable. I think it will be borderline viable for Australia it really depends whos in charge and who wants it.

    Other than that there may be UCAV's that can fly from the LHD as well, its not just the F-35.

    The BPE is a rather clever design. Being its so cheap, and so capable. I think as a single roll carrier it would perform at least as good as a Invincible class carrier. But its so cheap at around $300 million. You can by three for the price of one Cavour ship.

    If F-35B is highly desireable, and the LHD struggle with it, or are overused as a LHD to dedicate to carrier functions, no problems. Australia could start a carrier preposal. After all by then we would have aircraft, escorts etc, it would just be the addition of a single vessel. That would get messy, but it is in the vauge relm of possibility if circumstances change. UK fails to get carriers, US scales back carrier force, extreme instability in the region (resource crisis?), regional arms race etc etc.

    I would love to see a specialised carrier, maybe 38,000 tons. 35 aircraft. 25+ kt speed, capable of CATOBAR.
     
  5. swerve

    swerve Super Moderator

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    The UK does not plan to buy any F-35A. Only F-35B.

    The official estimate is that the F-35B will cost about the same as the F-35C, maybe 25% more than the F-35A. The 31-Dec-2005 SAR estimated "flyaway" price in 2006 USD at $52.8 mn for F-35A, $67.4 mn for F-35B (adjusted by me from the 2002 prices given, using the US budget office figure for inflation) for full-rate production, i.e. from 2014 onwards. Your guess is as good as mine whether they can achieve that (I doubt it), & the contract price will be much higher, of course. Pre-2014 so called LRIP production is forecast to be more expensive.
     
  6. swerve

    swerve Super Moderator

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    But that's exactly what happens now, & has for the last 25 years. We had RAF Harriers operating off Invincible & Hermes in the Falklands war to provide the ground attack capabilities the SHARS lacked, & now there's a joint Harrier force, with both FAA & RAF operating the same aircraft, & RAF crews operating on ships when required.

    I think the Navy's got used to crabs on deck.
     
  7. contedicavour

    contedicavour New Member

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    The same discussion is going on in Italy since the Air Force wants F35As but just about everybody else pushes for F35Bs for both Air Force and Navy in order to have higher standardization and more jets compatible with our 2 light aircraft carriers.
    Apparently the F35As cost less and carry a larger weapons load, but I'd like to see the accurate numbers because it all sounds like the good old parochial debate between competing armed forces.
    The Army at least is cooperating and routinely deploys Mangusta attack helos on our carriers and LPDs.

    cheers
     
  8. Tasman

    Tasman Ship Watcher Verified Defense Pro

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    HMAS Arunta now fitted for Harpoon

    HMAS Arunta visited Hobart today and I noticed that it has now been fiited with launching mounts for Harpoon missiles, although no canisters were fitted to the mounts (not unusual for ships visiting the Southern capital).

    This means that at least three Anzacs are fitted for Harpoon; Arunta, Anzac and Warrumunga.

    Cheers

    PS: I'll download a couple of pics that I took from my boat this afternoon.
     
  9. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    Did you notice if there were any flat-panel radar arrays on HMAS Arunta? I'm wondering what the CEA-FAR system looks like aboard an Anzac, and the Arunta was/is the test ship for that.

    Can't wait to see the pics.

    -Cheers
     
  10. Tasman

    Tasman Ship Watcher Verified Defense Pro

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    The arrays seem to have been removed. There is a set of photos of Arunta on the ADF website which shows the trial arrays. See link below:

    http://www.defence.gov.au/media/download/2005/sep/20050909a.cfm

    Cheers
     
  11. There wasn't any USMC operators in the area I trust??? :D
     
  12. Tasman

    Tasman Ship Watcher Verified Defense Pro

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    No armed sentries and not a police RHIB in sight! I put a fishing line over the side to look innocent just in case! :lol2

    Actually my tin dinghy would have looked pretty insignificant compared with a couple of the other boats that ;) you can see in the photos I downloaded!

    Cheers
     
  13. Looks like a "lovely day" for a spin on the water...

    Anyhoo getting back on topic, it's good to see the Harpoon fitment finally proceeding, it's taken long enough.

    December 04 the first tubes went on Warramunga.

    Now I want to know from the Puss or AMPTE if they're around at all, are the tubes and missiles kept on board, but just not on the "stands" all the time, or are they kept completely off the boat and fitted when required for ex's or operations?

    Or am I out of line and that is classified?
     
  14. AMTP10E

    AMTP10E Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    The exact load out policy is classified (and a complete load of garbage if you ask me). As for Harpoon, I'm pretty sure that if they ain't visible then they haven't got any onboard. I don't think they can load them anywhere execpt alongside.
     
  15. Tasman

    Tasman Ship Watcher Verified Defense Pro

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    Even in exercises the canisters are not always fitted. Warrumunga carried none during Exercise Ocean Protector last year and shortly afterwards was fitted with just two when she was deployed as part of the Commonwealth Games security force. She also had just two when she was in Hobart last year but was fully outfitted with eight when she deployed to the Gulf later in the year.

    I wonder if there are sufficient missiles in the RAN's inventory or if this is another example (CIWS and Mini Typhoon are others) of shortages resulting in weapons being rotated to deploying units at the expense of others. It makes you worry about what is actually in the Mk 41 VLS. ESSM or empty cells? :confused:

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2007
  16. Thanks for that. Very interesting... :)

    Tasman, there was an FMS announcement a couple of years back where Australia ordered 64x brand new Harpoon Block II "live" missiles from the US.

    They should at least have enough missiles to completely equip the fleet of ANZAC's without any reloads...
     
  17. Tasman

    Tasman Ship Watcher Verified Defense Pro

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    Thanks AD.

    I have seen the FMS announcement which was made way back in October, 2002 (see link below), but wondered if the missiles have actually all been delivered.

    http://www.dsca.osd.mil/pressreleases/36-b/Australia_03-04.pdf

    As well as the new missiles, retrofit kits have been ordered to update earlier Harpoon missiles to Block II standard.

    http://www.boeing.com/ids/news/2004/q1/nr_040223m.html

    Hopefully additional missiles will be acquired to allow for reloads and test firing.

    Cheers
     
  18. Tasman

    Tasman Ship Watcher Verified Defense Pro

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    Some info from the 2007 Budget

    Whilst selection of the big ticket items (AWD and LHD) are scheduled to be made later this year there were a number of interesting statements re RAN equipment that appeared in budget attachments:

    These include:

    Sea 1428 Phase 2A ESSM

    All Anzac-class frigates have been fitted with the Evolved Seasparrow Missile System.

    SEA 1390 Ph 2.1 — Guided Missile Frigates (FFG) Upgrade - Implementation

    "There are known deficiencies with the underwater warfare systems, electronic support system and Australian Distributed Architecture Combat System software. Under the provisions of the contract, work by the prime contractor is to continue to rectify deficiencies before HMAS Sydney’s acceptance, which is scheduled for late 2008. HMAS Sydney’s initial operational release is due in mid-2007. HMAS Melbourne is planned for provisional acceptance in late 2007. HMAS Darwin is to complete the upgrade docking in mid-2007. HMAS Newcastle is scheduled to enter the upgrade docking in late 2007."

    SH-2G(A) Super Seasprite Helicopter

    The Super Seasprite is currently suspended from flying due to issues with the automatic flight control system. A final Government decision on the future of the Super Seasprite is expected later this year.

    SEA 1779 Ph 1 — Ships Self Defence Capability Rapid Acquisition - for the supply of 25mm Bushmaster Naval Variant Cannons, and for the supply and integration of the Toplite, Mini-Typhoon and Typhoon systems.

    Phase 1 of the project will provide a dual level ship self defence capability for HMA Ships Kanimbla, Manoora and Tobruk. This capability will provide better defence against watercraft, land targets, helicopters and floating mines. The capability will consist of an integrated fire control system comprising the Rafael Typhoon and Mini-Typhoon weapon systems, and Toplite electro-optical director system. The 25mm Bushmaster naval variant cannons are to be integrated to provide the cannon for the Typhoon system.

    To meet urgent operational deployment needs, an interim solution comprising Toplite and Mini-Typhoon for two ships was provided in November 2006. This, and additional hardware, including Typhoon, will be used in the final installations on all three ships. Additional hardware is scheduled to be available in late 2008.

    The ship modification design package is scheduled for delivery in May 2007. Contracts will then be placed for the modification of the ships to meet those designs with a planned completion date of February 2008. Operational release of the first ship is scheduled for August 2008, with project completion in February 2009.

    http://www.defence.gov.au/budget/07-..._PBS_09_s2.pdf

    It was pleasing to read that ESSM is now fitted in all of the Anzacs. I was interested that the 25mm Typhoon system is being acquired as well as Mini Typhoon (I seem to remember this being mentioned before but it is the first time I have seen confirmation of funding). The problems with HMAS Sydney's upgrade are obviously not fully solved and the Seasprite saga continues.

    Cheers
     
  19. AMTP10E

    AMTP10E Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Outside the recruiting/retention stuff, the most important bit of the Defence budget is the extra $4billion for logistics (especially for the ANZACs, helos, and subs). If we didn't get that then we were going to be in really deep trouble not that far down the track.
     
  20. I guess the Seahawks are being worked fairly heavily given our reliance upon them... :(

    Is there any word on when the FLIR/ESM upgrades on the Seahawks will be completed?

    Another "brilliantly" conducted project by Tenix on behalf of ADF...