Royal New Zealand Navy Discussions and Updates

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
The inherent problem is that they're Inshore Patrol Vessels, and getting from Auckland to Fiji - and back again - involves a long ocean passage, definitely not Inshore. Planning such a voyage requires careful study of long range weather forecasts, examination of chicken entrails and sacrificing a couple of virgins [OK, I did exaggerate a teeny bit :)] before committing to go. This makes departing and arriving on a specific future date very difficult to manage, and the voyage itself is likely to make the lucky CO's blood pressure elevated until they are safely in the lee of their destination.
That's a major reason why the IPVs are not long for this world with the RNZN, they are just barely suitable for use in coastal NZ waters, and even then there are big parts where there are no suitable ports (or none at all) to run to if the weather turns nasty. For example a trip to the Chathams is nearly as hard to plan as a trip to Fiji; and a transit from Nelson to Milford Sound has only shooting the bar at Greymouth or Westport as very questionable boltholes

Just my $0.02
I believe that concerns about IPV seaworthiness is overblown, looking for an excuse not to deploy to the Pacific.
Provided there is adequate cyclone safe Shelters or moorings available there is no reason why the deployments would be compromised.
Auckland to Suva, the longest transit is a approx 1,000nms, about the same distance between Brisbane and Cape York Thursday Island. Darwin to Christmas Island is approx 1,200nms an Ocean passage the RAN Attacks, Fremantles and Armidales Did/do regularly in all sorts of crap conditions (that’s why the ACPBs) copped such a structural hiding at the peak deployments).
During My exchange time in the RN I would explain my normal patrol to the Brits in this way, my 33mtr Attack class would leave Darwin, proceed to Broome to refuel then patrol the NW shelf down to NW Cape/Exmouth, return to Broome then back to Darwin. This is the same as leaving Plymouth, proceed to Gibraltar then patrol the entire Med, return to Gib then back to Plymouth.
The Fremantles deployed, some from Darwin, to Fiji during their constitutional crisis during the 80s with no problem and from what I see looking at the IPVs they are as good as or better than their Oz cousins in a seaway.

I’ve posted this here some time ago but I believe the NZ Govt is really missing out on an opportunity in national diplomacy by not utilising thes ships and in particular are ignoring their sovereign responsibility towards NZ’s Pacific possesssions.
 

RegR

Well-Known Member
I believe that concerns about IPV seaworthiness is overblown, looking for an excuse not to deploy to the Pacific.
Provided there is adequate cyclone safe Shelters or moorings available there is no reason why the deployments would be compromised.
Auckland to Suva, the longest transit is a approx 1,000nms, about the same distance between Brisbane and Cape York Thursday Island. Darwin to Christmas Island is approx 1,200nms an Ocean passage the RAN Attacks, Fremantles and Armidales Did/do regularly in all sorts of crap conditions (that’s why the ACPBs) copped such a structural hiding at the peak deployments).
During My exchange time in the RN I would explain my normal patrol to the Brits in this way, my 33mtr Attack class would leave Darwin, proceed to Broome to refuel then patrol the NW shelf down to NW Cape/Exmouth, return to Broome then back to Darwin. This is the same as leaving Plymouth, proceed to Gibraltar then patrol the entire Med, return to Gib then back to Plymouth.
The Fremantles deployed, some from Darwin, to Fiji during their constitutional crisis during the 80s with no problem and from what I see looking at the IPVs they are as good as or better than their Oz cousins in a seaway.

I’ve posted this here some time ago but I believe the NZ Govt is really missing out on an opportunity in national diplomacy by not utilising thes ships and in particular are ignoring their sovereign responsibility towards NZ’s Pacific possesssions.
It's all an excuse to save face more than anything, cannot just get rid of anything without one now otherwise it will just be another failed $$$$$ defence project to add to the list under the heading, another waste of taxpayer dollars, and no govt wants another failure, not on it's watch anyway, the same list that is brought up like clockwork anytime defence now tries to justify, fund and aqquire anything even remotely military orientated by the same old same old members of society, and parliament, and this is now the biggest hurdle for getting any new kit across the line bar actual finance.

If IPVs were not "fit for purpose" then we would have got rid of the type 2 iterations ago when they were in fact even lessor capable (far less capable) vessels that literally just patrolled "inshore" NZ nevermind the pacific islands. TBH if they wanted to just get rid of them then they should never have deployed them to Fiji in the first place then perhaps their story would hold more water otherwise it just makes them look foolish or are they infact trying to say the IPV deployments were a complete disaster? Yes we need more OPVs, but to do more OPV work not take on IPV slack, slack that now has to be taken up and to say we have other means to conduct these particular patrols now is another cop out considering they were short then and inadequate at best. The only thing that should change this requirement is a dramatic decrease in the requirement for inshore patrolling in the first place, I have seen nothing to support this and considering even government agencies were publically stating they were not meeting their own patrol hours alongside/including defence targets right up until recently (not finding anything due to not patrolling does'nt quite count) proves we should be adding to the toolkit not emptying it. We should be getting another OPV at least, but not at the expense of 2 IPVs, instead on top of. What's next? swap out 2 aging frigates for 1 tricked out one with every box ticked because "it has more options" so should work better??

Notice they do not publish stories on navy personnel shortages anymore either, must be sorted, quite convenient really...
 

Nighthawk.NZ

Active Member
I heard stories back in the day with the old IPC's that the navy didn't really want four of them, they only wanted two to meet the requirements they were asked, but that's what they got... and they were supposed to be larger than they were but cutbacks...

I have been saying for years since we learned that they were going to decommission two for a SOPV that the NZG should donate them to the Pacific Islands say one to Fiji and one to Samoa... And especially in today's time with certain other countries interfering in the Pacific...

The IPV's would fine if they were based in the Islands I still don't see any reason why this shouldn't happen...
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I heard stories back in the day with the old IPC's that the navy didn't really want four of them, they only wanted two to meet the requirements they were asked, but that's what they got... and they were supposed to be larger than they were but cutbacks...

I have been saying for years since we learned that they were going to decommission two for a SOPV that the NZG should donate them to the Pacific Islands say one to Fiji and one to Samoa... And especially in today's time with certain other countries interfering in the Pacific...

The IPV's would fine if they were based in the Islands I still don't see any reason why this shouldn't happen...
Trouble with the IPCs was that they were to slow - 12 knots with a following wind and going downhill, and they rolled on wet grass. My thoughts were / are that at 27m length and 6.1 m beam they were a tad on the short side. If they were a bit longer they may have been better sea keeping boats and faster. Maybe another 3 m and a 50 cal could've been mounted on the foc'sle. When on fisheries patrol most of the boats that we were checking could outrun us. Hoki patrol off the west coast of the South Island during the middle of winter could be interesting.
 

Nighthawk.NZ

Active Member
I served on HMNZS Pukaki... and they were uncomfortable at times that for sure... I remember being thrown out of my pit and landing on the deck... I was bloody lucky (them were the days) ... ended up sleeping in the wardroom that night... lol

Yup, they were way too slow in the open sea... From memory, the original designs were 10m's longer (or something)... The current IPV's are a hell of alot better at sea keeping than the old IPC's... and from what I have heard they are quite comfortable comparatively. So I don't see an issue with keeping the two, and gifting the other two...

When they were first in service... not sure what they had on the foc'sle. But they didn't last that long.


On saying all that they were a blast and had fun on them... lol
 

RegR

Well-Known Member
I served on HMNZS Pukaki... and they were uncomfortable at times that for sure... I remember being thrown out of my pit and landing on the deck... I was bloody lucky (them were the days) ... ended up sleeping in the wardroom that night... lol

Yup, they were way too slow in the open sea... From memory, the original designs were 10m's longer (or something)... The current IPV's are a hell of alot better at sea keeping than the old IPC's... and from what I have heard they are quite comfortable comparatively. So I don't see an issue with keeping the two, and gifting the other two...

When they were first in service... not sure what they had on the foc'sle. But they didn't last that long.


On saying all that they were a blast and had fun on them... lol
But the thing is were they even really manned by "navy" anyway? The rockies ran them out of the regions for regional patrols so not sure why regular navy would even care how many IPCs navy had unless A. They were short of qualified cadres or B. short of experienced rockies? (sound familiar?). I would still rather 'donate them back to the reserves than the islands (either way they would require NZ expertise/support) basing 1 central in the islands, 3 in back in the regions and rotating crews as per.

What is that gun mount in the pic btw? Looks heavy? and well placed.
 

Nighthawk.NZ

Active Member
But the thing is were they even really manned by "navy" anyway? The rockies ran them out of the regions for regional patrols so not sure why regular navy would even care how many IPCs navy had unless A. They were short of qualified cadres or B. short of experienced rockies? (sound familiar?). I would still rather 'donate them back to the reserves than the islands (either way they would require NZ expertise/support) basing 1 central in the islands, 3 in back in the regions and rotating crews as per.

What is that gun mount in the pic btw? Looks heavy? and well placed.
The reserves had the moa class not the lake class ipc’s... I don’t ever remember the lake class ipc’s being with the reserves... though I could be wrong...
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
The reserves had the moa class not the lake class ipc’s... I don’t ever remember the lake class ipc’s being with the reserves... though I could be wrong...
The Australian experience allocating the Attack Class to the reserves wasn’t hugely successful as most times permanent service crew had to be drafted when they went to sea. I have a good friend engineering rate who spent almost full time on The Fremantle based Attack helping out supposedly during his “shore” draft
The Reserves were of greater benefit to the RAN after they were integrated into normal full time billets for any length of time that suited and I’m sure their training had more value.
Please excuse OT.
 

Nighthawk.NZ

Active Member
Nope the reserves never had the Lake class PBs.
Thought as much...

I do wish the reserves had patrol crafts of their own to keep their skills up...


On other news HMNZS Aotearoa commissioned...

Captain Simon Rooke just back from neurosurgery .... holly crap...

I also notice this;
"The ship will be fitted with remote controlled Mini Typhoon weapon systems and crew-operated machine guns."

So I am now guessing that it is only the Phalanx that is "Fitted for but not with"
 
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RegR

Well-Known Member
The Australian experience allocating the Attack Class to the reserves wasn’t hugely successful as most times permanent service crew had to be drafted when they went to sea. I have a good friend engineering rate who spent almost full time on The Fremantle based Attack helping out supposedly during his “shore” draft
The Reserves were of greater benefit to the RAN after they were integrated into normal full time billets for any length of time that suited and I’m sure their training had more value.
Please excuse OT.
All reserve units have cadres in key positions, it is even a recognised posting for some. A marine engineer would definately be one of these key positions as that is one of the main trades that is poached by the civilian world where military cannot match the payrate, this is what keeps ships in port in even the regular navy.
 

RegR

Well-Known Member
Thought as much...

I do wish the reserves had patrol crafts of their own to keep their skills up...


On other news HMNZS Aotearoa commissioned...

Captain Simon Rooke just back from neurosurgery .... holly crap...

I also notice this;
"The ship will be fitted with remote controlled Mini Typhoon weapon systems and crew-operated machine guns."

So I am now guessing that it is only the Phalanx that is "Fitted for but not with"
Nice looking ship, guess they will have to rotate one off "the spare" ANZAC if ever combat deployed but more than likely do without? The sad fact of the classic "fitted for but not with" chestnut. Seems a difficult proposition from a training and development perspective.

The BAM OPVs have 25mm bushmasters either side as well top deck which do not look to take up a huge footprint, a consideration taking into account how much space AOT has topside although the .50 typhoons should at least give them something targetted via optics at least.
 
I also notice this;
"The ship will be fitted with remote controlled Mini Typhoon weapon systems and crew-operated machine guns."

So I am now guessing that it is only the Phalanx that is "Fitted for but not with"
An opinion piece published in the June 2020 DTR argues that the RANs new AORs fit out is inadequate
1 x Phalanx 1B
2 x 25mm Typhoon
4 x HMG

This is almost frigate equivalent for RNZN

Describes Pahalanx as in 'the twilight of its operational relevance'
States .50 cal HMGs (IE Mini Typhoon) 'offer the ship no viable capability against either aerial targets or anything other than the most benign surface threats"

The exchange between Hillary Barry and jeremy Wells at the end of this piece is apt

1596031357046.png
 

Albedo

Member
An opinion piece published in the June 2020 DTR argues that the RANs new AORs fit out is inadequate
1 x Phalanx 1B
2 x 25mm Typhoon
4 x HMG

This is almost frigate equivalent for RNZN

Describes Pahalanx as in 'the twilight of its operational relevance'
States .50 cal HMGs (IE Mini Typhoon) 'offer the ship no viable capability against either aerial targets or anything other than the most benign surface threats"
The quote about the Supply-class' .50 cal HMGs only being useful while alongside seems to be because they are unstabilized while the HMNZS Aotearoa's Mini Typhoon's are stabilized so should be useful underway against surface targets and low/slow UAVs albeit with limited range.

Phalanx is just so convenient being a self-contained system that requires no deck penetration and can engage both surface and air-threats. Longer range CIWS options have compromises like the Millennium Gun requiring an external fire control system with external radar and/or EO while SeaRAM, if I'm not mistaken, doesn't incorporate an anti-surface capability. I do wonder why Raytheon doesn't try to address this obvious market gap by refreshing the Phalanx with a larger caliber gun, especially now that Goalkeeper isn't manufactured anymore? There are no doubt limitations with how big a gun they can fit within the Phalanx design and maybe it would only be an incremental capability bump, but if they can make a relatively simple/low-cost upgrade kit there should be quite a lot of sales potential across the large Phalanx installed base.
 

spoz

The Bunker Group
If they think that about .50 cals I suggest they stand off about 500-1000 yards during a shoot and see what happens. Close in, .50cals aren't that badly affected by most sea states where boghammers are going to be an issue even in frigate sized ships. On a tanker they will be even less so. And they are not designed to engage such targets at longer range; that's what the 25mm and Phalanx, which are stabilised, are for.

I suspect Raytheon probably rather thinks that with Phalanx and Sea ram there's not market large enough to warrant the investment. After all, the USN, which is their primary focus, are looking at directed energy weapons as the future of the VSRAD capability.
 
The quote about the Supply-class' .50 cal HMGs only being useful while alongside seems to be because they are unstabilized while the HMNZS Aotearoa's Mini Typhoon's are stabilized so should be useful underway against surface targets and low/slow UAVs albeit with limited range.

Phalanx is just so convenient being a self-contained system that requires no deck penetration and can engage both surface and air-threats. Longer range CIWS options have compromises like the Millennium Gun requiring an external fire control system with external radar and/or EO while SeaRAM, if I'm not mistaken, doesn't incorporate an anti-surface capability. I do wonder why Raytheon doesn't try to address this obvious market gap by refreshing the Phalanx with a larger caliber gun, especially now that Goalkeeper isn't manufactured anymore? There are no doubt limitations with how big a gun they can fit within the Phalanx design and maybe it would only be an incremental capability bump, but if they can make a relatively simple/low-cost upgrade kit there should be quite a lot of sales potential across the large Phalanx installed base.
I agree with your comments.
I think we should be aiming at Phalanx at minimum for protection against asymtrical threats (swarms of fast boats, UAVs, rockets when in port).
Something with better range (IE an up gunned Phalanx) would be better.

I would like to see NZDF as a whole, including RNZN ships have somekind of deployable hard and soft kill counter UAV capability.

Look at what the UNSM have done with their Polaris ATVs

 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
The quote about the Supply-class' .50 cal HMGs only being useful while alongside seems to be because they are unstabilized while the HMNZS Aotearoa's Mini Typhoon's are stabilized so should be useful underway against surface targets and low/slow UAVs albeit with limited range.

Phalanx is just so convenient being a self-contained system that requires no deck penetration and can engage both surface and air-threats. Longer range CIWS options have compromises like the Millennium Gun requiring an external fire control system with external radar and/or EO while SeaRAM, if I'm not mistaken, doesn't incorporate an anti-surface capability. I do wonder why Raytheon doesn't try to address this obvious market gap by refreshing the Phalanx with a larger caliber gun, especially now that Goalkeeper isn't manufactured anymore? There are no doubt limitations with how big a gun they can fit within the Phalanx design and maybe it would only be an incremental capability bump, but if they can make a relatively simple/low-cost upgrade kit there should be quite a lot of sales potential across the large Phalanx installed base.
Yes, I to wonder why Phalanx hasn't come with a 25 mm or 30 mm option. In a lot of ways it seems a no brainer. It can't be that difficult to swap out the guns.
If they think that about .50 cals I suggest they stand off about 500-1000 yards during a shoot and see what happens. Close in, .50cals aren't that badly affected by most sea states where boghammers are going to be an issue even in frigate sized ships. On a tanker they will be even less so. And they are not designed to engage such targets at longer range; that's what the 25mm and Phalanx, which are stabilised, are for.

I suspect Raytheon probably rather thinks that with Phalanx and Sea ram there's not market large enough to warrant the investment. After all, the USN, which is their primary focus, are looking at directed energy weapons as the future of the VSRAD capability.
Yep but energy weapons for VSRAD could still be a ways off and not all vessels may be able to take them.
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
Yes, I to wonder why Phalanx hasn't come with a 25 mm or 30 mm option. In a lot of ways it seems a no brainer. It can't be that difficult to swap out the guns.
I suspect that there would be a bit more to it than that. Consider that a late model Mk 15 Phalanx (Block 1B) has a displacement of ~6.2 tonnes, when kitted out with the M61 Vulcan with a 2 m barrel.

Then consider the impact of replacing the 20 mm M61 Vulcan rotary cannon with the 30 mm GAU-8 Avenger rotary cannon (normally found in the A-10 Warthog...)

Given that the basic rotary cannon weapon is both larger and heavier when switching from 20 mm to 30 mm, the entire Mk 15 Phalanx mounting would likely need to be redesigned. Also due to the greater recoil forces involved in the upsize from 20 mm to 30 mm. the structure of the Mk 15 would likely require some sort of recoil dampener and/or reinforcement. All of this would likely drive the weight of the finished product beyond the current ~6 tonnes for a Mk 15.

Another thing to consider is the Goalkeeper 30 mm CIWS, which already uses the GAU-8 Avenger rotary cannon... A major difference between Goalkeeper and Phalanx aside from calibre is that Phalanx is non-deck penetrating while Goalkeeper is deck penetrating.

My interpretation of the above facts is that, short of a new rotary cannon being designed in 25 mm or 30 mm that has a similar size footprint and recoil forces as the M61 Vulcan, weapons system designers are not exactly spoiled with viable options to replace the M61 in the Phalanx.
 
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