RAN OPV and Frigate shortlist news

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Re: RAN OPV and Frigate shortlist news

Postby RussF172 » 30 Sep 2020 18:54

I would have thought they would have gone the other way and decided to fit hangars to them to embark an aircraft properly. A helo is a great extension of the ships capabilities. Obviously "The stupid is strong with this one" :stupid:
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Re: RAN OPV and Frigate shortlist news

Postby MikeJames » 01 Oct 2020 13:06

I will point out that the in-service sister ships of the Arafura's, the Royal Brunei Navy's Darussalam-class offshore patrol vessels, just participated in RIMPAC.

They are fully armed combat vessels, fitted with a 57mm Bofors Mk3, 4x Exocet MM-40 Block 3 anti-ship missiles, a man-pad short-range surface to air missile system, multiple light anti-surface gun systems, the appropriate radars, EO/IR, EW and combat systems to operate these capabilities and are also fitted with a perfectly operational helicopter-enabled flight deck.

Whoever decided to make helo operations impossible from the Arafura's should be taken out and shot as a traitor, they quite obviously don't have the nation's interests at heart.

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Re: RAN OPV and Frigate shortlist news

Postby MikeJames » 31 Oct 2020 15:37

No plans to operate choppers on new OPVs
The Royal Australian Navy has down-designed the Arafura class Offshore Patrol Vessels so that they can no longer support the weight of a helicopter on the large rear deck.

By KYM BERGMANN

From DefenceOctober 30, 2020
3 MINUTE READ
Normally when a navy acquires a new ship, they want it to be as capable as possible. Not so the Royal Australian Navy, which has down-designed the Arafura class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) so that they can no longer support the weight of a helicopter on the large rear deck.

As extraordinary as this might seem, this has been done for a cost saving understood to be completely insignificant in terms of the project budget.

In other words, the RAN cannot see the need anytime in the next 40 years to land a helicopter on any of the 12 ships.

“Navy intends to deploy maritime unmanned aerial vehicles on the Arafura class OPV as operational requirements and system availability dictate,” a Defence spokesman said.

“There are no current plans or intentions to deploy helicopters to, or operate helicopters from, the Arafura class OPV.”

But this begs the question: why remove the strengthening in the first place rather than leave the design untouched? This is based on Brunei’s Darussalam class patrol boats that come with a perfectly good helicopter platform.

The ships are designed to take up to an 11-tonne helicopter, which could include the RAN’s workhorse the Airbus MRH 90 and the anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare MH-60R. While the ships do not have a hanger, they nevertheless have facilities for aviation support — including refuelling. The US navy regularly lands their helicopters on Brunei’s OPVs, but will not be able to touch down on ours.

Another feature missing on the 1800-tonne 80m Arafuras are anti-surface missiles.

The parent ships carry four highly capable MM-40 Exocet missiles. These have a range approaching 200km and the 165kg warhead could sink all but the largest of hostile ships.

Two of Brunei’s vessels simultaneously test fired an Exocet each from different directions at the same surface target during Exercise RIMPAC 2014, apparently with complete success.

Even if the RAN did not want this particular missile, there are several others in the same category available. It doesn’t stop there, with the RAN main gun smaller than that of the 57mm on the parent design.

“The Arafura class OPV will be fitted with a 40mm Leonardo Marlin 40 main gun and two 12.7mm machine guns,” the Defence spokesman said.

“While there is no current plan or intention to increase the armament of the OPVs, navy capability planners assess emerging threats and technologies and will consider adjustments to weapon and sensor suites if the strategic environment requires change.”

The first of the new Hunter class frigates will not be available until 2030. Until then, the surface combat fleet will comprise three Hobart class Air Warfare Destroyers, eight Anzac frigates and the 12 Arafuras currently under construction.

‘Navy capability planners assess emerging threats and technologies and will consider adjustments to weapon and sensor suites if the strategic environment requires change’

The AWDs and Anzacs will be going through upgrades during the next decade, meaning at least one of each will be unavailable for extended periods, so surely it makes sense for the OPVs to be made more capable — not less.

No less a figure than US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper described the future of the US navy on September 16.

“To compete in a 21st century high-end fight, we will need a future fleet that optimises the following operational attributes,” Esper said.

“First, distributed lethality and awareness; second, survivability in a high intensity conflict; third, adaptability for a complex world; fourth, ability to project power, control the seas and demonstrate presence; and fifth, capability to deliver precision effects at very long ranges.

“This fleet will be made up of more and smaller surface combatants; optionally manned, unmanned, and autonomous surface and sub-surface vehicles; unmanned carrier-based aircraft of all types; a larger and more capable submarine force; and a modern strategic deterrent.”

At the moment it looks like the RAN is going in the opposite direction.

There is a perfect opportunity now for Australia to shift its balance to greater numbers of smaller, highly capable ships.

The easiest path is making the Arafura class much more potent — basically returning them to the level of the designs that they are based on.

A case could easily be made for constructing more of them — suggestions of 20 have been made — but the longer we wait, the more difficult and expensive the exercise will become.
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Re: RAN OPV and Frigate shortlist news

Postby Spartacus01 » 31 Oct 2020 16:30

Maybe the RAN is going to have a new type of accessory - The towed helicopter barge.
It should blend in with the level of thinking currently in vogue. :no: :no: :no:

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