Possibility small STOVL carrier USN/USMC

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spazsinbad

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Unread post08 Nov 2011, 20:13

UhOH! Say no more. A nod is good as a wink - nudge nudge. Say no more....

Big Ships, Big Challenge By Alan Stephens, Deputy Chairman | Oct 2011
The Sir Richard Williams Foundation

http://www.williamsfoundation.org.au/si ... 202011.pdf (49Kb)

"...There are suggestions that the [RAN] LHDs will only be used in “permissive” environments. This is an unsound concept. Even if a deployment started under permissive conditions, the task force would still have to be prepared for non-permissive operations, to guard against the possibility of a change of circumstances during transit, or even after arrival. Any inability to deal with a suddenly-emerging, non-permissive environment could compel the Australian Government into an embarrassing, even dangerous, back down.

This means that any operational deployment would need some degree of protection from hostile aircraft, submarines, surface ships, stand-off missiles, and ISR systems. Suddenly, the development of a concept of operations sounds like headache material....

...In short, the LHDs are a very big deal. The Williams Foundation is concerned that the political/strategic implications of bringing them onto the ADF’s order of battle are not well-understood....

...To return to the question of embarked strike/fighters. Australia is in the process of acquiring up to 100 Joint Strike Fighters, all of which are to be the conventional F-35A variant. However, the F-35 will come in a STOVL variant, the F-35B. The question is: will the introduction of the LHDs generate pressure for the ADF to acquire a small number of F-35Bs?

Ship-borne fighter operations are enormously complex and expensive. At the same time, when done properly, they provide a unique capability by removing in one fell stroke the perennial strike/fighter problem of range and endurance. Take your own fighters with you, and that particular dimension of control of the air has been addressed. Great Britain’s recapture of the Falklands Islands from occupying Argentineans in 1982 could not have succeeded without the fleet protection provided by embarked RN and RAF Harrier strike/fighters.

Whatever the government and the ADF might be saying now, it is certain that, as the in-service date for the LHDs grows closer, calls to acquire STOVL F-35Bs for the Fleet Air Arm will increase. There’s nothing wrong with that; on the contrary. But we do need to understand the issues.

Any one of the challenges outlined above warrants serious attention; in combination, they constitute a compelling case for action at almost every level of Defence planning."
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post08 Nov 2011, 23:46

I reckon the RAN have officially changed their tune....

Amphibious Assault Ship (LHD)

http://www.navy.gov.au/Amphibious_Assault_Ship_(LHD)

"An Amphibious Assault Ship (LHD) is a type of amphibious warfare ship employed to land and support ground forces on enemy territory by an amphibious assault. The design evolved from the helicopter carrier, but includes support for amphibious landing craft, with most designs including a well deck.

The role of the Amphibious Assault Ship is fundamentally different from a standard aircraft carrier: its aviation facilities have the primary role of hosting helicopters to support forces ashore rather than to support strike aircraft. However, they are capable of serving in the sea-control role, embarking aircraft like Harrier fighters or the future F-35B Joint Strike Fighter and Anti-Submarine Warfare helicopters."
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post09 Nov 2011, 00:07

Training with Avatars (mentioned in an earlier page on this thread I think but no video at the time).

Landing Helicopter Dock - WIN News 11/06/2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXZ3K8sA ... re=related

"Uploaded by riaction on Jun 11, 2011
News segment from WIN News about the Landing Helicopter Dock Ship Walkthrough Computer Model, developed by KBR Training Solutions in Canberra, Australia."
____________

Ooops - Jack Tar Avatar training not mentioned earlier, so anyway....

BAE Systems wins LHD training 26 Sep 2011

https://www.australiandefence.com.au/ne ... d-training

"BAE Systems has been engaged by the Commonwealth for the development and delivery of training for the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships.

The training will rely heavily on simulation and virtual scenarios using the latest technology, including avatars.

BAE Systems’ Harry Bradford, said the use of advanced, computer-based technology for training had a number of advantages for the customer in terms of both cost and flexibility.

“The most obvious benefit in using computer simulation is that the technology allows us to recreate, and for the crew to interact with the LHD environment, without the actual completed ship.

“This means greater flexibility and lower cost for our customer.

“For instance the system is capable of familiarising various elements of the defence forces, including both army and navy, with the ship in terms of systems, capability, size and layout and these defence personnel can be in separate geographical locations across the country.

“With training commencing prior to delivery of the first ship, the flexibility of being able to train and familiarise defence forces at their home bases represents substantial cost savings for the Commonwealth.”....
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Unread post09 Nov 2011, 00:13

Just wait and see. If the F-35B can survive the next 5-6 years, almost everyone currently operating the AV-8 is going to have to buy it eventually if they want to retain naval fixed-wing capability; there's simply nothing else in the pipeline that will be ready by the time all the Harriers wear out. As for the RAN, it seems like common sense to field the Bee eventually, but one wonders if Aussie naval investment might be better directed elsewhere. In the face of China's rise to preeminence, perhaps the RAN should be looking to move strike assets under the water.
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Unread post09 Nov 2011, 00:34

Last PLAN was to design/build [in Oz - now with help from US particularly on design] and field a dozen new submarines however Oz capability to do so is under intense scrutiny already.
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Unread post09 Nov 2011, 02:29

Australia’s Flat-tops Part 2 | August 2010

"Graeme Andrews* describes the new Australian LHDs and explains how they could offer two roles – if the RAAF decides to co-operate with the purchase of new fighters."

http://www.afloat.com.au/afloat-magazin ... _Flat-tops

"It is no secret that the RAN with AIF support has called for provision of an actual fixed wing carrier capability.

A joint parliamentary committee in 2004 recommended that some of the new F35 Lighting II fighters on order for the RAAF should include perhaps 20 of the F35B STOL version. These could operate from the new LHDs if the appropriate radar and other control installations were there. They could provide air cover in areas of danger well beyond the range of their siblings of the land version.

The option is for the RAAF to try to provide aircraft cover over the ships 24 hours a day....."

...*Graeme Andrews served in the RAN and the RAN reserve for 25 years. During the 1970s he published three books on the navies of the South Pacific. For more than 10 years he was the area correspondent for the world defence annual Janes Fighting Ships. He served aboard HMAS Melbourne in three commissions with the SEATO forces during the Cold War. The reason for this article is the paucity of discussion in the public press over the acquisition of, and probable limitations to, the role capabilities of the LHDs."
__________

History Lesson: Australia’s Flat-tops Part 1 | July 2010

http://www.afloat.com.au/afloat-magazin ... _Flat-tops
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post12 Nov 2011, 00:20

Allow me to indulge in some wild speculation. It seems that the US plans to deploy a permanent presence (Marines) in Darwin, with their "equipment." http://www.defensenews.com/index.php http://www.dodbuzz.com/2011/11/11/aussi ... ng-report/

Perhaps there's a small ski-jump carrier in the USMC's future after all, the Canberra-Class.
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Unread post12 Nov 2011, 00:39

1st503rdsgt, makes a quite reasonable assumption - but for testing purposes only. :D Early days on what the USMC details are AFAIK. ADF is being urged by Oz DefMin/Guvmnt to put more 'bases'/personnel up north also. You know it makes sense. However there is an ongoing investment in improving established bases in the south (mostly) at moment. Longer term we may see an LHA of the America Class based in Darwin?
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Unread post12 Nov 2011, 00:49

Recent news is.... AAP 11 Nov 2011

Federal government rules out establishment of Marine Corp base in Australia

http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/us ... 6192027713

"THE federal government has reaffirmed plans to step up joint training and military exercises with the US but ruled out the establishment of a Marine Corps base in Australia.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and US President Barack Obama and are expected to unveil details for greater cooperation between their two countries' forces when the American leader visits next week.

The visit, which includes a speech to a joint sitting of parliament in Canberra and a brief sojourn with Australian troops in the Northern Territory, comes as the two nations mark the 60th anniversary of the ANZUS treaty.

Defence Minister Stephen Smith today dismissed talk Mr Obama would announce an increased rotation of US marine forces through Darwin, a gateway to Asia, as part of a planned permanent new military presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

"There are no United States bases in Australia and no proposal for such bases," Mr Smith said in a statement.

Australia is a crucial link in the Pentagon's so-called global force posture review, which Mr Smith said will lead to an expansion of joint training and exercises in Australia.

"Our starting point is that it would be an unambiguously good thing to extend such practical cooperation arrangements," Mr Smith said...."
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post12 Nov 2011, 01:19

Political weather-veining, a crafty move by both the US and Oz governments to test the waters. In any case, significantly upping the level of "cooperation" would be difficult without a permanent base; it's a long-a$$ way between the two countries. I suppose it's just as well; we don't need to be funding defense for the entire Pacific Rim like we've been in Europe for the past 60 years.
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Unread post12 Nov 2011, 01:19

1st503rdsgt suggested: "...perhaps the RAN should be looking to move strike assets under the water."

Rough seas tipped for sub replacement project November 11, 2011

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-11/d ... n=business

"A defence think-tank has warned the management of Australia's most expensive military project is inadequate.

The Defence Force plans to acquire 12 larger submarines to replace the Collins class fleet at a cost of at least $30 billion...."

Collins Class Sub with Dolphin: http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/280262 ... 00x467.jpg
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Unread post12 Nov 2011, 03:02

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-11/d ... n=business :offtopic:

Mountains out of molehills. Oz is really over-thinking the subs. Just buy an HDW design (209, 212, 214) and stick to the plans that the Germans send you. If you want a VLS, then you're SOL unless you want to go nuclear; conventional subs can only get so big before they lose their signature advantage, after which all you have is a fat, loud sub that can't go very far.
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Unread post12 Nov 2011, 03:51

spazsinbad wrote:I reckon the RAN have officially changed their tune....

Amphibious Assault Ship (LHD)

http://www.navy.gov.au/Amphibious_Assault_Ship_(LHD)

"An Amphibious Assault Ship (LHD) is a type of amphibious warfare ship employed to land and support ground forces on enemy territory by an amphibious assault. The design evolved from the helicopter carrier, but includes support for amphibious landing craft, with most designs including a well deck.

The role of the Amphibious Assault Ship is fundamentally different from a standard aircraft carrier: its aviation facilities have the primary role of hosting helicopters to support forces ashore rather than to support strike aircraft. However, they are capable of serving in the sea-control role, embarking aircraft like Harrier fighters or the future F-35B Joint Strike Fighter and Anti-Submarine Warfare helicopters."


RAN haven't changed their tune, they've been arguing for years that the LHD's should operate F-35b's as well as their normal amphibious elements.

It's just no-one else (in ADF or Government) has been listening...

NACC is scoped to acquire 4 conventional strike fighter squadrons for RAAF as the centre-piece of RAAF's combat capability. This is the combat capability RAAF has been required to provide Government since 1973. If it was going to change it would have changed when the F-111 was to be retired. We all saw how that turned out. RAAF still has 4 strike fighter squadrons... Government sees that as the basic level of capability RAAF should provide and has done so for more than 30 years.

RAAF has and will continue to argue that the introduction of -B model F-35's in support of the RAN's LHD capabilities will lead to a reduced capability to support it's air defence / strike role on behalf of ADF, IF they are incorporated within RAAF's existing force structure. I believe RAAF would argue (and it has, publicly) that the addition of a 5th fully equipped strike fighter squadron would therefore be the minimum necessary addition before it could take on a STOVL fighter capability.

This would require a huge increase in scope for NACC, beyond the existing structure just as the previous A-4 Skyhawks were in increase beyond the Hornet and F-111 squadrons.

Therefore I don't see the current situation changing any time soon. Primarily because I believe in addition to the fighters, we'd need greater all round RAN capability to get the most out of them as well as not diminishing our amphibious capability.

This would mean a third LHD to support the level of amphibious capability Government requires, given the detrimental effect the addition of STOVL fighters to the LHD's would have on their ability to carry Army elements and helos. I believe we'd also see a need to increase escort numbers, in support of this larger fleet. Either additional AWD's or additional future frigates.

That we can't even get a 4th Air Warfare Destroyer approved, to provide a capability to deploy an AWD on a sustainable basis at the current time, should be a fairly strong indication of the likelyhood of all these plans coming together...

A 5th fighter squadron - extra $4b + TLS.

A 3rd LHD - extra $1b + TLS.

A 4th AWD - extra $1.5b + TLS.

Where is this money coming from?
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Unread post12 Nov 2011, 04:04

spazsinbad wrote:Australia’s Flat-tops Part 2 | August 2010

"Graeme Andrews* describes the new Australian LHDs and explains how they could offer two roles – if the RAAF decides to co-operate with the purchase of new fighters."


Oh dear. When he doesn't even understand why they are called LHD's, the amount of critical thought and research into the rest of the article gets a bit suspect...

It's called an LHD Graeme, because our vessels are designated in accordance with the NATO STANAG relating to same.

It's got nothing to do with political wishes or otherwise. It's the same reason why real "aircraft carriers" are designated as CVN's or CVF's.

Good grief...
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Unread post12 Nov 2011, 06:20

Conan, yeah 'been there - done that'. It is interesting to me (if not to you) that the 'Williams Foundation' has written such an article and my jungle drums say 'watch this idea' unfold - to whatever outcome. No one will suggest some kind of permanent base aboard - only temporary - before offloading them at new 'bare base' somewhere NOT in Australia - although Austrailia will and does have such 'bare bases' in the north. I guess the RAAF have been upgrading these 'bare bases' over time though.

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8& ... urce=embed

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAAF_Bare_Bases
&
http://www.airforce.gov.au/Bases/
"...There are also three 'bare bases' in northern Australia, airstrips with basic facilities that the Air Force can deploy to and activate overnight:
RAAF Base Scherger, Weipa, Queensland
RAAF Base Learmonth, Exmouth, Western Australia
RAAF Base Curtin, Derby, Western Australia"

The 'F-35Bs' can quite happily live with the other F-35As whereever most of the time. Landing on an LHD is a doddle as we now know. I reckon the USMC first landing video has given some people some ideas eh. And I'll repeat the 'F-35B on LHD' is only for transit - protect for transit - idea. SLDinfo and the USMC have been highlighting the networked recon advantages of the F-35(B) family for their purposes. Idea illustrated recently here also: http://attach.high-g.net/attachments/f_ ... ic_179.gif

Image

Good Grief? That is patterned by Charlie Brown is it not? :D I'm glad that at least the idea of 'F-35Bs on LHDs' (whatever that means) has not gone away. And happy to leave it at that for the moment - early days and all. And Conan I get that you are not enamoured of such an idea. Others will work out the practicalities (in the RAN bunkers) as required.
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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