Military History | How To Make War | Wars Around the World Rules of Use How to Behave on an Internet Forum
Australia Discussion Board
   Return to Topic Page
Subject: Alternate Post WWII RAN: Carriers
Volkodav    7/2/2009 7:27:00 AM
Carrying on from the "gift" fleet on the Lightning post. The RAN is gifted a number of modern ships including one, two or three Colossus class light fleet carriers. How many would we get, which aircraft would we operate initially and which aircraft would succeed them post war then into the 50's. How would the carriers be modernised / modified, what roles would they be adapted to, how long would they serve and finally what, if anything, would they be replaced with?
 
Quote    Reply

Show Only Poster Name and Title     Newest to Oldest
Pages: PREV  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8   NEXT
Volkodav       1/6/2010 1:16:27 AM

How about surplus Centaurs with buccaneers and modernised Sea Vixen?


The 1964-65 proposal to replace Melbourne with a strike carrier discounted Centaurs as none were likely to become available and they couldn't operate the preferred strike fighter which was the F-4B Phantom.  From what I read no dedicated strike aircraft were considered at all.  The Sea Vixen was looked at as was the Crusader and Demon but the Phantom was the preferred option due to its versatility in the strike role.
 
To my amazement the USN confirmed that the F-4B could operate from an Oriskany.
 
Interestingly Hermes was offered to us in 1967 but declined on the basis we had just upgraded Melbourne to operate Trackers and Skyhawks and that she would require a larger crew.
 
What really caught my attention was that they considered new build Oriskany and CVA-01 options here and overseas but discarded them due to timing issues.  An Australian built CVA-01 operating Phantoms, Trackers and Tracers!
 
 
Quote    Reply

Aussiegunneragain       1/6/2010 2:14:10 AM
The DDL is not my proposal, it was a real design that was originally ment to be 10 2000t ships but dropped to 4 and then 3 once the design grew to 4200t.  They were cancelled by Whitlam and the FFG's were ordered instead.
 
So they realised that they needed a more capable ASW type, found one OTS and cancelled the DDL like I suggested. Good choice.

The same assessments rated the FFG's as vastly inferior to the EV2A DDL.
 
But the FFG was a real ship against a paper ship.

Until the deployment of the Seahawks in 1991 the only aerial ASW support the RAN had out side the patrol range for an Orion was from carrier aircraft, from when Melbourne was laid up in 1981 we had no carrier!

That is to do with the failure to purchase the ASW helo, nothing to do with a problem with the ship. We could have gotten OTS LAMPS equipped  

Spend some time checking out the national achives on what was requested in the way of capability and why, then you will see where I am coming from.  Threats and the requirements to defend / act against them were identified and ignored over and over again.  How much maney has been wasted because a polititian decided "she'll be right mate" and then it wasn't.

Most of the time we have been lucky and no one has taken advantage of the self inflicted holes in our capabilities but on some occassions we have not been lucky.  Think 1942!

The line you continually take is that any Australian developed or modified project will be late, too expensive and a failure is I believe quite unjustified.  To assume that we can always buy better overseas for less is far more inaccurate than you realise, also the level of compromise we have to accept with OTS purchases is far greater than you realise.

History is on my side about the unacceptable risks of us undertaking bleeding edge development. If a new design (Australian or overseas) is the only way we can meet a capability requirement then so be it, but if acceptable OTS options exist from any source then that is the way to go in my book.

 


 

The people who were suggesting the options I am posting were intelligent talented veterans of major wars, they were formulated in consultation with peers in the USN and RN in the pursuit of addressing the strategic requirents of the day.  Unfortunately they were ignored by the political powers of the day who went and bought the gear sold to them through polished sales presentations from overseas industry. 


 

 


 

I am surprised you haven't picked up on my mention of the RAN looking at buying an Essex to operate Phantoms and Trackers, this purchase would have made the surface fleet we had acceptable.
 
Quote    Reply

Volkodav       1/6/2010 2:54:35 AM
At the time the DDL and FFG were both paper ships with the DDL being further advanced.  The FFG is an inferior design and did not meet any of the RAN's core requirements.  To save money the Labor government cancelled a superior Australian design and bought a square peg to pound into a round hole and then proceded to upgrade and keep the DDG's in service far past their useby dates because the new ships were crap.
 
The OTS options were the Spruance and the Tromp with paper designs being the Type 42 and the Spruance DDG (Kidd?) the FFG wasn't in the running because it was a low performance through away patrol frigate.
 
The LAMPS helo was the Sea Sprite which was so out classed the RAN didn't even short list it for the FFG's looking at the Sea Hawk and Lynx instead.
 
Saying that buying the FFG was a good idea would be the same as suggesting the Army replace the L118 with Oto melara Pack howitzers. 
 
Quote    Reply

Aussiegunneragain       1/6/2010 4:17:59 AM

At the time the DDL and FFG were both paper ships with the DDL being further advanced.  The FFG is an inferior design and did not meet any of the RAN's core requirements.  To save money the Labor government cancelled a superior Australian design and bought a square peg to pound into a round hole and then proceded to upgrade and keep the DDG's in service far past their useby dates because the new ships were crap.
 

The OTS options were the Spruance and the Tromp with paper designs being the Type 42 and the Spruance DDG (Kidd?) the FFG wasn't in the running because it was a low performance through away patrol frigate.

 The LAMPS helo was the Sea Sprite which was so out classed the RAN didn't even short list it for the FFG's looking at the Sea Hawk and Lynx instead.

Saying that buying the FFG was a good idea would be the same as suggesting the Army replace the L118 with Oto melara Pack howitzers. 

The FFG's have been perfectly adequte for the ASW role. I'm not fussed on their air defence system or the calibre and position of the 3 inch gun, but those aren't deal breakers. Buying a ship being built and designed for a long production run by the American's was still a much less risky option than coming up with a domestic solution. We can't even design and build a patrol boat with a working shit-house in the 21st century, so what makes you think that we would have successfully put together a multi-role frigate starting in the late 60's/early 70's?
 
The fact is that there will always be some industries that countries are good at  running and some that they aren't because they don't have the right characteristics. The defence industry is one that we aren't as strong in, because our workers are needed in more profitable industries, because there are too many high quality competitors an because our own government can't buy enough gear often enough to achieve the sort of scale we need to maintain the required human and physical capital. We might design bits and pieces or licence build some gear (though the value in that for anything but consumables is questionable as well), but we can't compete when it comes to big integrated platforms. I can't think of one platform that we have built that involved a substantial degree of original design which hasn't at least caused us a lot of problems or been an outright abject failure.
 
We also can't afford the risk of foriegn companies building Australia specific solutions, as we generally only operate one of each type of platform so if it is late or doesn't work then we have a big hole in our defence capabilities for an extended period of time, which is unacceptable. Fortunately there has nearly always been an OTS solution which will do the job adequately but unfortnately we haven't always taken it.
 
On helicopters, I wonder why if the Wessex were so good why didn't we just use them on the FFG's until the Sea Hawk arrived? They were were about the same size so at least one would have fitted in the hanger.


 
Quote    Reply

Volkodav       1/6/2010 4:55:16 AM
http://www.modelshipmaster.com/products/modern_navy/SHIP_FFG_HMAS_Adelaide_lg.jpg" alt="" />
They have two smallish hangers and the first couple had to be modified to operate the Seahawk, the Wessex was a no go although they did trial a Seaking confirming it could land and fly off, it just couldn't be hangered.
 
The only nations that actually like the FFG are the ones who couldn't get anything better and more often than not used them to replace WWII vintage Gearings.
 
I am obviously never going to convince you that MOTS and COTS leave much to be desired or that the Australian defence industry is and has been competitive in many areas.  I can state for fact that Kockums learned many things from Australian industry, just as Bath Iron Works and Navantia are learning things now.  There are many things we do very well with the main problem being we have to start from scratch each time the government decides to do something here, where a little bit of foresite and planning would maintain and grow the necessary skills to be more than competitive and actually get some of the work that is currently going to heavily subsidised competitors.
 
There is no need for us to have skills shortages, all we need to do is keep national interest programs ticking over with apprentices, technicians and engineers moving up through successive projects, training the people industry prefers to poach.  Who cares if it increases training costs for the CoA because at the end of the day having a larger pool of skilled people will reduce inflationary pressure on wages, reduce manpower related delays and project cost and help ALL of our industries become more efficient.  No project will be delayed or fail due to lack of resourses, as currently occurs, and the CoA will get more than their outlay on training back through greater tax receipt from a greater number of successful projects.
 
I think a little less time looking at economic models and more time looking at the big picture and how Countries that literally had nothing 50 years ago are now leaving us for dead.  Investment and long term commitment is the answer with dribs and drabs and occasional efforts getting us no where in the long term. 
 
It doesn't matter how well you do something if you don't follow through and follow on with something else!
 
Quote    Reply

Volkodav    No comparison   1/6/2010 5:35:37 AM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/43/HMS_London_D16_1982.jpeg" width="1054" height="843" alt="" />
http://www.maritimequest.com/warship_directory/australia/destroyers/perth_d38/d38_02.jpg" alt="" />
 
Quote    Reply

Aussiegunneragain       1/6/2010 7:19:14 AM
They have two smallish hangers and the first couple had to be modified to operate the Seahawk, the Wessex was a no go although they did trial a Seaking confirming it could land and fly off, it just couldn't be hangered.

 Westland Wessex Dimensions
 
  • Length: 65 ft 8 in (20.03 m)
  • Rotor diameter: 56 ft 0 in (17.07 m)
  • Height: 16 ft 2 in (4.93 m)
  • Disc area: 2,463 ft² (229 m²)
  •  
    Sea Hawk Dimensions
     
  • Length: 64 ft 8 in (19.75 m)
  • Rotor diameter: 53 ft 8 in (16.35 m)
  • Height: 17 ft 2 in (5.2 m)
  • Disc area: 2,262 ft² (210 m²)
  • They look pretty similar to me except for the disk area and the Wessex's blades folded the behind it and the tail folded up should have allowed it to fit into the hanger. If not as an obvious interim measure would be to remove the wall between the hangers and store one Wessex on a bit of a diagonal. I'd even trust the Australian defence industry to be able to do that.

    I am obviously never going to convince you that MOTS and COTS leave much to be desired or that the Australian defence industry is and has been competitive in many areas.  I can state for fact that Kockums learned many things from Australian industry, just as Bath Iron Works and Navantia are learning things now. 
     
    Learning from the Australian defence industry on individual bits of technology is degrees different from integrating an entire platform. If the Australian defence industry can contribute to our acqusitions in an open tender process by doing the former that is great and frankly the competitive discipline would do them good, but we shouldn't be handing the latter to them on a plate only to have them screw it up.
     There are many things we do very well with the main problem being we have to start from scratch each time the government decides to do something here, where a little bit of foresite and planning would maintain and grow the necessary skills to be more than competitive and actually get some of the work that is currently going to heavily subsidised competitors.
     
    It's not a matter of foresight, its a matter of money. For example, if we were spending 2.5% or more of GDP on defence then we would probably have started looking at the Collins Class replacement as soon as the Collins class was completed and had the first one in service within the next couple of years, like you say the Japanese do. That would have allowed us to build on our experience and not make the same mistakes again, while having still very capable existing subs in place if there was a problem. As it is we don't have that luxury because the Australian people don't want the Government to spend that much on defence. That is just the political reality, they would rather see it go on middle class welfare like that $43 billion dollar  broadband network and all that education spending that you like so much. So what that means is that we get the second best option, replacement at the end of the platform's service life, and the second best option that is least likely to leave the ADF without a capability is OTS. If you don't like that reality then blame the people and start advocating an end to middle class welfare rather than blaming the   Government, which has to govern broadly in line with their wishes.

    There is no need for us to have skills shortages, all we need to do is keep national interest programs ticking over with apprentices, technicians and engineers moving up through successive projects, training the people industry prefers to poach.  Who cares if it increases training costs for the CoA because at the end of the day having a larger pool of skilled people will reduce inflationary pressure on wages, reduce manpower related delays and project cost and help ALL of our industries become more efficient.  No project will be delayed or fail due to lack of resourses, as currently occurs, and the CoA will get more than their outlay on training back through greater tax receipt from a greater number of successful projects.
     
    We don't have a skill shortage. We had labour shortage before the downturn with even businesses like Subway not being able to get staff and we will have it again when things pick up. The fact is that you can't train labour you don't have. Of course we could increase immigration to fill the gap and at the same time increase competition for jobs. There is no motivator like competition to get people improving themselves through training, even at their own expense, so the Government
     
    Quote    Reply

    Aussiegunneragain       1/6/2010 7:22:20 AM
    BTW, I suggest you take a look at defence spending as a percentage of GDP, the overall size of the economy and the population of those countries that are doing so much better than us in their defence industries. I think you will see a pattern.  
     
    Quote    Reply

    Aussiegunneragain       1/6/2010 7:34:35 AM

    BTW, I suggest you take a look at defence spending as a percentage of GDP, the overall size of the economy and the population of those countries that are doing so much better than us in their defence industries. I think you will see a pattern.  

    Add to your search the proportion of economic activity in manufacturing industries.
     
    Quote    Reply

    Volkodav       1/7/2010 1:07:44 AM
    Off topic but a very good example of what I am talking about.
     
    Mitsubishi TE Magna introduced in 1996, before the VT Commodore or the AU Falcon, saw the best sales figures for Mitsubishi Australia ever and if they played their cards right were well set up for more major export orders.  It had been bench marked on the 5 Series BMW and was a cut above anything previously built in Australia. 
     
    Unfortunately, where Ford, Holden and Toyota had continued to invest in R&D and introduce a series of new and improved models, bench marked against worlds best practice, Mitsubishi, headed up by an accountant, decided they already had the best car Australia would ever need and concentrated on building more of them more cheaply with no eye to the future.
     
    This worked until their competitors introduced new improved models.  Although the Magna was still more powerful, more economical and drove better than the competition it was seen as an old model and buyers flocked to the newer models.
    Having missed an entire development cycle, Mitsubishi's response was to take value and quality out of the car, in conjunction with cosmetic face lifts, to reduce costs while sourcing a new platform from overseas (COTS) to catch up on the failure to invest in R&D.  The new platform was then bench marked against what their competitors were currently producing and introduced to the market just as the goal posts moved with new Falcon, Commodore, Camry and Aurion just around the corner.
     
    Mitsubishi had the best engineers and technicians, most of whom were poached by competitors and other industries before the closure of Australian manufacturing operations, but they could do nothing in the face of stupidity and incompetence on the part of the bean counters, MBA's and marketing knobs who made up senior management.  The fools running the show ingnored the processes followed by their predicessors to acheive success and blew the entire operation through penny pinching and profiteering with no eye to the future. 
     
    Similarly the issue the Australian defence industry has is lack of leadership and consistency on the part of the CoA.  The technical people can do the work as well as if not better than anywhere else, they are let down by the decision makers who tie their hands and seem to spend far more effort trying to stop others getting the job done than it would take to just do it.
     
    We have the talent and all we need is leadership and vision but what we get is the negative attitude that all we can do properly in this country is hire people from overseas to dig things out of the ground for us while our ruling class concentrate on growing things on the land and everyone else should work in service industries or the public service.
     
    Quote    Reply
    PREV  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8   NEXT



     Latest
     News
     
     Most
     Read
     
     Most
     Commented
     Hot
     Topics