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bunumuring
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F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:15 am

Hi all,
Yes, I know it has been discussed at length before, most recently in the 'Comanche and Albatross' thread, but I think this warrants a new thread of it's own.
According to the latest edition of the 'Australian Aviation' magazine, the Federal Government is looking at the possibility of embarking F-35Bs on HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide, our two LHDs under construction for the RAN. These LHDs are based on Spain's Juan Carlos 1 class ships which are designed to embark AV-8Bs with 'designed in' capabilities for Spain to operate F-35Bs at some point in the future.
Our Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, apparently is personally pushing the issue according to Australian Aviation.
I am on record here on A.net saying I believe that Australia should have 12-16 F-35Bs as part of our wider F-35 purchase. I strongly believe that equipping the Canberra and Adelaide with them is the way to go. Heat resistant decking and a lack of enough jet fuel for sustained independent operations seem to be the two major hurdles according to the articles ... And in the above mentioned a.net thread, one of the posters had already flagged these two negatives. Both these hurdles appear to be 'fixable' with a spray on British invention and new supply ships currently being planned to replace HMAS Sirius and HMAS Supply.
Australia appears to have a Prime Minister pushing a fixed wing RAN. He also apparently is behind other military initiatives and was highly supportive of the recent 58 x F-35A order.
After all the speculation over the decades, and arguments for and against, the upcoming Defence White Paper may see a return of a fixed wing RAN.
I certainly hope so. Australia needs it, I believe. Maybe not right now (although it would be useful - think MH370 search with Harriers or whatever covering large areas visually and at higher speeds as well as a carrier providing a 'base' for extensive helicopter air ops) but in the future? Yes. Definitely something to plan for longer term.
Cheers,
Bunumuring.

PS: I would also put some Ospreys or King Stallions onto these ships in a edition to the MRH-90s and Romeos but that's another story ...

[Edited 2014-06-27 18:16:23]

[Edited 2014-06-27 18:16:46]
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Kiwirob
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Sat Jun 28, 2014 6:19 am

not going to happen, the only reason the Canberras have the jump ramp is because it was integral to the design, removing it would have caused all sorts of issues. Internally the Aussie Canberras are different to the Jan Carlos, they were not built with operating F-35 in mind, it would cost a lot of money to make them fixed wing ready. This is just a case of Abbott opening his mouth a talking without know what he is talking about.
 
bunumuring
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:28 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 1):
not going to happen, the only reason the Canberras have the jump ramp is because it was integral to the design, removing it would have caused all sorts of issues. Internally the Aussie Canberras are different to the Jan Carlos, they were not built with operating F-35 in mind, it would cost a lot of money to make them fixed wing ready. This is just a case of Abbott opening his mouth a talking without know what he is talking about.


Hi mate,
Australian Aviation would disagree with you then. I'm not an expert, but the article seems pretty convincing to me that it can be made to happen.
What about other a.netters who have read the article? Convinced by it or not?
Mate, do you have specific information or are involved with these ships somehow? I'm curious why you are so convinced it cannot happen when a magazine I hold in the highest regard says it can. It does admit it will cost a lot of money and goes into lots of technical details about lift and hangar capability, ski jump lighting and so on, but appears to a layman like me that it definitely is feasible for admittedly a lot of money.
I have an open mind. Educate me, mate. I would like us to get some F-35Bs as I think they would be a credible addition to the ADF overall, but if they definitely cannot be used on Canberra and Adelaide, I agree that their purchase would be unwarranted.
Cheers,
Bunumuring.
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Legs
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Sun Jun 29, 2014 2:16 am

I work with several ex RAN air wing personnel, a couple of whom caught the end of fixed wing operations. Their opinion is that the Navy wouldn't want the hassle of working back up to fixed wing operations on their carriers. They would have to train an entire cadre of sailors how to safely operate fixed wing planes again, and that is a very long, difficult process if you dont already have a built in knowledge and experience base. How long since fixed wing ops ceased, 20 years or more?

The other option would be to embark RAAF personnel to operate them, similar to how Army 'copters operate from RAN ships curently. However, that is also fraught with problems. Apparently there are big cultural clashes between Army and Navy rotary wing operations, doubly so when the Army are running flight ops.

My personal two cents; it wont happen, for the above and a whole string of other reasons.
 
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zeke
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:29 am

Quoting legs (Reply 3):
The other option would be to embark RAAF personnel to operate them, similar to how Army 'copters operate from RAN ships curently. However, that is also fraught with problems. Apparently there are big cultural clashes between Army and Navy rotary wing operations, doubly so when the Army are running flight ops.

Sounds similar to the Joint Force Harrier setup.
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Zkpilot
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:58 am

Quoting legs (Reply 3):
true to a point however a lot of the complexity of traditional Naval aviation is to do with catapults and trappings. The F-35Bs require neither. So you could embark RAAF maintenance crews (perhaps mixed with some trained up RAN crews to look after the aircraft. RAN would train pilots partly themselves but also send them off to RAAF flight school for most of the F-35 stuff.
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GDB
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Sun Jun 29, 2014 12:01 pm

Just some context, the RN's Invincible Class were not designed with VSTOL jets in mind, not at least as a primary role.
The ski jump was a post design add on. The hangars and other aviation support facilities were designed for choppers.
Many of the pilots who took the Sea Harrier to war in 1982 were RAF, not RN, the Sea Harrier only having been in service a short time.

The RAN could potentially have occasion to deploy a small number of F-35B's, 4-6 maybe.
They could use RAAF crews, this is not a Cat and Trap operation like the A-4's were.

One of the selling points of the F-35 is the sensor and intel gathering, data transfer capabilities, putting that to sea could make sense given the RAN's likely missions.
As well as the weapons delivery.
 
bunumuring
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:01 am

Hi GDB,
What a great post!
I had forgotten the story of Invincible's metamorphosis. Saved Britain's bacon in the Falklands, didn't it?
I'm so hopeful that the RAN follows the RN's lead with this.
Cheers,
Bunumuring.
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ThePointblank
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:23 am

The V-22 has been crossed decked on the Spanish Juan Carlos I a short while back. I know Australia has been mentioned a few times as a possible export nation of the V-22.

In regards to Australia getting F-35B's and flying them off their ships; I would argue that Australia will need an aviation-centric ship that is larger than the Canberra LHD's if they want to get back into the mini-carrier game again. At the very best, the Canberra LHD's will be lily pads or aircraft transports for F-35B's.

The best example of what would be in mind as an aircraft transport would be from World War II and the British use of their carriers as aircraft ferries to Malta. The land route to Malta was closed after the French capitulated and the Vichy regime took over, forcing the RAF to ship planes by sea, with carriers being the only option due to the threat environment preventing regular cargo ships from making it safely. The aircraft were launched at safe range near Gibraltar to fly/deploy to Malta.

Basically, if the F-35A's do not have capability to self deploy (even with Tankers) to remote airfields, then the Canberras can be used to transport F-35B's to where ever they are needed. This role can also aid in combined Allied operations e.g. shipping F-35B's of other nations under FPDA auspices or USMC F-35Bs that happen to locate in Australia.


Perhaps further cooperation with Singapore would be better served; Singapore is looking at what they term as the Joint Multi-Mission Ship (JMMS) which would be a supplementary aviation ship to their current fleet of Endurance class LPD's. With Singapore also known for having an interest in the F-35B, perhaps Australia and Singapore can work together and build a class of ships that would fit both of their needs.
 
GDB
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:27 pm

Maybe more to the point, the USN LHD's that first took USMC Harriers to sea were also not designed for jet operation either, they are if anything rather closer to what the RAN are getting.
Whilst the F-35B is much more of an aircraft in every way, including impact of operation on board, modern design flat tops, LHD's included, have taken some account of F-35B operation.

However, any buy of F-35B's will likely come from the RAAF F-35A buy, not as extras, however to reasonably deploy 4-6 at regular intervals, you would be looking at 12-16 frames, accounting for training, reserves, development, unless the RAN/RAAF brought in to the USMC training for the type. Then 10-12 might suffice.
In operation, they'd likely cross deck with the USN LHD's at times anyway, which would retain pilot skills between RAN deployments.
 
Kiwirob
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:22 pm

Quoting bunumuring (Reply 2):
Mate, do you have specific information or are involved with these ships somehow?
Quoting bunumuring (Reply 2):
Educate me, mate.

Simple they were built without sufficient storage for jet fuel and they don't have the magazine capacity for war time ops with an F35B, you can land and take off from a Canberra but you couldn't sustain ops on one. The original plan was to build them without the ramp, but it was integral to the design and would have entailed significant time and money to redesign the vessel. It's worth noting the Mistral which was on the short list has no capacity for operating fixed wing aircraft.
 
bunumuring
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:05 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 10):
Simple they were built without sufficient storage for jet fuel and they don't have the magazine capacity for war time ops with an F35B, you can land and take off from a Canberra but you couldn't sustain ops on one

Hi mate,
If you read my posts, you will see that Australian Aviation acknowledges these issues and offers solutions to them. Yes, sustained operations are not possible at the moment on Canberra and Adelaide as being constructed, but with modifications (albeit costly) they are deemed possible. In particular, you fail to take into account the new supply ships being planned for which will be considerably larger than those currently in service and which arguably would be close at hand during carrier ops to provide the necessary fuel and munitions.
Cheers,
Bunumuring.
I just wanna live while I'm alive!
 
Kiwirob
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:17 pm

Quoting bunumuring (Reply 11):
you will see that Australian Aviation acknowledges these issues and offers solutions to them

link to the article so that people can read it. BTW solutions cost money, to make it work I'm sure it will cost lots of money. BTW JC1 was designed to operate fixed wing as a standby solution only, the Spanish were expecting to replace PdA with a new carrier, but to keep their pilots current they designed Harrier and F-35 ability in JP1, but it was never designed to operate as a carrier, the Australian versions are even less capable than the already limited JP1. Now the Spanish aren't going to get a replacement for PdA they have to make do with what they have, which is pretty poor in reality.

What will be interesting is to see what Turkey does with the design, they are going to build a significantly more fixed wing capable ship based off the JC1 design.
 
bunumuring
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:47 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 12):
What will be interesting is to see what Turkey does with the design, they are going to build a significantly more fixed wing capable ship based off the JC1 design.

Hi mate,
Interesting yes, and I believe that behind the scenes Turkey and Australia are forging some interesting military 'bonds' re the Wedgetail and upcoming Gallipoli centenary. Perhaps these 'bonds' can assist with the decision about the modifications to the two RAN ships based upon whatever mods Turkey is planning to the basic design.
Singapore? Any further info?
And sorry, no, I have no idea how to link the article here! I'm not a Luddite, but every time I try to do stuff like that I stuff it up, lol!
Cheers,
Bunumuring.
I just wanna live while I'm alive!
 
bunumuring
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:02 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 9):
However, any buy of F-35B's will likely come from the RAAF F-35A buy, not as extras

Hi mate,
The RAAF does not have the full complement of the always-planned 100 F-35As on order yet, due to the decision to retain the Super Hornet and add the Growler fleet (and dare I say, budgetary reasons, lol) A final decision on the replacement of the SH/Growlers will be a decade or so off and these extra F-35s are anticipated to be their replacements -IF the F-35 proves to be 'as advertised'. The RAAF purchased 2xF-35A early on, then an additional 12 to enable a 'squadron's' worth to be worked up, then recently an additional 58 were ordered in a blaze of publicity to make the current total of 72. There are still 28 to be ordered under the long term, existing plan. It is considered that these 'extra' F-35s could incorporate the B-model. Yes, it obviously would be possible to convert some of the existing A-model orders to B-models, but it seems likely that the B-model purchase would be part of this tranche of orders. This would give the RAN plenty of time to modify the ships and accept them into service before accepting the latest standard B-models, which should be by then matured platforms. Likewise, the whole ADF structure would be 'used' to the F-35A by then as well, and the focus could well and truly be on reintroducing fixed wing carrier ops.
I like the idea of a 'joint' operations squadron, like the RAF and RN Harriers.
Cheers,
Bunumuring.
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Ozair
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:25 pm

Quoting bunumuring (Thread starter):
According to the latest edition of the 'Australian Aviation' magazine, the Federal Government is looking at the possibility of embarking F-35Bs on HMAS Canberra and HMAS Adelaide, our two LHDs under construction for the RAN. These LHDs are based on Spain's Juan Carlos 1 class ships which are designed to embark AV-8Bs with 'designed in' capabilities for Spain to operate F-35Bs at some point in the future.

The best current source at the moment on this issue is the recent Senate estimates hearing where some time was spent discussing the issue. It starts at page 74 and goes for ten pages or so. For those F-35 interested, there is also some more discussion starting at page 104 where IMO Senators Xenophon and Ludlum look rather foolish.

http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/...1aa-4194-b861-cfe08f848ab3/0000%22

It clearly states that the issue is being investigated as part of the new Defence White Paper.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 1):
Internally the Aussie Canberras are different to the Jan Carlos

The differences are a lot less than people are making them out to be. If you compare the Canberra and the Juan Carlos it appears that the JC actually has greater internal vehicle storage than the Canberras, perhaps to accommodate the slightly greater troop complement of the Canberras. From an aviation perspective, they both share the common 2nd deck that is the area for storing any aviation assets.
https://translate.google.com.au/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.armada.mde.es%2FArmadaPortal%2Fpage%2FPortal%2FArmadaEspannola%2Fbuques_superficie%2FprefLang_es%2F02_lhd-juan-carlos-i--03_lhd-juan-carlos-i-l-61&edit-text=
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canberra-class_landing_helicopter_dock
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_ship_Juan_Carlos_I_%28L61%29

Quoting bunumuring (Reply 13):
I have no idea how to link the article here!

Is this the one you're talking about?
http://australianaviation.com.au/201...o-consider-f-35bs-for-lhds-report/

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 12):
Spanish were expecting to replace PdA with a new carrier, but to keep their pilots current they designed Harrier and F-35 ability in JP1, but it was never designed to operate as a carrier,

Disagree, the Juan Carlos was specifically designed to act as a carrier with an embarked air wing of 24 aircraft.

The airline planned capacity is necessary to transport and operate up to 30 aircraft between medium and heavy helicopters profile amphibious or operations between 10 and 12 aircraft F35B or AV-8B +, plus a similar number of media helicopters, when acting with profile mission aircraft carrier.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 12):
BTW solutions cost money, to make it work I'm sure it will cost lots of money.

As was indicated in the Senate Estimates, no one knows at this point how much it will cost, they are merely studying the concept.

There are two things that sit in favour of a future modification.
1. The RAN has done it before. Both HMAS Kanimbla and Manoora were extensively modified from their original design. In the case of the Canberras any modifications appear to be small compared to the Kanimbla class.
2. The RAN is keeping the Choules in service. This would provide additional amphib space if required and could allow one LHD to be permanently modified for dedicated air ops while still retaining some amphib capability.

Quoting GDB (Reply 9):
However, any buy of F-35B's will likely come from the RAAF F-35A buy, not as extras, however to reasonably deploy 4-6 at regular intervals, you would be looking at 12-16 frames, accounting for training, reserves, development, unless the RAN/RAAF brought in to the USMC training for the type. Then 10-12 might suffice.
In operation, they'd likely cross deck with the USN LHD's at times anyway, which would retain pilot skills between RAN deployments.

Agree, but I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing. If the ADF does purchase F-35B it will almost certainly remain a RAAF asset and be used on the LHDs in a similar way that the MRH90s are owned by Army but will be used on the LHDs. Any RAAF buy of the Bee would be from 2025 or so. By that stage the aircraft will be very mature and also very well priced. In its current form the Bee is actually a great Super Hornet replacement. Similar range even though it is landing vertically, significantly better sensors and ground attack capability, better A2A capability and much greater tactical flexibility.

In the region the USMC is the only confirmed operator of the Bee but Singapore, Japan, South Korea and even Thailand are all potential customers.
 
bunumuring
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:45 pm

Ozair, thanks for an amazing post. I especially appreciate your links to the Australian Aviation article and the Senate papers.
As for your speculation about future 'local' F-35B operators, I think Japan is a given, with perhaps Singapore and Korea likely as well.
I would love the ADF to increase it's order for F-35s to allow the RAAF it's full plan of 100 aircraft PLUS an additional 16-24 (or so) F-35Bs for RAN or joint ops carrier operations but just can't see it happening. Obviously, retaining the Growlers is a priority too unless there is some kind of 'Lightning Growler' development down the track...
Cheers,
Bunumuring.
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Groover158
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:49 am

Wow, it seems like the White Paper is to be determined by the Prime Minister's thought-bubbles. Does he not think that the development of the White Paper relies on “examining [sic] a range of capabilities and will provide the government with options to ensure Australia maintains a sustainable, versatile and highly capable defence force in coming decades”.

I feel that this is a rabbit warren that will require a great deal of work by Capability Development Group, Air Force and Navy to reach the conclusion that it just doesn't make sense. I think people need to start looking at the whole reason for Nuship Canberra's existence noting that it has always been about the purchase of a LHD (Landing Helicopter Dock). Sure it's possible (anything is possible), but at what cost in terms of money and the loss of the capability that was intended with the platform.
 
bunumuring
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:24 am

Hi mate,
Good points raised by you.
I agree that I have overlooked the prime purpose of the Canberra and Adelaide... And how that purpose would be compromised by F-35B operations. Worth thinking about... Maybe a third ship fuher down the track is required to offset possible change in scope of the LHD's missions? And with that of course, the $$$ absolutely skyrocket!
Cheers,
Bunumuring.
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Groover158
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:29 pm

Quoting bunumuring (Reply 18):
Hi mate,
Good points raised by you.
I agree that I have overlooked the prime purpose of the Canberra and Adelaide... And how that purpose would be compromised by F-35B operations. Worth thinking about... Maybe a third ship fuher down the track is required to offset possible change in scope of the LHD's missions? And with that of course, the $$$ absolutely skyrocket!
Cheers,
Bunumuring.

  

This whole F-35B issue is a classic case of scope-creep.
 
Ozair
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:45 pm

Quoting groover158 (Reply 19):
This whole F-35B issue is a classic case of scope-creep.

Actually it isn't. No one is proposing that the role or capability of the LHDs be modified while still in production which is the definition of scope creep.

I'm also not sure why studying the cost of additional capability is defined as scope creep. Should the ADF never consider additional capability then? Your view point seems a bit odd given what you said previously.

Quoting groover158 (Reply 17):
Does he not think that the development of the White Paper relies on “examining [sic] a range of capabilities and will provide the government with options to ensure Australia maintains a sustainable, versatile and highly capable defence force in coming decades”.

The purpose of the Defence White Paper.
The Defence White Paper
The Prime Minister and the Minister for Defence have announced that Defence will produce a new White Paper to be completed in 2015.

Defence White Papers are the Government's most important guidance about Australia's long-term defence capability. They provide an opportunity for the Government and community to understand the opportunities and challenges for Australia's future defence and security needs.

The 2015 Defence White Paper will align defence policy with military strategy and deliver an affordable Australian Defence Force structure.

The development process for the White Paper will involve a comprehensive consultation process, with input from across Government, industry, the Australian public, our allies and regional partners.

Following the release of the 2015 Defence White Paper, Defence will publish a 10-year Defence Capability Plan and a Defence Industry Policy Statement to provide defence industry with greater certainty about the Government's key priorities and timeframes.

The 2015 Defence White Paper will be a whole-of-government product that reflects the Government's overall strategic, national security, fiscal and broader policy priorities.

2015 Defence White Paper Expert Panel
The Minister for Defence has appointed an external Expert Panel to contribute to the development of the White Paper and the Force Structure Review and provide independent advice to Ministers.

The Expert Panel includes:

Mr Peter Jennings, Executive Director of Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) - Chair;
Rear Admiral James Goldrick (Ret'd);
Mr Rory Medcalf, the Lowy Institute;
Mr Mike Kalms, Partner, KPMG;
Dr Andrew Davies, ASPI; and
Dr Stephan Frühling, Australian National University.

The Expert Panel brings a mixture of relevant government, military, industry and academic experience to the White Paper process. They will contribute to the vigorous analysis and drafting of the White Paper and Force Structure Review; challenge key assumptions; and provide independent views to Government at the request of Ministers.

The Defence White Paper team and the Expert Panel will engage with experts in Australia and abroad, within Government and industry, the think-tank community, State and Territory and local Governments and with the Australian people throughout the development of the White Paper.


http://www.defence.gov.au/whitepaper/

Given the Australian Aviation article states the following, “It is understood Mr ­Abbott has instructed planners working on his defence white paper to examine the possibility of putting a squadron of 12 of the short takeoff and vertical landing version of the JSFs — the F-35B — on to the ships,” Abbott is therefore following the correct process for a Defence White Paper...

Quoting groover158 (Reply 17):
I think people need to start looking at the whole reason for Nuship Canberra's existence noting that it has always been about the purchase of a LHD (Landing Helicopter Dock).

The whole reason is to land an Amphibious Ready Group (ARG). The ready group is made up of a whole battalion of around 600 to 700 personnel. Both LHDs are needed to land the ARG. For reference that is found on page 80 of the senate estimates session quoted previously.

The trick is the RAN overcomes a small loss in troop or vehicle carriage that an LHD modified to support dedicated F-35B operations has through the retainment of HMAS Choules. Now the RAN will have three dedicated amphibious vessels and it is very likely that the ARG can be landed with one LHD and the Choules.

Quoting groover158 (Reply 17):
at what cost in terms of money

If the landing is opposed or in a contested littoral region, additional air support and fleet self protection would be invaluable and well worth the money.

Quoting bunumuring (Reply 16):
Obviously, retaining the Growlers is a priority too unless there is some kind of 'Lightning Growler' development down the track...

The USMC is retiring all its Prowlers, not acquiring Growlers and will use the Next Generation Jammer from its F-35Bs. While the RAAF Growlers will probably hang around to 2030 I can't see them going further than that, especially if RAAF moves to an F-35 only fighter fleet.
 
bunumuring
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:04 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 20):
Quoting bunumuring (Reply 16):
Obviously, retaining the Growlers is a priority too unless there is some kind of 'Lightning Growler' development down the track...

The USMC is retiring all its Prowlers, not acquiring Growlers and will use the Next Generation Jammer from its F-35Bs. While the RAAF Growlers will probably hang around to 2030 I can't see them going further than that, especially if RAAF moves to an F-35 only fighter fleet.

Thanks mate for that information. I agree that the Growlers will have a relatively short lifespan one way or another, 'short' compared to the classic Hornets etc... I wasn't aware that the jammers etc on the F-35 were comparable in ability to the Growlers equipment.
Cheers,
Bunumuring.
I just wanna live while I'm alive!
 
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Groover158
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:35 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 20):
Actually it isn't. No one is proposing that the role or capability of the LHDs be modified while still in production which is the definition of scope creep.

In my book, redefining the capability at this stage of the Project is scope creep. The LHD ARG capability is not expected to reach FOC until Dec 17, though more likely to be 2018/2019. Redefining the capabilities of the LHD in the White Paper is likely to impact this.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 20):
The trick is the RAN overcomes a small loss in troop or vehicle carriage that an LHD modified to support dedicated F-35B operations has through the retainment of HMAS Choules. Now the RAN will have three dedicated amphibious vessels and it is very likely that the ARG can be landed with one LHD and the Choules.

You make it sound so easy. Seriously though, we are now saying that the capability now has a dependence on another separate capability. That's a big jump in the ARG footprint.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 20):
I'm also not sure why studying the cost of additional capability is defined as scope creep. Should the ADF never consider additional capability then? Your view point seems a bit odd given what you said previously.

The ADF certainly studies additional capabilities, it just doesn't do so in a knee-jerk manner. The ADF has a history of fielding new capabilities, especially in recent years. I also think it would be reasonable to expect that the LHD / F-35B mix will have already been assessed. It's not like they wouldn't have expected the question to be asked, especially in light of the giant ski-ramp.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 20):
If the landing is opposed or in a contested littoral region, additional air support and fleet self protection would be invaluable and well worth the money.

It would be crazy to think that such a scenario will not have been considered. They would not let such a valuable asset to operate in an opposed or contested region without a thorough risk assessment being undertaken. Sure, having F-35Bs on the deck may mitigate the risks associated, but there are many ways in which such a scenario could be mitigated.

[Edited 2014-07-07 00:48:43]

[Edited 2014-07-07 01:07:38]

[Edited 2014-07-07 01:29:49]
 
Ozair
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:34 am

Quoting groover158 (Reply 22):
In my book, redefining the capability at this stage of the Project is scope creep. The LHD ARG capability is not expected to reach FOC until Dec 17, though more likely to be 2018/2019.

Perhaps if you actually read the Australian Aviation article you would note than any F-35B purchase would be part of the final 28 jets ordered.

However, on April 23 when Prime Minister Abbott announced the decision to acquire a further 58 F-35As for the RAAF to take the total buy to 72, he made passing reference to the fact that the F-35 variant slated to be acquired for a final batch of up to 28 jets (to replace the Super Hornet) some time next decade had not yet been determined.
http://australianaviation.com.au/201...o-consider-f-35bs-for-lhds-report/

Some time next decade is not a rushed decision and will not affect the current LHDs nor change the current configuration. That ship has well and truly sailed. Below is a photo of HMAS Adelaide, taken in 2012 showing how much work had already been completed. Adelaide is expected here in Australia later this year.

Quoting groover158 (Reply 22):
You make it sound so easy. Seriously though, we are now saying that the capability now has a dependence on another separate capability. That's a big jump in the ARG footprint.

Quite the opposite. Transporting the ARG always required two LHDs. By retaining HMAS Choules it can now be done with any two of three vessels. That is not a dependency.

Quoting groover158 (Reply 22):

The ADF certainly studies additional capabilities, it just doesn't do so in a knee-jerk manner. The ADF has a history of fielding new capabilities, especially in recent years.

Considering a capability as part of a white paper is hardly knee-jerk.

Quoting groover158 (Reply 22):
I also think it would be reasonable to expect that the LHD / F-35B mix will have already been assessed. It's not like they wouldn't have expected the question to be asked, especially in light of the giant ski-ramp.

If the LHD Canberra wikipage is to be believed, and three different references is pretty good for Wikipedia, then it was not considered.
The RAN has maintained that, although cross-decking with other nations' aircraft may occur, embarking Australian-operated, fixed-wing aircraft was not under consideration.


Quoting groover158 (Reply 22):

It would be crazy to think that such a scenario will not have been considered. They would not let such a valuable asset to operate in an opposed or contested region without a thorough risk assessment being undertaken.

Why not read the doctrine?

http://www.defence.gov.au/adfwc/Docu...brary/ADDP/ADDP_3_2_Amphib_Ops.pdf

Page 3-9
3.14 Amphibious assaults fall into the following two categories:
•Amphibious assault on a potentially hostile shore. The amphibious force will aim to land in undefended areas; however, such operations will be mounted against the contingency that an adversary will react before completion of the landing operation; and
•Amphibious assault on a hostile shore. The amphibious force will aim to attack a weak point in the adversary’s defences where they cover all potential landing sites. The assault will avoid landing under fire but exploit mobility to attack from an unexpected direction.


Reading above, both landing types are planned to occur avoiding hostile fire. So what does the ADF do if they can't land uncontested? I guess not land or wait for the Americans to arrive?

If the ADF can't land because the adversary is competent enough to contest the beachhead you can bet the LHD sailing around off the coast is one hell of a target!

Quoting bunumuring (Reply 21):
I wasn't aware that the jammers etc on the F-35 were comparable in ability to the Growlers equipment.

The ALQ-99 used on the Growler is old tech. The NGJ will replace the ALQ-99 on the Growler and is also expected to be used on the F-35 (but probably not before 2023-24).
 
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Groover158
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Wed Jul 09, 2014 10:22 am

Great points!

Quoting Ozair (Reply 23):
Why not read the doctrine?

Oh great, my therapist and I have been working on strategies to reduce my nervous twitch every time I see the ADDP series publications referenced, after trawling through them for my PMET training. Great pick up, although, the doctrine itself somewhat negates the need to field an air support capability; notwithstanding that the carrier will also potentially carry the ARH tiger which is capable of such.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 23):
Considering a capability as part of a white paper is hardly knee-jerk.

The point I am making is that the development of the White Paper is a carefully considered document that informs our Defence capability. They are deliberate and methodical which is a stark contrast to a thought-bubble from the PM. Nonetheless, he does control the train set.  
Quoting Ozair (Reply 23):
Quite the opposite. Transporting the ARG always required two LHDs. By retaining HMAS Choules it can now be done with any two of three vessels. That is not a dependency.

This is the bit that confuses me. Are you saying that the transportation of the ARG can only be conducted by the two LHDs, and in the absence of one of the LHDs, HMAS Choules fills the gap. The intention behind my original point was in relation to fielding an F-35B capability on the LHD in that it will significantly diminish the LHD's air group carrying ability. HMAS Choules has a flight deck, but doesn't carry helicopters, so it doesn't fix the air group deficiency. Happy to stand corrected...again.
 
Ozair
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:25 pm

Quoting groover158 (Reply 24):

Oh great, my therapist and I have been working on strategies to reduce my nervous twitch every time I see the ADDP series publications referenced

I enjoy the doctrine but that probably makes me come across as somewhat odd...

Quoting groover158 (Reply 24):
Great pick up, although, the doctrine itself somewhat negates the need to field an air support capability

Agree but I think the doctrine would survive only long enough until the ADF had to land somewhere. At that point all bets are off.

Quoting groover158 (Reply 24):
notwithstanding that the carrier will also potentially carry the ARH tiger which is capable of such.

I'd be concerned about solely relying on the Tiger.

I hate what ifs but here I go. There are a dozen different long range artillery systems that could sit off the coast outside of naval gunfire range and pound a beachhead. It would be a difficult task for Tiger to penetrate that far inland and prosecute the threat. Then add in a limited weapon capacity and capability, essentially 30mm gun and hellfire missiles and there are only a small subset of targets.

Any fast attack jet brings significantly larger weapons, in the F-35B case SDB and GBU-32, is more survivable in the battle space and can hit targets significantly further inland.

Quoting groover158 (Reply 24):

The point I am making is that the development of the White Paper is a carefully considered document that informs our Defence capability. They are deliberate and methodical which is a stark contrast to a thought-bubble from the PM.

The current white paper was announced in early 2014 for release in 2015. Given Abbott spoke about an alternative F-35 model in late April there is plenty of time for consideration.

Quoting groover158 (Reply 24):
This is the bit that confuses me. Are you saying that the transportation of the ARG can only be conducted by the two LHDs, and in the absence of one of the LHDs, HMAS Choules fills the gap.

Sorry if I wasn't clear. Yes that is what I am saying. Although the troop numbers for the ARG could be carried on one LHD there is the rest of the baggage that comes with it and requires another vessel.

Quoting groover158 (Reply 24):
The intention behind my original point was in relation to fielding an F-35B capability on the LHD in that it will significantly diminish the LHD's air group carrying ability.

You're right, any use of F-35B would reduce the rotary wing load. The LHDs can still land troops via LCM but you lose the maneuver benefits.

I am a bit confused here though, Juan Carlos is apparently capable of 30 helicopters while Canberra can only take 18, but both have the same hanger space.

Quoting groover158 (Reply 24):
HMAS Choules has a flight deck, but doesn't carry helicopters, so it doesn't fix the air group deficiency.

At a pinch Choules can carry helicopters, there is a picture on the HMAS Choules wiki page with the temporary hanger assembled.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMAS_Ch...er/File:HMAS_Choules_starboard.jpg

We are only talking about four helicopters (I think max 1 in the hanger) though so it wouldn't make a significant difference.

Quoting groover158 (Reply 24):
Happy to stand corrected

No correcting, just learning by both of us. If I had my way the RAN would purchase another LHD modified specifically for the sole purpose of operating the F-35B, even it that comes at the expense of the last 28 F-35A. The benefits would out way the fewer F-35 airframes acquired.
 
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Groover158
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:16 pm

Quoting Ozair (Reply 25):
I am a bit confused here though, Juan Carlos is apparently capable of 30 helicopters while Canberra can only take 18, but both have the same hanger space.

It's called the Australian Design Standard for Hangar Deck Helicopter Storage  
 
pusserchef
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:56 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 23):
That ship has well and truly sailed. Below is a photo of HMAS Adelaide, taken in 2012 showing how much work had already been completed. Adelaide is expected here in Australia later this year.

The Adelaide is already here, its in Williamstown with the Canberra
Regards
James Smith

Flown in A300B4, A310, A320, A321, A332, A346, B717, B722, B733, B734, B737, B738, B743, B744, B762, B763, B77W, B788, F27, F70, F100, S360, B212, AS-350B, S-61, C152, C172, A22LS.
 
Ozair
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RE: F-35B For The Royal Australian Navy?

Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:11 pm

The following has apparently been submitted to the Australian White Paper Office. Seems a pretty straight forward argument from someone who has extensive experience in STOVL operations and is also very familiar with the LHDs.

http://www.defence.gov.au/whitepaper/docs/082-Baddams.pdf

Will be interesting to see where this goes. While the F-35B is going to be more expensive than the CTOL version, by the time Australia will be interested the F-35B (and any of the F-35 versions for that matter) will be at their lowest cost point.

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