>Photo—2007--Spin the Roulette wheel. Australia's Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Russ Shalders, Minister for Defense Dr Brendan Nelson, and Chief of Defense Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston with model of new Air Warfare Destroyer.<
The Air Warfare Destroyer warship project that the then Defence Minister Nelson signed off on back in 2007 isn’t as simple as just throwing a few Australian specifications at a Spanish design. It is very high-risk.
Australia is not just trying to build an existing Spanish warship design. There are a lot of changes. More displacement; a lot more space needed for crew quarters; provisions; helicopter requirements; weapons systems accessories and more. How much more? It is very possible that it could be way more than our current situation of poor defence project management skills can handle. Consider the list at the bottom that shows the difference between the Spanish design and what Australia really wants for its Air Warfare Destroyer now languishing in project management hell.
All that, and as we now know, the project leaders can’t even produce the basic hull without serious trouble.
A proper Defence bureaucracy would have recognized the huge risk involved before a contract was even signed. Now, it is too late.
See also, today’s update from The Australian. The current government was warned about additional problems with the build back in February.
The Hobart Class - Differences from the F100 Class
Navantia’s F104 ship design is the basis for the AWD. The F104 baseline is being updated for AWD to include;
- Key F105 features,
- Australian Combat system modifications, and
- Selected platform upgrades that are unique to the Hobart Class.
These features are summarised as follows:
- More efficient and powerful diesel engines coupled with improved fuel tank arrangements will provide increased range,
- The inclusion of a bow thruster will improve manoeuvrability in harbours;
- Improvements to underway replenishment arrangements for manpower efficiencies;
- Changes to funnel tops to improve the ship’s air wake; and
- Bunk size increases to improve habitability.
- The Hobart Class will use the Aegis Weapon System Baseline 7.1and the AN/SPY-1D(V) Phased Array Radar.
- The Under Sea Warfare capability will be upgraded by:
- Enhanced Anti Submarine Warfare capabilities and the addition of a torpedo defence system;
- ASW decoys for torpedo defence;
- Enhanced undersea communications;
- Integration of the MU90 torpedo.
Other changes include:
- Modification of the MK45 gun and Gun Fire Control System, including provision for Extended Range Munitions (ERM);
- Addition of the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC);
- Modification of the IFF UPX-29 to the current tactical standard;
- Addition of an Horizon Search Radar (HSR) for improved anti-ship missile defence;
- Upgrades to the Surface-to-Surface Missile System to improve target selectivity in congested water, littoral and coastal operations;
- Upgrades to the Very Short Range Defence system to improve its integration and utility against asymmetric surface threats;
- Upgrades to the Electronic Warfare system, including the addition of electronic attack capabilities;
- Addition of X/Ka Satcom and INMARSAT Fleet Broadband and INMARSAT C capability;
- Improved Infrared Search and Track capabilities;
- Improved Electro-Optical Surveillance capability;
- Addition of Nulka Launchers for active missile decoys;
The ship’s displacement will be increased to 7,000 tonnes for an improved service life margin.
Cold weather operation will be improved to allow for deployment into Australia’s southern waters.
The hangar will be modified to accommodate a range of helicopters.
Other modifications include:
- Increased total cold room capacity for improved endurance;
- Incorporation of a fixed gas detection system to warn of the presence of harmful gases in compartments where personnel exposure risks exist;
- Modification of the 220V/50Hz network to 240V/50 Hz, incorporation of Residual Current Devices (RCD) and the Australian pin configuration for general purpose outlets, and
- Modification of existing stowage, and increases in the overall number of stowage facilities, for thermal protective suit and life raft containers.
(Source: Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance)