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Subject: Navy League lobbies for STOVL
AdvanceAustralia    7/8/2008 11:56:51 PM,25197,23993299-2702,00.html "Vertical take-off jets sought for Navy * Font Size: Decrease Increase * Print Page: Print July 09, 2008 THE federal government has been urged to buy a dozen vertical landing strike fighters to avert another Gallipoli. The Navy League, a defence lobby group, today said 12 new short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) versions of the Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs) would give the Royal Australian Navy back an aircraft carrier capability lost in 1982 when HMAS Melbourne was decommissioned. In an editorial in the latest edition of its magazine The Navy, the league said there was an obvious linkage between the new landing ships, now under construction, and the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) version of the Lockheed F-35 JSF. It said acquisition of a dozen STOVL JSFs for use aboard the landing ships - known as LHDs (landing, helicopter, dock) - should be included in the upcoming defence White Paper. “Like it or not, the ADF's new amphibious capability will be used at some stage and when used will mean the situation is a serious one, requiring serious and decisive firepower,” it said. “However, without an airborne fire support capability, then all the LHDs can do is deliver our troops into the waiting gun sights of the enemy, in many respects just like at Gallipoli.” The Navy League said having between four and six STOVL aircraft, crewed by the RAAF, aboard each LHD could provide the tactical support needed to conduct amphibious operations around the region. The two new landing ships, based on a design by the Spanish shipbuilder Navantia, will each be able to transport up to 1,000 troops as well as helicopters, vehicles including tanks, and landing craft. Both feature a ski-ramp for use by jet aircraft but the former government persistently denied planning to resurrect an aircraft carrier capability. Australia is considering buying up to 100 JSF aircraft to meet future air combat needs. However, JSF is also being offered as a STOVL variant for the US Marines and Britain's Royal Navy and a carrier version for the US Navy. The first STOVL JSF conducted a successful conventional takeoff first flight last month but has yet to perform a vertical landing. Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon, speaking from aboard HMAS Anzac off Hawaii where he is observing the major Rimpac naval exercise, said all such issues had been canvassed in the air capability review. “That review will form part of the White Paper considerations and therefore the government will express any views on those topics when we release the White Paper,” he told AAP. - Agencies" The Gallipoli comparison is a bit far-fetched as we're likely to avoid opposed landings but its good to see someone keeping the debate alive and lobbying for fixed-wing naval aviation. They've even been diplomatic enough to suggest the RAAFies fly them. On a side note, I'm at home in Nowra for a few weeks. There's always been an approach path to Albatross over the house so I've had the opportunity to see a couple of low level flights of C-17s go over with the undercarriage down. I must say they look absolutely awesome! Cheers.
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Kevin Pork       7/9/2008 2:05:40 AM
I agree that the Gallipoli comparison is farcical - I'd argue that, for a Gallipoli scenario, additional NGS assets would be far more valuable than a dozen high value a/c - you'd think that they could put forth a better argument (layering the amphibs defence against air/missile attack, maritime protection, force projection etc) - I think this argument will sink without trace, which is a shame as there are good arguments for V/STOLs, this just wasn't one of them.
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gf0012-aust       7/9/2008 2:45:42 AM
 They've even been diplomatic enough to suggest the RAAFies fly them.

that's always been on the cards.  considering that Lab have traditionally picked up UK ideas (and that's usually led to other grief). then emulating the RN/RAF model was seen as a good way to get it up.
current climate?  I wish them luck.  Lab don't like expeditionary forces.  dual hat forces are another thing, but when the dual hat has to fit a pure combat capability - "buckleys and god's daughters" spring to mind....
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Volkodav       7/9/2008 6:19:01 AM
Looking completely outside the square (or possibly following Alice down the rabbit hole) the other story that caught my eye was the UK's concerns over France's delaying of PA2 causing the loss of planned savings on the CVF program.
How desperate would the UK be to sell an extra CVF hull or two to bring down the price of their program and would a price drop bring France back on board for a 2015 delivery date creating further savings?
Steel is cheap and air is free, it is the  design and development costs that are the killer in this case, especially if buying the aircraft is already on the cards. 
With two CVF's we wouldn't need a third LHD and could replace the ANZAC's with OPV's or even an Australian style LCS design.
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VGNTMH    CVFs!   7/9/2008 2:59:59 PM

CVFs for the ADF!?
Except the small matter of a crew of at least 600 each rather than 200 odd for a LHD ... not counting the air group ...
Steel is cheap and air is free


it is the  design and development costs that are the killer in this case

True again .. though the LHDs are not developmental either,

buying the aircraft is already on the cards. 

I always thought that the longer ranged and carrier deployable (even if just the USN, RN, and French CVs) F-35Cs were a better bet for the ADF? After all hopefully the F/A-18Fs will be carrier trained and carrier qualified?
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VGNTMH       7/9/2008 3:22:03 PM
Don't get me wrong. My comments on this subject are not negative. I would greatly support any form of useful, long ranged, deployable airpower for the ADF/RAAF. F-35Cs or F-35Bs. I would not mind if 100% of the combat air power of the ADF/RAAF was CV capable or STOVL. After all, DOA is not going to happen 99.9999% of the time! And regional amphibious operations, coalition operations from carriers, SLOC defence operations are all much, much more likely than DOA. And CV capable aircraft are 95% as capable as CTOL in land based operations, and STOVL F-35Bs would be 75% as capable as CTOL. (Just guess on the percentages, but I am sure they are generally correct and serve to illustrate my argument!)
I am constantly amazed by the limited vision of people supporting "just" CTOL aircraft for the RAAF. Why wouldn't you get CV or STOVL combat aircraft when they can be used for a wider variety of tasks in a wider variety of situations and when they are almost as capable as CTOL? And the RAAF has had a recent history of operating Naval jets anyhow, but without carrier emphasis or qualification! Shortsighted!
(But then again they cannot risk the chance that "their" aircraft might actually be deployed under RAN or Army control can they?! Wouldn't that be terrible!)
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stingray1003       7/9/2008 7:57:04 PM
CVF are just too big. Steel isn't that cheap any more, certainly not steel formed into aircraft carriers in UK docks.
 More likely carrier options:
 + BPE fitted as more of a carrier but still essentially the same
 + New design simular to BPE (perhaps with out well dock) ~ 32,000t primary carrier but with some LHA capability
 + Indian/Italian carrier
 + Cavour carrier
 + A south Korean build
 Each of these would support 4-6 F-35B's.Given that Australia would have a total of 3, it would be possible to surge all three and have 18+ F-35B's along with Tigers, chooks etc. Even with just two, operating 12x F-35B's would be entirely possible. These would be able to strike at critical targets and key ground personel, gather intel, air defence, anti shipping, support allied missions across the globe. While 4-12 F-35B's won't give you the ability to carpet bomb entire countries, they will provide more than enough firepower for tactical and strategic uses over and above refueled aircraft.
 We can't be reliant on the USN or USAF, even the USMC can't rely on the USN/USAF and they are part of the same force structure. This doesn't have to be about expeditionary forces, to effectively operate on the ground or at see you need assets in the air.
 While it will add some cost it will allow the RAN to align itself more closely with the USN, USMC, Spain and the RN. Thus say  defences will be more simular across all navies instead of the RAN having to adopt/adapt weapons outside of these partners to make up for the lack of fixed wing aircraft.
 People want to be a part of a capable ADF. That is one of the key attractors from a recruitment point of view. Flying F-35B's off ships is about as attractive as defence forces get. $50 million for a F-35B is better advertising money than hours of TV, Radio, news paper adds with frigates and patrol boats or people chucking stuff out of a C-17.
 Atleast the Navy Leage is asking for the right equipment even if its in a negitive enviroment and unlikely to happen. Hopefully this can put the F-22 argument to rest and we can now all argue about something that is far more relevant and likely than F-22's. Even if all it does is ensure the LHD are delivered and fitted in a way that does not preclude operating F-35B's later on.
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hairy man       7/10/2008 3:26:19 AM

I dont know if any of you are familiar with the 112m mini ACC put out by Incat of Tassy a few years ago?  It was designed to carry troops and equipment plus 6 or so aircraft of F35B size plus helicopters.  From memory a suggested cost of $100m(au)..each.  Since then Incat have increased the size of their yards to 150m capacity.  It would be interesting to see the same design to 150m.  It perhaps could carry 10-12 F35's.

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gf0012-aust       7/10/2008 4:11:09 AM

I dont know if any of you are familiar with the 112m mini ACC put out by Incat of Tassy a few years ago?  It was designed to carry troops and equipment plus 6 or so aircraft of F35B size plus helicopters.  From memory a suggested cost of $100m(au)..each.  Since then Incat have increased the size of their yards to 150m capacity.  It would be interesting to see the same design to 150m.  It perhaps could carry 10-12 F35's.

Austal make the better skimmer.  Incat might have the looks, but the build quality is like comparing a commodore with a bmw 7 series.
the Austal flat packers are far more useful as a design...
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Arty Farty       7/10/2008 6:30:01 AM
An extra LHD (local production line) to be used exlusively for STOVL is probably a better option than the Brit CVF - the LHD the RAN is getting is bigger and better than current Invincible class carriers.  At present; RAN will have carrier capable ships, the RAAF will have the training and support for F-35s (more capable than current Hornets) - not a big step to acquire some F-35Bs. The RAN end up with what USN'ers call a Gator Navy. Having the required crew levels will be the biggest challenge.
Gallipoli reference?
By 2020: naval gunfire (possibly PGM), Tiger gunships, landing some 155mm howitzers (early problem with Gallipoli) and maybe some VLS cruise missiles is more than adequate.
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BLUIE006       7/10/2008 7:39:41 AM
 I'd have to agree, a Third LHD(16 X F-35 or) is probably a better option at this stage, carrier's are expensive; and may potentially aggravate the region...  of course it  depends what you want to use the F-35 for ? Close air support? Fleet Air.. etc  -  I appreciate that 6 x F-35 Would not be able to maintain CAP but the could be useful for limited Air Threats/Precision strike... etc
 If China builds a forth Aircraft Carrier (other the three that are construction or development) ..... I'd say  we should look at it ...
Where would we find the capital ships to protect though?
What I'd really like to see is a  Light Cruiser of sorts .....  Destroyer X UAV/USV carrier ...  with enough strike and air punch to remain self sustainable for long periods, enough space for limited amount of additional personnel(25-75?), and HQ facilities etc... with a variety of unmaned .....  is a good concept, I'd be looking for a bit more punch and Air power than that can deliver...
I figure it completes  the structure,  (there had to be a list somewhere)
2 x LHD (hopefully three)
- Air/Sea Control
10 x ANZACII - -Purpose
2 x Light Aviation Cruiser - Naval Strike / Peacekeeping / Special Ops ( ..... long term deployments etc)
8 x RAN Future Sub
The aviation cruiser could operate independently of  two major task groups, allowing for multi faceted approaches... should we ever be engaged in multi theaters ... it could also contribute to ballistic missile defence.. ( I am surprised labor is not a fan of this... its an reasonable easy sell to the Public? and over the next few 20 years it could pose a -medium to moderate threat...not an analysis you want to get wrong?)
I'm not confinced 3xAWD could cover mainland Aus and deployed forces..
What do you think ANZAC II Frigate mold should follow?  LCS - Or European Multi Mission frigate? 
I going for Modular Multi mission Frigate... we have a huge.. definitely think we should be going larger not smaller...
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