Wow, that makes me feel old, wasn't that long ago I was looking at Dragon as she was tied up at Braehead with the paint still drying.And by happy hapstance, the RAN T26 has a substantial AAW capability, and we are in the market for a new AAW war canoe in the not too distant future
And by happy hapstance, the RAN T26 has a substantial AAW capability, and we are in the market for a new AAW war canoe in the not too distant future
One would hope that the new RN AAW war canoe will be a tad more advanced in terms of weaponry by the time we bring ours into service in the mid to late 30s. It also means that we hopefully learn the lesson of T26 - which is to ensure we don't have a long period between new designs........
T26 has enough to deal with without having to clag on new radars, weapon systems and power architectures.
But this sounds like a recipe for RN 'fitted for but not with' using the T26 as the basis. While 'trade deal' and 'technology transfer' provide useful economic headlines, I'm not convinced from the article that this will lead to any RN capability enhancement, so more like a 'this is how not to do it' for the RAN, learning from the travails of T26, with some money for HM Treasury.
'The agreement also sets out a framework to enable both nations to utilise the T26 and Hunter programmes to create jobs and contribute to the growth of the UK and Australian economies, seeking to support small and medium-sized enterprises.
'We are already seeing the benefits of cooperation on the two programmes, with Australian workers involved in the Type 26 build ready to come home and help build the Hunter class frigates in South Australia.'
What this looks like is a shipbuilding tech transfer MoU, where it would appear some of the Ockers have been placed with the Araldite mafia - to indeed learn how not to do it.
What we can't afford is another twenty year long design period for T4X. It needs to be focussed, NOT based on T26 and with a good power architecture to enable fit of future weapons.
A T26 AAW variant is capable now. In fifteen-twenty years time when we need our new ship? Not so much.
Missiles will still be around in that timeframe, but by no means the only hard-kill system - some things are a bit less blue sky than you might suspect.
MBDA may have a slightly different view as to whether we're going "back" to US sourced missiles. Difficult to go back when we've never been there before.
Ship design done properly is not actually expensive in the great scheme of things. It's far better to design around your requirements than try and shoe-horn them into an existing design (ironically as the RAN is discovering- and the Canuckians soon will). The other thing with designing your own is that you retain the expertise in how to do so - something our friends over the pond are conspicuously struggling with at the minute.
Not the RN officers on the project back in the day. I suspect you'll find Aster delivers pretty well vs it's designed threats.MDBA that promised so much with ASTER, but delivered not so much?
RN never wanted ASTER, they wanted US VLS/SM2 with an upgrade path to SM3 etc.
As of now? We could be looking at dropping the new block of Mach 6 SM6 with a 200nm anti surface capability into our shiny war canoes, not waiting for MDBA to deliver 'something' in 15 years time