Shocking Changes in Australian Navy that You Wouldn’t Believe!

This article unveils the latest developments in Australian naval strategy, revealing a comprehensive plan to bolster the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) to unprecedented strength. The ambitious scheme will see the replacement of French contract with an ambitious AUKUS pact, all wrapped up in a fresh strategic review by the Australian Department of .

Dismissing French Naval Group

The Australian government, in a surprising turn of events, has decided not to collaborate with 's for the construction of 11 multipurpose frigates. The previous deal with the same group, which encompassed the purchase of twelve Shortfin Barracuda submarines, has also been cancelled.

AUKUS Pact and Nuclear-Powered Submarines

Under the newly formed AUKUS pact, the RAN is set to acquire eight nuclear-powered submarines. This collaborative effort between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States is likely to extend to the US Navy's LUSV (Large Unmanned Surface Vehicle) project, given the planned of six unmanned surface ships with 32 vertical launch systems by the RAN.

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New Naval Strategic Review

On February 20, the Australian Department of Defence announced a new naval strategic review. The goal is to boost the RAN to unprecedented levels by increasing its fleet of first-rank surface ships from 11 to 26. This move is expected to bolster the security of maritime routes, a priority for Australian prosperity as stated by Defence Minister Richard Marles.

Investment and Reduction on Certain Programs

A 6.5 billion Australian dollar additional investment has been set aside for this significant expansion. However, the Hunter program, known as Sea 5000, will see a reduction by one third due to challenges and cost overruns. The RAN will receive only six of the nine ordered Hunter-class frigates, based on the British Type 26 model.

ANAO Criticism and Available Resources

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) expressed criticism over the initiation of the Hunter program. The reasons for choosing the British model have been flagged as “obscure”. Nonetheless, this reduction in the Hunter-class frigates will free up resources for other programs.

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Other Potential Contenders

The government is also considering other models; the British future Type 32 frigate could cover RAN's crew shortage issues with its crew capacity of 50 sailors.

Other contenders for the contract include Germany's ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) with the Meko 200 frigate, Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries with the Mogami frigate, 's Hanwha with the Daegu-class frigate, and Spain's Navantia with the Alfa 3000 frigate.

In order to reach the target of 26 first-rank surface ships, the RAN requires 11 multipurpose frigates in addition to three Hobart-type “destroyers”, six Hunter frigates, and six optional crew ships.

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