Australia’s Future ASW Frigates: Warfare Down Under
September 03/17: GE’s Marine Solutions’ LM2500 gas turbine modules will be manufactured by Australian RJE Global for the Royal Australian Navy frigate program. A Memorandum of Understanding signed by both firms will also see RJE Global manufacture a number of components for the gas turbines. The LM2500 gas turbines will be for the RAN’s nine-ship SEA 5000 Future Frigate Program, as the turbines are operational on two of the short-listed, qualified ship designs for the new vessels—Fincantieri’s FREMM and Navantia’s F100 frigates. The new frigates will replace the navy’s ageing Anzac-class frigates.
As Asia-Pacific nations invest in submarines, serious regional players also need to invest in anti-submarine capabilities. Aircraft like the P-8A Poseidon are great, but nothing really replaces dedicated and capable ASW ships. Their opponents’ anti-ship missiles are also experiencing a jump in capability, so a secondary air defense role isn’t optional. Australia’s 4 remaining FFG-7 Adelaide Class frigates have finished an expensive and somewhat rickety systems upgrade, but they fall short of what’s needed, and won’t last all that much longer. The RAN’s 6 ANZAC Class frigates are receiving much smoother ASMD air defense upgrades that will make them quite useful, but their service life will begin ebbing around 2024.
Hence Australia’s SEA 5000 Future Frigate program, which may receive an early push from issues with Australia’s naval industrial base…
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