Thursday, June 21, 2007

Australia's F100 future

F-100 Alvaro de Bazan Class

Australia purchases five Spanish warships
Agence France-Presse Jun 20, 2007

Australia will spend more than nine billion US dollars on five warships to be built in partnership with the Spanish company Navantia, Prime Minister John Howard announced Wednesday.

The deal involves three Navantia-designed F100 air warfare destroyers worth eight billion Australian dollars -- chosen over a US design -- and two giant Navantia landing ships at a cost of about three billion for a total of 11 billion dollars (9.28 billion US).

The destroyers, which will be Australia's most advanced and expensive warships, will enter service from 2014.

"This does represent a massive lift in the Royal Australian Navy air warfare capability," Howard said, adding they would be equipped with the most capable air combat system in the world.

The destroyers will be assembled in Adelaide by an alliance between navy shipbuilder ASC, the Defence Materiel Organisation and mission systems company Raytheon, he said.

Howard said the Navantia amphibious landing ships would also help with disaster relief efforts.

"They will greatly enhance Australia's ability to send forces in strength when required, particularly in our own region but not, of course, restricted to our own region," he told reporters.

"(They) will, of course, include a capacity to send forces and men and women and materials in relation to disaster relief efforts.

"They will be able to land over 1,000 personnel along with their vehicles -- the new M1 Abrams tanks, artillery and supplies, and using integrated helicopters and water craft."

Howard said about a quarter of the construction work on the landing ships would take place in Australia, generating about 600 jobs.

The navy reportedly favoured a larger, US-designed destroyer which could be more readily updated with changing technology, has a longer range, and carries more missiles and an extra helicopter.

But chief of the Navy Vice Admiral Russ Shalders said he "absolutely" supported the government's decision to purchase the Spanish warships instead of the US-designed vessels.

"The navy is very excited, very optimistic about both of these decisions," Vice Admiral Shalders told the news conference.

F100 at a glance :

The F100 is a 5,800t multipurpose frigate being built by the Spanish shipbuilder, Izar (formerly E.N. Bazan). In February 2005, the naval shipbuilding activities of Izar were spun off into a new company, Navantia. Four ships have been ordered by the Spanish Navy.

The first, Alvaro de Bazan (F101), was launched in October 2000 and commissioned in September 2002. The second, Almirante Juan de Borbon (F102), was launched in February 2002 and commissioned in December 2003. The third, Blas de Lezo (F103), was launched in May 2003 and will commission in 2005.

The fourth, Mendez Nunez (F104), was launched in November 2004. All four are due to enter service by 2006. The ship incorporates the AN/SPY-1D Aegis Combat System from Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics and Surveillance Systems.

The main missions of the ship are fleet protection, anti-air warfare, operation as a flag ship for a combat group, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare. The ship has two four-celled Boeing Harpoon anti-ship missile systems. Harpoon is a medium-range missile with a range of 120km, 220kg warhead and active radar terminal guidance.

The surface-to-air missile system is the Evolved Sea Sparrow missile (ESSM) developed by an international team led by Raytheon. ESSM has semi-active radar guidance with tail control motor to improve range, speed and manoeuvrability.

The medium-range Raytheon Standard Missile SM-2MR Block IIIA provides area defence. SM-2MR has a range of 70km, a speed of Mach 2.5 and has semi-active radar seeker and an Aegis radio command link. Both ESSM and SM-2MR use the Lockheed Martin Mark 41 Vertical Launch System.

The ship is equipped with the United Defense Mk 45 Mod 2 gun controlled by the DORNA radar/electro-optic fire control system from FABA. DORNA sensors include K-band radar and tracking radar along with an infrared camera, TV and laser rangefinder.

Complement 202 + 48
Dimensions Length overall 146.7m
Length waterline 133.2m
Maximum beam 18.6m
Draught to the main dock 9.8m
Full load displacement 5,800t
Full load draught 4.84m
Propulsion Type CODAG Gas turbines 2 x GE LM 2500 (34.8MW)
Diesel engines 2 x Izar (9MW)
Performance Maximum speed 28.5 knots
Cruising speed 18 knots Range at cruising speed 4,500 miles


F101 video


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