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Is Australia’s plan for the surface fleet viable?

21st February 2024 - 12:45 GMT | by Tim Fish in Auckland


The successors to the Anzac-class frigates will comprise six Hunter-class ASW frigates and 11 new general purpose frigates with the latter referred to as Tier 2 combatants. (Photo: RAN)

Australia’s long-awaited Enhanced Lethality Surface Combatant Fleet review has recommended significant changes to the future make-up of the country’s surface fleet. It has received sharp criticism from some experts who claim the recommendations have not gone far enough, while others have described it as an attempt to run before being able to walk.

The publication of the Enhanced Lethality Surface Combatant Fleet review on 20 February 2024 finally completed Australia’s Defence Strategic Review (DSR), which was published almost a year ago on 24 April 2023 and excluded the review of the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) surface fleet. A separate ‘Independent Analysis into Navy's Surface Combatant Fleet’ was conducted by retired US Admiral, William Hilarides, and handed to the Australian government on 2 October 2023.

The review recommended that the RAN adopted a new class of 11 frigates, six Large Optionally Crewed Surface Vessels (LOSV), and an accelerated guided missile destroyer (DDG) replacement programme,

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Tim Fish


Tim Fish

Tim Fish is a special correspondent for Shephard Media. Formerly the editor of Land Warfare …

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