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No easy options: Australia's navy faces complex surface fleet choices

14th September 2023 - 01:00 GMT | by Tim Fish in Auckland


There appears to be a consensus that the Hunter-class frigate project is likely to be cut from nine ships to three under the DSR's report into the Royal Australian Navy's surface combatant fleet. (Photo: BAE Systems)

As part of Australia’s Defence Strategic Review (DSR), a report into the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) future surface fleet force structure was directed to be completed separately. Shephard examines its likely outcomes and how Australia might balance capability with affordability

Led by an ex-US Navy admiral, the ‘Independent Analysis into Navy's Surface Combatant Fleet’ will be submitted to government at the end of September and is designed to review RAN warship requirements and ensure they align with plans to introduce new nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) in the next decade.

The DSR called for a fleet mix of Tier 1 and Tier 2 ships to provide a larger number of smaller vessels. But once the government receives the report from former VAdm William Hilarides the Department of Defence will have to develop a series of alternative options to meet its future requirements. 

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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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