You could be forgiven in asking what possible link exists between the development of the type 26 , the future FFG project in Australia and the development process of the various 'flights' of the USA's Arleigh Burke class?
answer is very simple, both the UK governments and Australia should take a long moment to look at the development of the US class where the three 'flights' of this class have three very distinct combat roles while maintaining common 'class' abilities.
Flight I while maintaining the common class ability Air defense via the AegisCombat system, It has exstensive asw capabilities which suggests a combat role as a inner asw picket.
Flight II started out as just improved flight I's with later constructed
ships lossing their towed sonar arrays, thus their asw role was degraded giving theses ships a slightly different combat role.
flightIII are under development as direct replacements the "Tico" cruisers and there are plans to convert the latter
FlightII designated 'IIA' to flightIII standard.
The lesson here is ONE class of surface combant can carry out multiple different combat roles when "kittedout" with different weapons and sensor suites using a comon hull class thus generating ecomomic
The UK and Australian Defense boffins need to stop trying and re-inventing the wheel every time the need to replace a class of ship. If you look at the published displacment,size and weapons system requirements, both countries already have
state of art hull designs existing that match their respective published requirements. The only diffrence is the 'weapons kit' and combat roles of each 'Class'.
The type 45 destoryer hull could easily be biult to a deticated ASW role with stand off
land strike role. The type 45 itself is expected to be refited in the future with a stand off land attack missiles. So why the need to waste money on studies in a 'completely new' design?
Similarlly the hull specs for the sea 5000 project match the
hull specs of the AWD design currently been biult.
With the Australian government delaying construction of the AWD so a 'SKILL DRAIN' does not occur between various projects is plan 'wooly' simplistic thinking. By changing the required weapons
kit of a existing design currently being built that requires NO overt design change would extend employment at the ASC until a 'improved' Collins class( another case of wheel invention) startes construction when block intergation of the modified AWD could
switch to Williamstown and or other dockyards. Infact with the number of units required intergation could be split from the outset.
This would avoid the sudden building spurts that occur between class construction that makes it hard to maintain a up
to date work force and allow for the early retirement or better yet the current Anzac Class could be re-assigned to permanent border security role thus replacing the under performing Armidale patrol boats.
There is nothing stopping a similar practice
in the UK.
Further information in support the argument for the extra Hobart class ships orientated to ASW role to replace the Anzac class FFH s is the reported weapons capabilities, Tomahawk cruise missiles , and a ABM
role in SM-3 SAM. Currently the only proven western ship-borne ABM system is the SM-3 / AEGIS combination which of course is already mounted on the AWDs.
What do you this?