I disagree with the austals being better
- an smaller deck makes it a bit harder to land on. never a bad thing, if you are training
- the austal vessels are multihull fast vessels, with an completely different way of moving then the frigates, carriers etc the pilots will be trained for.
I have a hunch that they are actually after an OPV to do some general jobsworth roles and ATS is just something that can be added on to get the budget. If that is the case, a conservative steel monohull is probably better than the multihulls. We'll just have to see what the actual design comes out as, though.
I'd Say you are right RP1, with the whole Operation Sovereign Borders going on, a larger vessel with Heli capability would be very handy. (Why the Armidales didn't have a space to land a heli is a bit beyond me as it would have saved so many problems logistically, plus it would have added more austere space and potential range). Though I think Austal will get the contract as jobs in the manufacturing sector here are getting rarer and rarer
My two stupids cents thoughts
1) A "specially-build"/"single-purpose
" ship, is now obsolete/expensive (mainly due to $ reasons !!!)
. Better to build a multi-purpose ship !!!!!!
2) if the RAN wants to keep Australian jobs & strategic industrial skills, it is better to build Austal designs, not the Dutch Damen......
3) in the 21st century, if you build an AVIATION TRAINING-SHIP
, the aft-flight deck should be very large/versatile/modular !!!
- It must take several helicopters & UAVs !
- It must have a hangar for up-to two helicopters !
- It must be able to eventually take a mini-catapult for small UAVs !
In 2014, you can not compare a Dutch Damen aft-flight-deck (OPV 2400 design)
& a Austal one (MRVs, JSHVs, Independence LCSs aft-flight-deck aera !!!!!)
In fact, if Australians want to make aviation training onboard ships, they have three options:
- A land/shore training, with airfields & simulators...
- A training onboard existings australian warships (frigates & so...)
- A small training (cheap/civilian-built) ship