Australian OPV and VTOL UAS

The video above is part of Naval News‘ continuing coverage of the “Pacific 2019” Defense Industry show taking place in Sydney, Australia. The topics of the video are listed below. At least two may be of interest, (1) the new Australian Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) being built to a Luerssen design which we discussed  here earlier, and (2) the SAAB UMS Skeldar V200 VTOL Unmanned Air System. This is one of a growing number of vertical takeoff “drones.” This one is the first I have seen with ViDAR included in its list of possible payloads. VIDAR was tested by the Coast Guard in 2016.

Video content:

  • Hunter-class Frigate (SEA5000) with BAE Systems
  • Safran Optronic masts for Attack-class submarine (SEA1000)
  • Luerssen Arafura-class offshore patrol vessel (SEA1180) (time 4:30 to 6:00)
  • Saab UMS Skeldar V200 VTOL UAV (SEA129 Phase 5) (time 6:00 to 7:35)
  • Australian Naval Infrastructure / Osborne Naval Shipyard

There is reference to the fact that the German Navy has also purchased the SAAB UMS Skeldar. Apparently they ordered two, but are not yet decided if it will become a their standard.

15 thoughts on “Australian OPV and VTOL UAS

  1. The USN and USCG should look at the Luerssen OPV-80 design. The Navy could use it as armed naval auxiliary, while the Coast Guard could use it as a forward support ship. Yes another dual-service ship idea!
    Procuring a proven, parent design, modifying it only for weapons and sensors etc. would get both services a good platform. And the time and cost would be less than buying ANY built to spec ship!

  2. The Hunter/Type 26 frigate is one well-balanced frigate design. Not many frigates sport two 20mm Phalanxs, a 5″ gun, 30mm cannons, eight OTH ASMs, and three sonars in addition to 3D panel radar. The 24-cell VLS can be increased to 32 cells if needed, but I’m really liking this design over any USA frigate design entrant which I consider slim and marginal in potency.

    There has been rumors, however, that the UK ship designs aren’t as hardy as American ships. When sailing in the Middle East, UK ships’ systems had a tendency to overheat because the UK doesn’t have the temperature differences of Florida and Hawaii for hot and Alaska and Michigan for cold weather testing, and thus their air conditioners aren’t as robust as American warships.

    • The type 26 will probably be an excellent ASW ship, but last I heard full load displacement is up to 8,800 tons, meaning it is as large as a Burke class DDG, plus it cost about as much as a Burke but does not have the Burke’s AAW capability.

      • I believe the U.K. classifies by role, not size. Ships tasked with ASW would be frigates, AAW would be destroyers regardless of size. If I’m right.

      • That is correct although it hasn’t always been that way. In the 50s/60s the Royal Navy had AAW frigates. Seems Europeans in general would rather designate their ships frigates. Each new one seems larger than the previous one. In a lot of cases they are the largest surface combatants in their respective navies.

      • It’s substantially cheaper than a Burke. The UK’s costs include a lot of extra’s plus the design work. The Canadian’s and Australians are tacking on through life costs and set up’s of national shipbuilding capability.

        The UK is expecting the ship cost to be c£750m per vessel ($900m). A USN version would be comparatively easy as a lot of the integration effort of US systems will be done by the Canadian’s and Australians.

        But its not going to happen…

    • The USN nor USCG will buy another ship design which competes with designs already under contract. It wont happen and the Congress wont let it happen.

    • There is some truth in that from the past (it was an issue the British Pacific Fleet suffered from in WW2). Ships designed for tropical environments, like the old Tribal Class Frigates were built with additional air conditioning systems. But this doesn’t hold true for the newer generation of ships that are designed for global operations in all environments. The T45 and T26 have to be able to operate in the arctic or gulf. The T45’s propulsion issues are almost resolved now and no issues have been reported in the last couple of years.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s