Austal Multi Role Vessel

The Austal MRV is an evolution of a previous Austal concept, the Multi Role Corvette.

Austal also have a video and updated data sheet

A few more images at Navy Recognition, click here



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17 Responses

  1. Like it… would be an interesting contender for a future MCM replacement. Perhaps the RN could consider a two tier MHPC programme? These and some (larger) Black Swans :)

    From the reports I’ve read Australia was a potential partner for this anyway…

  2. Austal specialise in alluminium vessels, I wonder if the RN would be cautious about this design bearing in mind the dangers of such vessels during the Falklands? (Unless I am much mistaken about the extent that the material’s low melting point in the destruction of the Amazons lost in that conflict).

    Trimaran design is appealing, there’s a lot of deck space there so it can be as flexible as we want it to be (doubt we’d load it with Hummers/Jackals etc). Therefore I think it could offer more than the concept shown in the Black Swan concept note. Presumably it will improve rough seakeeping too, for a vessel of that size?
    Of course we probably won’t order them from Austal (or would we?), but certainly has the key principles we need for MHPC.

  3. I understand CGI stuff can be fun, but this one is poorly laid-out on first sight (and likely not laid out in detail at all!).
    Just look at the arcs of fire for the main gun.

  4. Spreading rumours is not what I like to do, but is it
    – that the LCS alu-version will not be used in a trans-Pacific way (all those high-speed interdictions etc)
    – they will indeed be “littoral only” with more benign sea conditions (and no structural damage)
    – the other version will be used to do what was ‘specced’ – assuming that the modules do arrive at some point in time

    … more rumours: the 55 will be 29 in the end
    – so what design will fill the void?

  5. an interesting design for some form of supplement to the surface fleet and possibly a replacement for the rivers however it does not appear to be much use for MCM. does it really only weigh 400 t ? seems very little for an 80m boat.

  6. At TD

    I agree that T26 would be very useful for the USN. However a bigger question for them may be what are they going to do for MCM if they only get 20 something LCS.

    Maybe a oppertunity for the UK here in terms of becoming increasingly useful to USN operations by expanding our MCM capability to replace much of theirs. MCM is not a particularly expensive naval capability to operate in comparison to SSN and aircraft carriers but in todays warfare it probably more vital than anything else. Maybe we should consider going up to 24 MHPC’s or perhaps consider a second class of 12 more dedicated MCMV’s

  7. @martin. The MRV has always been an interesting concept WITHOUT buyers. You are right to point at the LCS problematical solution to MIW. I was told “the Norwegian MCMV program was based on the SES-200 and, to some extent, the failed Cardinal MSH” would make a better platform? But am intrigued at the helo deck capability

    I would look to JHSV conversions (in near future) to perform the assault support and inter-theater sealift missions that MRV protends to do.

    The RN concept for a Black Swan sloop of war is most interesting in this end of the naval warfare spectrum

  8. That’s why the LCS is a total Disaster from Day one. The USN should have gone with a Multi Role Frigate with Littoral capability. What the USN has right now, amounts to nothing more than a glorified US Coast Guard Cutter Painted Haze Grey. They should have just simply handed over the LCS to the US Coast Guard and the US navy can work on a multi role frigate.

    What the RN should do is approach the US Navy with a trade offer, that the Royal navy will pay for an buy more F-35’s if the US Navy were to buy into the Type 26 Frigate as well. It would be a win-win for both the Royal Navy and the US Navy as well. The Royal navy would have more F-35’s and the US Navy would have a true multi role frigate with littoral capabilities.

    The one that Austral is pushing, is perfect for countries like Australia and New Zealand. Heck, even the LCS-2 is a perfect combination for Australia as well.

  9. @ Nicky – not sure of the RN or USN are in the financial position to make such deals. Doubt the USN would give a s**t if we bought more F35B anyway.

  10. And of course the age old problem of $$$. :)

    Nicky, doubt Australia would have much use of LCS of any type, they cannot afford specialised designs both in cost and manpower, which unfortunately both LCS types will become with the lack of modules, and their Horbart class destroyers already contain a fair amount of multi-role flexibility.

  11. Martin

    I know you said “relatively” with respect to the cost of MCM capabilities, but don’t forget our cold war “specialism” in this field saw us build the Hunt class, which Pound (Sterling) per tonne remain (I believe) the most expensive vessels ever built for the RN !

    With the move towards more sophisticated off board / unmanned systems, we may no longer need “Tupperware” hulls, with non-magnetic diesel engines, divers knives and other kit made of exotic alloys (or brass !) But instead the cost is shifted to those systems, and although the Hunts turned out to be massively versatile, spending much of their time deployed (I know, I was on them) they were designed for Clearing UK waters of Soviet mines, and their eventual replacements could / should be bigger and more “ocean going” – all that being said, I am not sure the Austal design adds anything over a say a modded off shore support type, unless we really need that massive flight deck on an MCMV ????

  12. Austal is almost certainly making a pitch for the Australian DoD project SEA1180. It is very similar to your Black Swan concept. It definitely is not trying to be a frigate replacement in Australian service. That project is SEA5000 and is rather more ambitious in scope, but again, similar to your T26 project.

    Some details (and importantly, timescales) below:

    SEA 1180
    Phase 1 Patrol Boat, Mine Hunter Coastal and Hydrographic Ship Replacement Project

    The Government has directed that Defence develop proposals to rationalise the Navy’s patrol boat, mine countermeasures, hydrographic and oceanographic forces, potentially into a single modular multi-role class or family of around 20 Offshore Combatant Vessels (OCV) combining four existing classes of vessels. The new vessels will likely be larger than the current Armidale Class patrol boats.

    The concept relies on the use of modular unmanned underwater systems for both mine countermeasures and hydrographic tasks capable of being deployed independently to any operational area, or loaded onto any of the OCVs or vessels of opportunity. In addition, the OCV and its systems will be able to undertake offshore and littoral warfighting roles, border protection tasks, long-range counter-terrorism and
    counter-piracy operations, support to Special Forces, and missions in support of security and stability in the immediate neighbourhood. The feasibility of these new ships to embark a helicopter or UAV will also be determined during project development.

    Planned Schedule
    First Pass Approval FY 2015-16 to FY 2017-18
    Market Solicitation FY 2010-11 to FY 2019-20
    Year-of-Decision FY 2017-18 to FY 2019-20
    Initial Materiel Release FY 2020-21 to FY 2022-23
    Initial Operational Capability FY 2021-22 to FY 2023-24

    SEA 5000
    Phase 1 Next Generation Combatant
    Phase 2 Next Generation Combatant – Weapons
    Phase 3 Next Generation Combatant – Strike Capability

    The 2009 White Paper stated that a Fleet of eight new Future Frigates, which will be larger than the ANZAC Class, designed and equipped with a strong emphasis on anti-submarine warfare (ASW), will be acquired. Incorporation of a land attack cruise missile (LACM) capability will be integral to the design and construction of the Future Frigate as stated in the 2009 White Paper.

    This phase will focus on project definition, design and building of a multi-role Future Frigate. A number of funded studies will explore the ship platform, combat, and support system options to provide the ADF with an affordable replacement for the ANZAC Class. With a strong emphasis on ASW, scope will include an integrated sonar suite with a long-range active towed array, and an ability to embark and support a combination of Naval Combat Helicopters and maritime Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). The 2009 White Paper stated that a land attack cruise missile capability will be fitted to the Future Frigate in addition to the AWD and Future Submarines.

    Planned Schedule
    First Pass Approval FY 2018-19 to FY 2020-21
    Market Solicitation FY 2012-13 to FY 2023-24
    Year-of-Decision FY 2021-22 to FY 2023-24
    Initial Materiel Release FY 2026-27 to FY 2028-29
    Initial Operational Capability FY 2027-28 to FY 2029-30

  13. Have a look at the current product in service from Austal,the Armidale Class.
    Have fallen apart,literally, due to heavy use on cureent border control with refugee crisis.Five years old.

  14. The operative words there might be heavy use and crisis, Kevin. And I don’t think the RAN is completely blameless either. It is possible a period of remediation could reset the clock, but who knows. Maybe aluminium vessels do have a downside, but then you see another Austal product like the Westpac Express that is still going strong after 11 years of hard work carrying US Marines around the Pacific. Also, how is it that their commercial ferries keep on chugging around while the Armidales are struggling? Maybe they were just too small for the job. Either way, I don’t know that the experience of the Armidale class precludes other designs from being successful.

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