NAVY FOUNDATION DAY "CRESWELL ORATION"
108th. ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
Rear Admiral Stephen Gilmore AM CSC RAN
as presented, without overhead slides)
Generation Navy -
The Capability, Shape and Form of the RAN
Steve Gilmore AM CSC RAN
Australian Navy Systems Command
I begin by expressing my most sincere appreciation for being given
this opportunity to deliver the 2009 Creswell Oration.
I feel most honoured to have been asked and hope that I can provide
a presentation that matches the quality of those who have gone
before me over a number of years. I have been given the choice
of nominating my topic and I have perhaps departed from tradition
by deciding to focus on the future vice speaking on a more historical
The RAN is nearing its 100th year (in 2011) under that title and
I believe we are moving toward a watershed moment from a capability
In 2014, the Navy will begin introducing into service, two new
classes of ship that will present significantly enhanced or indeed
new capability to the ADF. From that year on, I believe the RAN
will have reached a truly balanced force structure and advanced
warfighting capability for the first time in decades - and arguably,
since being formed. I will further explain this assertion later.
I must indicate that I am not pre determining what might be provided
in the forthcoming White Paper as the Navy of 2014 is already
decided. The ships, submarines, aircraft and facilities that will
make up Navy are already in existence or are projects underway
and making way. I intend spending the majority of my presentation
talking about the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) and Landing Helicopter
Dock (LHD) projects where I unashamedly hope to wet your appetites
and provide an insight into the highly impressive capability they
I will also talk more broadly about a number of other projects
that will enhance our nation's sea power. This will include not
only Navy projects but also Army and Air Force projects with clear
I would however like to set the scene by a short review of why
sea power is so vital to Australia and what characterises the
need, shape and form of the ADF. Whilst I recognise the significant
maritime knowledge present in this venue today, I would proffer
that it is always of value to reconfirm what Seapower means to
Geoffrey Till summarises the dominance of the sea in his 2004
publication "Sea Power - A Guide to the 21st Century"1. He reminds
us that nearly ¾ of the world is covered by the sea - 350 million
square kilometres of it in fact.
It is the single largest environment on earth. The sea regulates
the planet's climate. Indeed life began in the sea and has ever
since been dominated by it. The sea is crucial to our way of life
- to our very survival as a species.
He goes on to say:
Mankind did not take to the sea for any single cause but for a
variety of reasons that are linked to the four attributes of the
- as a resource;
- as a means of transportation;
- as a means of information; and
- as a means of dominion.
I think it is instructive to remember that 70% of the earth's
population lives within 150km of the sea.
In Australia's case this statistic rises to 95%.
I am sure no one present would doubt that for our nation, the
sea is of pre eminent importance - to our history, our existence
and our future.
Standing back and looking at a map of the globe, we clearly see
the dominance of the colour blue, particularly as we focus on
our country and the region in which we reside.
As CN recently stated, 'the fundamental realities of Australia's
geographical environment dictates that our enduring national military
strategy will always be maritime in nature'.
As an island continent in a ever globalising world, we and the
many nations in the region are dependent on the sea for economic
development and well being. The interconnected nature of the world
now is such that our area of strategic interest has burgeoned
- events some distance from Australia can have a direct and rapid
effect on us. That 99% of our trade by volume and 75% by value
travels across the sea and our various Sea Lines of Communication
(SLOC's), is a most underpinning statistic.
We must remember that our trading partners are some distance away
and shipping routes pass through a number of choke points and
an archipelagic geography.
In 2006, the Bureau of Transport estimated that over the next
20 years, the volume of containerised trade passing through Australian
ports would increase steadily at 5.4% per annum.
One clear aspect of our maritime security challenge is distance.
We have a maritime jurisdictional area of some 8 million nautical
miles. While the affect of the current global financial circumstances
might alter this forecast, it is clear that protecting SLOCs will
remain vital well into the future.
Our region has been altering in strategic circumstance for some
years now and this has shaped our thinking in relation to the
Navy (and ADF) we are now developing as we march toward 2014.
Australia has previously enjoyed a qualitative capability edge
over many of the nations across the region as a consequence of
This is changing and we see considerable improvement in military
capability. Hopefully, the rise of China and India and the re
emergence of Russia will happen peacefully and result in a cooperative
Chief of Navy highlighted recently
that 'history tells us that even if large scale conflicts are
avoided, friction will manage to manifest itself somewhere that
requires military forces'.
There are many evolving or potential friction points around our
* competition for resources;
* effects of climate change;
* cultural differences;
* organised crime; and
* fragile states,
to name but a few.
Complexity and uncertainty have been identified as characterising
future threat scenarios - non state actors with increasingly impressive
capabilities are a feature of the complex environment that our
maritime forces are, and will continue to operate in.
Span of Maritime Operations
So what has all that meant in relation to the capability, shape
and form of the RAN in 2014?
It generates the circumstance where maritime forces will continue
to participate across a broad spectrum of operations.
A cursory glance of RAN activity over the past decade shows that
we have been routinely called upon to carry out operations across
the diplomatic, constabulary and military domains of established
This diagram demonstrates what these activities range from peace
to war. From border protection in our North to disaster relief
in Indonesia, counter insurgency and Maritime Support Operations
in the Northern Arabian Gulf, peacekeeping in the Soloman Islands,
intervention in East Timor and conflict in Iraq - the RAN has
There is no indication this is likely to change.
Adding to the determinant of Navy (and ADF) force structure,
is the circumstance that our geography imposes. The RAN operates
in a maritime zone that spans from the tropical to sub Antarctic
and from open ocean to the littoral. The RAN must operate over
great distance and routinely without forward operating bases.
Australian Sea Power
All that I have just covered, combines to play a significant part
in determining the capability, shape and form of Navy in 2014
and whilst I hope I have reminded us all of the need for sea power
and our own unique circumstance, there is value in recognising
what makes up sea power as it is germane in describing how the
ADF has based the plans for maritime capability around 2014.
Sea power is of course more than a Navy - albeit it is usually
a most dominant component part. We have often measured our sea
power from a purely Navy perspective and this is perhaps misleading.
Geoffrey Till highlights that sea power embraces the contribution
that other services can make at sea. He adds that it is also the
contribution that Navies make to events on land and air.
This is I believe highly relevant in the Australian context. Non
military aspects of sea use and enablers also feature in the overall
make up of a nations sea power - ship building and repair and
port infrastructure are key examples.
Over the past decade, from East Timor operations on, Australia
has moved toward a more coherent and effective joint force. This
trend will continue and most certainly be an underpinning feature
of the Navy in 2014. Air Force and Army capability has more routinely
been selected with a view on how it will contribute to a joint
force - there are maritime aspects to this which in sum will affect
our overall sea power.
Joint capability in any environment is much more than equipment
and hardware. It is realised through underpinning joint doctrine,
concepts, capability development and training - these have been
features of recent years and greatly assisted in generating credible
ADF joint capability.
The advent of a truly integrated Joint Operations Command in 2007
has heralded a monumental change for the ADF. It has meant that
the services do not conduct operations. The services now raise,
train and sustain in order to provide effective forces to a joint
command for the conduct of directed activities from humanitarian
assistance and border protection to combat operations.
This approach will be further refined over the next few years
and will be a significant characteristic of the RAN in 2014. The
New Generation Navy will see changes in structure, culture and
leadership in order to operate in this manner to an optimum level.
A Balanced Force Structure
A balanced force is clearly needed if Australia is to operate
effectively in the large areas I have indicated; across the broad
spectrum of maritime operations discussed; over the range of geographic
and climatic circumstances highlighted; and in a coherent joint
manner. The development of the various capability projects that
will present the ADF of 2014, has recognised that we cannot weight
structures to specific circumstance. The period of time necessary
to introduce or re-introduce specific capabilities make anything
less than balance a high risk scenario. A balanced force enables
the generation of combinations that allow coherent, flexible and
if necessary, graduated options to our government.
CN has referred to these 'combinations' as Capability Task Groups.
He has stated that the Task Group concept will allow us to concentrate
on developing a range of capabilities which may be incorporated
into one unit, although more likely involve the preparation of
a group of ships with the scope to include non Navy units and
An example used by CN is anti-submarine warfare where joint usage
of Airbourne Early Warning and Control Aircraft, submarines, point
defence weapons, area weapons, cooperative engagement capability
and the Aegis system might all be utilised. Only a balanced fleet
can achieve Task Group capacity.
The 2014 Fleet - Balanced Capability
I contend that in 2014 the RAN and ADF will enter a period
where a balanced maritime force structure will be achieved for
the first time in decades. Clearly the introduction of the AWD
and LHD are catalysts for that outcome in my view. Their introduction
in conjunction with other in service, evolved and Army and Air
Force projects, will signal a circumstance where we have significant
capability across a very broad range of warfare mediums.
In the past, we have indeed had very impressive capabilities in
service (perhaps best described as depth), but there have been
shortfalls in concurrent breadth For example, in the '50s and
'60s we operated aircraft carriers but did not have a submarine
force and a smaller surface combatant force than today. There
was little capacity for effective and enduring EEZ patrol, no
underway replenishment ship until '62 and no amphibious capability
- with sea lift only in existence.
In the '70s, we retained an aircraft carrier capability, had introduced
submarines although our mine counter measures capability waned
and compared to today, we operated only one tanker. By 1974, we
had lost our sea lift capacity. In the '80s the carrier was gone,
mine counter measures capability was almost non existent and only
limited amphibious capacity had been re-introduced via the heavy
landing craft and HMAS TOBRUK.
On the positive side, we had introduced more effective patrol
boats and replaced older frigates with new. In the '90s the imbalance
continued. A second underway replenishment ship was added and
further new frigates were acquired along with Seahawk helicopters.
This period however, saw no significant improvement in mine warfare,
amphibious warfare or anti-submarine warfare capability. In 2009,
we are a much better balanced force.
The achievement of this balance began during the last nine years.
Specifically we have evolved an increasingly capable submarine
force, introduced a capacity for Army battle group size amphibious
operations developed and achieved a most credible offshore patrol
and response force.
An effective mine counter measures force and further evolved at
sea replenishment complement an increasingly potent frigate force.
That said there are still some shortfalls
area air warfare,
* ASW, and
* expeditionary operations
The introduction of AWD and LHD will go a long way to address
these shortfalls and further develop the balance. There is also
some quality in quantity and we are already operating more commissioned
ships than at any other time since World War II. This is amplified
by multi crewing and the distribution of the fleet around the
The Joint Contribution
The balance I have mentioned is being further improved by a number
of significant Air Force projects that will deliver maritime capability.
Specifically, those are the F/A18 Super Hornet, F35 Lightning
II Joint Strike Fighter, Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft, KC3OA air to
air tanker fleet, ongoing improvements to the impressive AP3C
Orion's and the likelihood of uninhabited aerial vehicles in the
maritime surveillance role. Army aviation capability is on the
rise with the introduction of the MRH 90, Tiger Armed Reconnaissance
helo and upgraded and additional Chinooks. All are capable of
operating from the LHD's in large numbers and this is a significant
Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyer
So much for the theory and intent regarding the New Generation
Navy of 2014. I would now like to spend some time showing you
what our new and evolving capability will look like. Firstly the
Hobart Class destroyer. The project to deliver our next generation
of destroyer has been underway for a while.
Phase 1 was project definition between 2003-2005,
Phase 2 was design between 2005-2007; and
Phase 3 is build between 2007-2018.
In Service Support will be provided from 2014 to 2044. The AWD
will be delivered via an Alliance of the Commonwealth of Australia,
Raytheon Australia and ASC Shipbuilder Pty Ltd. Contract Signature
was achieved on 4 October 2007 for a project of $8 billion that
will see delivery of:
Ship 1, HMAS Hobart in late 2014;
Ship 2, HMAS Brisbane in early 2016; and
Ship 3, HMAS Sydney by mid 2017.
The project is currently on track with preliminary design review
conducted as scheduled in Dec 2008.
Simply stated, the endorsed purpose for the AWD is to achieve
'Sea Control, in conjunction with other ADF or Coalition, Maritime,
Air and Land Forces'. I might add to what degree it can rely on
others is important - as it may have to perform any of the missions
on its own at times, for example, if out of range of land based
air cover or support Achieving sea control forms the basis for
the AWD Capability Definition.
The Defence endorsed primary missions of the AWD are to control
the area air environment; facilitate ADF interoperability; control
the surface and sub-surface environment; protect shipping; collect
and evaluate intelligence information; provide sustained presence;
deliver operational and tactical land strike; deliver strategic
strike; and enable interoperability with coalition forces.
Quite obviously, principle amongst these missions is control of
the area air environment although the others are of clear import.
As you can see they span the various warfare mediums and show
the AWD's key contribution to achieving sea control in a joint
As you would expect the AWD, like all major combatant ships will
also be required to conduct a range of secondary missions in support
of various standing government policy and directions. These include
constabulary operations, Defence aid to the civil community, collection
of environmental data, service protected/ assisted evacuations
and diplomatic roles.
This view (picture not included) shows the many component parts
of the Hobart Class, warfare system. At 7000 tonnes full load
displacement, these ships are of World War II light cruiser size.
The ships will be 146m in length, have a top speed of 28 knots
and a range of over 5000NM at 18 knots. They will have a combined
diesel and gas turbine propulsion system and accommodation for
up to 234, with space for a Task Group Commander and staff, as
well as aircrew and trainees. The impressive size of these destroyers
is well demonstrated when compared to the FFG7 and ANZAC class
The combat capability of the Hobart class is based on the highly
impressive state of the art Aegis system which incorporates the
AN SPY 1 D (V) phased array radar enabling advanced long range
air defence, capable of engaging multiple aircraft and missiles
in excess of 180km. For closer range and very low level target
detection, the ships will also be equipped with a horizon search
The Aegis system can detect and manage up to 90 targets simultaneously
out to a distance of some 600km.
In conjunction with the horizon search radar and EW suite, the
AWD will utilise its 48 cell missile launcher holding 40 SM2 long
range weapons and 32 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM) along
with an Electronic Attack (EA) system, Nulka Active Electronic
Counter Measure (AECM) decoys and gunnery systems for air defence.
Cannister launched Harpoon Block 2 anti-ship and land attack weapons
and the single 5" 62 calibre gun capable of firing extended range
rounds to 50+ NM, will present formidable surface strike and naval
gunfire support capability. An impressive ASW suite including,
for the first time in the RAN, a surface borne towed array sonar,
as well as a hull mounted sonar, torpedo defence system, internally
launched ASW torpedoes and a helicopter with sensors and weapons,
will be fitted to the Hobart Class.
The inclusion of the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) is
another first for the ADF.
This advanced system links C2, sensor and weapon grids of fitted
units (to include all 3 ships and potentially RAAF AEWC aircraft),
enabling a capacity to fire weapons from one unit by another and
share a vast amount of data.
This view demonstrates the impressive size of the AWD very well
I think. In a quick visual canter through parts of the ship, this
first view shows the 48 cell vertical launch missile 'farm' and
5" 62 cal gun on forecastle.
The AWD will have internally launched torpedo tubes within the
weapon magazine for ease of re-load. The Aegis system in the Ops
room is the heart of the ship's combat capability.
The principle command displays from where the ship will be fought
provide impressive visual fusing of the many sensor systems. A
highly automated and well layed out Bridge will enable effective
manoeuvring in the open ocean and littoral environments.
The modern world of a stoker - the AWD's MCR is more like a sophisticated
operations room. The ships are well fitted out for crew habitability.
This view shows the Wardroom dining space. The Wardroom recreation
space or ante room is functional and comfortable. The Junior Sailors
dining space is both spacious, functional and modern.
JP 2048 Ph 4A/B - CANBERRA Class Amphibious Ships
So on to the Canberra Class Amphibious ships or LHDs. At 27,000
tonnes these ships will be the largest warships to have been operated
by the RAN (by comparison, the aircraft carrier HMAS MELBOURNE
was 20,000 tonnes) They introduce a capacity for true expeditionary
operations and enable the embarkation, transport, landing, command
and support of a land force of up 1000 personnel per ship. They
will have extremely impressive joint C2 facilities which will
enable the coordination of significant forces in a dynamic war
The programme to introduce the ships has begun with first steel
already cut. The hulls will be constructed by Navantia in Spain
as a follow on to the lead ship for the Spanish Armada, the Juan
Carlos. The superstructure and combat system installation will
occur at the BAE shipyard at Williamstown in Melbourne. The first
ship (CANBERRA) will be delivered to Australia in mid 2012, with
initial operational release or IOR intended for Jan 2014. It is
not long before we shall peer upwards from a wharf at these impressive
ships! This computer generated graphic gives a very good impression
of the size of the CANBERRA Class.
The aviation facilities are clearly dominant. A large flight deck
with launch and recovery spots for six medium size helo's is shown.
As the design is intended to be utilised as an alternate aircraft
carrier by the Spanish Armada, they are fitted with a ski jump
arrangement at the bow to facilitate the launch of STOVL aircraft
such as the Harrier or JSF. The ship can carry a large number
of aircraft - up to 16 each in an amphibious role or two dozen
or so if used more exclusively in an air operations capacity.
Considerable space exists for the carriage of vehicles and this
includes the full breadth of current and future Army inventory
from land rover to Abrams tank. Importantly, for the first time
in the RAN,the CANBERRA Class will have a floodable dock aft from
which four organic landing craft can operate. The dock allows
for waterborne activity in an increased sea state as it provides
a 'sheltered harbour' for these key ship to shore 'connectors'.
The government has recently announced the selection of the Spanish
designed LCM 1E class as the organic water craft for the CANBERRA
class. These vessels are able to reach speeds of over 20 knots.
Four will be carried in each LHD and they can accommodate all
current and forecast equipment including the Abrams tank. The
first craft will be delivered in April 2013 allowing time for
test, evaluation and training prior to entry into service of the
SEA 1448/1348 - Enhanced FFH
The two 'big' projects are not all that will deliver increased
capability by, or during 2014. Our ANZAC Class frigates are expected
to receive a significant upgrade under the forthcoming Anti-Ship
Missile Defence (ASMD) project along with a number of other improvements
now underway. Perhaps central to the new generation ANZAC, is
the installation of the Australian designed and built CEAFAR active
phased array radar and the associated CEAMOUNT fire control radar.
Together they will present significant capability to detect, track
and engage multiple air targets. At least 10 air targets can be
engaged simultaneously by evolved sea sparrow missiles and the
5 inch gun system. Fitting of the Harpoon block 2 anti-submarine
missile (ASM), mine and obstacle avoidance sonar, as well as a
range of networking systems and the SAAB new combat management
system (shown above), will underpin a capacity to effectively
operate in the complex littoral environment. After highly successful
trials of CEAFAR at sea in 2008, HMAS PERTH will be the first
ship to receive the CEAFAR/ CEAMOUNT system during the course
of 2009/10. The majority of the class will be completed by 2014.
SEA 1429/SEA 1439 - Collins Class Improvements
The COLLINS Class submarine has been undergoing substantial
upgrade and improvement during recent times. A programme to replace
the much discussed combat system with a joint (US/ Australia)
evolved system now being fitted to the latest American nuclear
powered attack subs is underway. HMAS WALLER received this system
during 2007/ 2008 and has proven it as highly successful in recent
trials. HMAS FARNCOMB is also now at sea with the system. The
upgrade programme has also seen the installation of the latest
USN torpedo - the MK 48 advanced capability CBASS weapon - also
recently proved with WALLER sinking an ex USN Destroyer with a
single torpedo off Hawaii last year. Planned development of the
EW and comms system will have also occurred by 2014. The COLLINS
Class is now well and truly second to none and a significant part
of the balanced fleet.
ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY ESTABLISHMENTS
I have included this slide to highlight the extensive shore
support footprint Navy enjoys. Our Navy establishments enable
capability generation providing facilities that train our people,
allow maintenance and repair of our ships as well as support and
accommodation to personnel.
The 11 commissioned establishments and 3 regional HQ's are providing
this support right now with a number soon to receive extensive
upgrades in order to play their part in a new generation Navy.
Introduction Of great interest and relevance to this gathering
is I believe, the physical plans for HMAS CRESWELL. A vital establishment
which has at times however had a future characterised by uncertainty
- particularly during the late 80s/ early 90s after the opening
of ADFA, some aspects of the establishment are feeling the test
of time. Last year a project to address the full gamut of facility
short comings was approved. Before giving you a feel for what
the upgraded CRESWELL will look like it is important to understand
what the College now does or will do.
CRESWELL / RANC TRAINING - 2014
In 2014, CRESWELL will be a very busy commissioned naval establishment
and a principal Navy training institution.
While maintaining its mantle as the 'Cradle of Officer Training'
in the RAN, the Royal Australian Naval College will be intimately
involved in providing or managing other important training programs.
The CO of CRESWELL will continue to be the 'Training Authority
- Initial Training, Leadership and Management' (TA-ITLM), responsible
for the oversight of both the Officers' and Sailors' 'Leadership,
Management and Personal Development' (LMPD) training continuums.
This slide shows the ever evolving range of training undertaken
at CRESWELL. By 2014, the review of the Sailors' LMPD training
continuum currently underway will have been completed and new
promotion courses will be in place. It is forecast that the 'Chief
Petty Officer Promotion Course' and the 'Warrant Officer Promotion
Course' will be delivered as residential programs at CRESWELL;
while the 'Leading Seaman & Petty Officer Promotion Courses' will
be conducted at 'Sailors Leadership & Management Faculties' (in
the East and West).
The Current State
Beginning in June this year, the $83 M redevelopment will
change the face of RANC.
Cerberus and Geelong Houses - present and future
Perhaps the most obvious change is in fact a visual return to
the past. The top view shows how part of the College looks today.
For some of us here we see the obvious omission of what was known
as Geelong House - it is where the small demountable 'Gunroom'
building stands on the left and it was a mirror image of the now
abandoned Cerberus House on the right. The redevelopment will
see a most impressive facility constructed that will externally
look like the old building and return symmetry and heritage to
the College. With the redevelopment of CRESWELL will come modern
instructional and office facilities; a new gymnasium and indoor
pool; and additional accommodation. This will allow the cornerstone
of the College, New Entry Officers Course (NEOC), to cater for
increased numbers. By providing accommodation for over 150 trainees,
a sixth Division - will be stood up. In addition, a number of
other Initial Entry Officers Courses will be conducted to train
lateral entry officers from Allied Navies; those commissioned
from within the Service; Reserve Officers; and to give those proceeding
straight to university studies (other than ADFA) an introduction
to the Navy.
PHYSICAL FITNESS CENTRE
This slide shows another key outcome of the redevelopment
- the physical fitness centre and indoor pool. This centre will
be a first class facility that can accommodate the increased numbers
of personnel at the base. Closing Remarks I think that VADM Creswell
would have been particularly impressed by the Naval College that
he originally saw introduced into service and now bears his name.
On that note, I will conclude my presentation and hope that I
have painted a picture of our New Generation Navy and provided
a portal into the RAN and ADF maritime capability, shape and form
in 2014. Thank you I should be delighted to take questions.
1. Geoffrey Till, Seapower, A Guide for the Twenty - First
Century (Frank Cass Publishers, London, 2004) p. 6-7.
2. VADM Russ Crane, Speech to Australian Strategic Policy Institute
on 5 Nov 08
3. VADM Russ Crane, Speech to Australian Strategic Policy Institute
on 5 Nov 08
4. Geoffrey Till, Seapower, A Guide for the Twenty - First Century
(Frank Cass Publishers, London, 2004) p. 4.