Australia to acquire nuclear boats

Perhaps we should be investigating the employment of well advanced drone technology in lieu of nuclear submarines.

I think that was part of the deal too. The Loyal Wingman drone is an example of a joint US and Australian project

Perhaps we should be investigating the employment of well advanced drone technology in lieu of nuclear submarines.

I think drones are a very bad idea. Too much like a vdeo game and divorced from the realities of war.
I’m for going back to swords and axes. Any coward can pull a trigger from a distance. Swords and axes? That’s up close and personal which rightly gives one pause before attacking.


It looks like China will have to create a fake war as they cant find anybody to fight to make the huge social unrest problem go away that they are about to have…
With 100% control of their population they could pull it off.

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“…France shouldn’t have been surprised that Australia canceled a submarine contract, as major concerns about delays, cost overruns, and suitability had been aired officially and publicly…”

Now that really is funny.

If they think there were major concerns about about delays, cost overruns, and suitability before, they are in for a major shock of seismic proportions when the American defense industry gets its fingers into the Aussie nuke pot. And this time very little will be “aired” officially or publicly. National security you know.


9 BILLION USD for one Columbia class submarine that’s without cost overruns. Seems cheaper to put the money in the bank and pay whatever mysterious force you are afraid of not to attack you when the time comes. If push comes to shove if one has mobile land based intercontinental nuclear missiles why worry? MAD


China’s already our big lean holder…we just print more money…

No, actually Japan holds the most US Treasuries unless something has changed recently. What does that mean? It mean Japan, China, other countries along with me who hold US bonds believe we will be paid back. How much collateral did the US governments give us? ZERO. No country or I was given anything of real value in return for our investment, we just got a promise. If we lose our investment? Well, that’s our fault for believing in the USA. There is nothing tangible we can do to reclaim our investment. Should that happen the financial markets will dissolve and we will all be uniformly f**ked. The chances of that happening? Near zero because the people that run the USA have the most to lose


It’s a shit deal. Should have joined Norway and Germany in the new Type 212CD project and just payed USA to base a couple of Virginias out of Darwin.

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At an underway price of around USD $400 million apiece they probably cost less than the kickbacks and cost overruns on a single nuke boat. US defense contractor bonuses probably amount to more than that.

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Had an ADF guy explain to me once the purchases are all strategic, their actual function is secondary but aligns with how many you have.
Typically the USA sells certain gear to certain countries to keep it all in check.
OZ has less numbers but we are the only external customer that can by just about anything from the USA.
For example, the regions F18’s have low spec packages but the ozzie ones have the top level gear so every pilot in another country knows the oz guy can track and kill say 3 low spec ones and guess what they have 60 aircraft oz has 20.
That was true 20 years ago when he told me that.

62% public approval for nuke boat deal, fairly positive for a defence contract

50% public approval for domestic nuclear power, up from 25% after Fucashima, coincidence, or collateral effect ?

The unions traditionally oppose nuclear power and are unsure as whether they will participate in the construction of nuclear boats.

Perhaps the possibility of the boats being built offshore and bought off the shelf would influence their decisions.

This may be the most sensible path.

Experienced Australian submariners have now said that we don’t have sufficient subs to train the number of crews to man the nuclear boats. We will have to get further conventional boats (from somewhere?) very soon to start to build the training pipeline for over a doubling of the qualified submariners.

Other sensible voices are saying we may never see the nuclear boats. It’s just words so far but unless room is made in the building programme for Australia at the expense of capability gaps elsewhere on delivery of US or UK hulls, nothing will happen.

We are hoping for lease/loan of nuclear boats nearing end of operational service, but from whom? Unless a sub can come long term with experienced foreign key personnel, we can’t start to train in earnest. We do have some former RN nuclear submariners, but that source cannot carry the load.

The deal was popular, and that’s good. Almost nobody thought the French deal made any sense at all. God help us if we decide to bugger around with an established design to incorporate wish lists of desirable Aussie features. That’s what we normally do so I’m not optimistic.

what would an ozzie feature be?

Beer on tap.


Australia has never simply taken a foreign design warship and left it as designed even when the ship has been built in the original country’s shipyards.

For the DDGs built ion USA, we fitted the Ikara anti submarine system instead of the US ASROC, an extra radar, and interestingly, sacrified a double officer’s cabin for an enlarged wardroom (bar).

We built the French design replenishment ship HMAS SUCCESS in Australia, but interestingly kept the French design stainless steel wine tanks but changed other features.

For submarines, no suitable conventional off-the-shelf sub exists. We wanted long range, US combat system and US weapons. We insist on high Australian build content. Fitting those into a redesigned French sub was essentially impossible. The French aren’t trusted by the US with sub secrets.

We still want those features and they would all come with the US Virginia class, but the Brits are in there for some reason or other. Getting a British boat and fitting US combat systems and weapons would entail a major redesign hence more cost. There may be many other items. I don’t know. I just know our tendency is to fiddle.

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Yes, you must pick up the lingo when ordering a beer. Your accent will indicate whether you need to be coached.

Sadly, the last tap beer I had in an Aussie war canoe was in the seventies. Old aircraft carrier converted to ‘fast troop transport’. We filled the old torpedo and bomb rooms with kegs (those bomb hoists come in handy for getting up the beer), and 26oz cans for the troops.

The officers had a nice additional bar set up on the semi-enclosed quarterdeck - chiefs had theirs too up for’ard. Drinks around sunset on the laid teak decks, band playing in the background, stewards serving, bow ties of Red Sea Rig in the hot weather, then down to dinner in the Wardroom. Most gentlemanly. The diggers (soldiers) going to and from Vietnam appreciated the style and were somewhat jealous that this was the way we went to war.

We are looking forward to new subs with potentially vast spaces for canned beer. Probably won’t have to be in the torpedo tubes any more. Nannies will be preaching, alcohol and nukes aren’t compatible.


A barby

Unless you can barbecue on a nuclear reactor

Probably wouldn’t have the right smoke flavour anyway, just glow.


Popular Mechanics has the best article yet explaining why Oz went with nuclear subs. The cost discussion is surprising:

[From article]…Australia…realized that conventionally-powered submarines will no longer cut it against an increasingly large Chinese Navy. …The [Chinese navy] has also increasingly ventured out of the western Pacific into the Indian Ocean, broadening the scope of a potential Australia-China conflict at sea…

…Diesel-electric submarines must carefully consider the most fuel-efficient way to reach a patrol station at long ranges, factoring in anti-submarine threats, the size of their fuel tanks, weather, and other factors along the way… nuclear submarines… can reach locations that are completely out of range for diesel-electric subs. That’s particularly valuable considering the expanding reach of the Chinese Navy…

… nuclear subs are only part of the deal. Australia will also gain access to the Tomahawk and JASSM-ER cruise missiles, LRASM anti-ship cruise missiles, and the U.S. Army’s Precision Strike Missile. The deal will also continue the Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment (SCIfire), a U.S.-Australian research partnership to develop an Australian-made hypersonic missile. While France produces the SCALP cruise missile, it lacks a long-range anti-ship missile with a payload that can inflict serious damage on a large warship like a Chinese aircraft carrier. It also lags in hypersonic missile technology.

… Australia was set to pay $66 billion for a total of 12 French-designed submarines, or over $5 billion per submarine (the original price was $40 billion). Although that includes the cost of setting up Australia-based production lines, infrastructure, and the means to service the sub fleet, that’s an extremely high price tag for just 12 subs. The U.S. Navy could buy up to 20 highly capable Virginia -class nuclear submarines for the same price, although the comparison is an apples-to-oranges one because the Navy wouldn’t have to pay for infrastructure costs…