Virginia class intial AUKUS subs

Despite internet chatter to the contrary, Reuters is reporting Australia will buy three Virginia class subs with an option of two more. These will be delivered in the 2030’s as a stop-gap, before building a new design based on the British SSNR advanced Atute with American systems and technology. These will be built in Australia with British and American assistance.

No official announcement until Monday, just Reuters reporting.

Wonder what block the second-hand Virginias will be ?
Providing there is no war with China before then, and the US ends up short on subs

Very concerning Lew.

This entire process will absorb 84% of our current annual defence budget. The prospect of building boomers in South Australia is a political sop and will be severely delayed allied with significant cost blowouts. Lessons should be learnt from the Hobart class DDG and the now redundant Collins Class boats.

My understanding is that the USN is not in a position to release the serving Virginia class boomers and that the four dockyard labour constraints are keeping new tonnage to 1.3 units per annum. Why would the USN compromise their capacity? The better solution in the short term would be to lease two Virginaia class boats with USN crews and base them at Fremantle. They would have dual purpose and be instantly effective.

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Leasing gear from the USA has always worked for OZ
What happened to the idea of buying Jap subs, the quietest in the world?

( yes I know its not how useful the gear you buy its what the opposition panics over)

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Hello powerabout,

Very good question on the Japanese boats.

“ The whole debacle had its genesis in Liberal leadership tensions: Tony Abbott had the correct idea to purchase the vessels off-the-shelf from overseas — probably Japan — at a considerably lower cost. But his persistently bad polling, especially in South Australia, and the need to shore up the support of South Australian MPs in a coming leadership battle with Malcolm Turnbull, saw him change his mind and plump for building them locally — despite knowing that would add 30-40% to the price.

So, yes, we’ve already wasted billions and will waste many more, all because of an unsuccessful effort by Tony Abbott to save his leadership. Of such things is history made.

There’ll also be a break fee, of course, for tearing up the contract. A figure being touted is $400 million. If Naval Group is happy with such a small sum, that will be very surprising indeed — especially if Morrison blindsided the French, who now join the Japanese in having been dudded by Australia’s village idiot-level defence industry policy.

Bernard Keane

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Perhaps the thought that OZ will have nuclear powered subs that could carry nukes is enough to scare the enemy away…
No money down just headlines… saved billions.

Virginia class are SSN, fast attack boats. They carry missiles in vertical launchers but they are small missiles like Tomahawks.

The upcoming Columbia boats will be SSBNs and replacements for the Ohio class.

Would be interested to read about that. Specifically, range/speed capabilities until they need to snorkel to recharge the batteries (when that whole quietest title wouldn’t apply).

If you guy’s goal is to project power all the way to China, nuke boats are the way to go.

Anyway, do you have any links regarding these Japanese boats?

The problem is that we appear to have champagne tastes on a beer budget.

Your US defence budget, with an annual GDP of around $Aus40t, is apparently about to go to around $AUS 1.3t pa. whilst the Australian annual defence budget, with a GDP of $AUS2.3t, stands at $AUS43b pa. The procurement of these boomers is forecast to absorb 85% of our annual defence budget for the next 15 years even before the inevitable massive cost blowouts.

It would be smarter to lease a couple of your Virginia class boats along with USN crews and base it in Fremantle. This would indicate that the boats are ready for immediate deployment……anywhere……and we could start the massive task of training Australian naval personnel.

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Well summed up.

Well, I tell you this…if boats get homeported in Freemantle, sign me up…I stopped there in 02 or 03 and had a great time. Aussies know how to have a good time!


You would be most welcome anytime!

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Regarding this, it looks like the deal that fell through was for 10 Soryu class boats for 18.7B. Wiki had those boats AIP endurance test at 6100nm @ 6.5 kts, so that gets you well in play for operations near the Chinese coast.

Sōryū-class submarine - Wikipedia

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Problem was a report on the growing Chinese satellite coverage and AI ability, to be able to spot snorkeling boats in near real time (wake and wave analysis of the snorkels). This made diesel-electric boats, particularly those in transit to patrol areas very vulnerable and for some purposes, obsolete.

China is now going to pressure neighbouring countries, particularly Indonesia and China- sympathetic (debt trapped) countries, to go to the UN to try and oppose AUKUS boats on nuclear proliferation grounds.

I suspect the UN will fold to China and China will continue it’s bullying unopposed. This will ultimately lead to a full scale, possibly nuclear war before 2049.

So don’t sweat the price. :wink:

Chinas internal problems will just get worse over the next years and decade hopefully will just make it go away or internal war for leadership. The commie model of economics has failed and their Mao wannabe has just about turned the whole world against them.

Good points. In addition, the AIP range mentioned in this thread may be irrelevant since the latest models of that boat are no longer fitted with the Stirling propulsion system and now use lithium batteries. This means more frequent snorkeling and opportunities for ASW forces to locate them. It looks to me like the stealth range might be just great enough to deliver the boat within ASW range.

A question for the brains trust…….

Why do you believe that Japan and South Korea were not invited into the AUKUS security agreement?

  1. Decision makers in Australia decided they had to have nuclear powered boats to meet their strategic goals.

  2. Pressure from China. Would be kind of a slap in the face of China to have counties very near them exporting big time weapons systems to a country who makes no secret it’s trying to counter China.

Those would be my guesses.

Thanks for your response.

Firstly, it is a little wayward to refer to our bureaucratic policy makers as decision makers. The historical Australian procurement processes are steeped in stupidity.
My understanding is that Japan and UK have just signed a defence agreement allowing them to deploy forces in the respective countries.
Japan has a defence agreement with the USA.
South Korea has an inherent defence relationship with the US over North Korean concerns.
It is time for Japan and South Korea to mend relations.
Australia has strong relationships with both ROK and Japan.
In the meantime North Korea, China and Russia share common borders and are out of control.

all one man dictator ships, all doing well economically, lol l and certainly run with no regard for their populations.

All nuclear armed and prepared to invade other countries for territory

All communist

I can only see this ending one way.