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David MacDonald

 So, the Royal Australian Navy is planning 9 Type 26 Frigates and 8 SSNs – well done them! Why, therefore, is the Royal navy to have only 8 Type 26 Frigates and 7 Astute Class SSNs?

PS: the type 31 “Frigate” impresses me not at all. It is a gunboat with a small gun and no sonar.

Devonian

We have and are upgrading 6 T45 and plan to replace with the T83. We have and are replacing 4 SSBN that need building, supporting and crewing.

And, a navy announcing intent to build a certain number of vessels does not necessarily mean they will get built, especially at such an early stage in the procurement process as the RAN are at.

Mac

The Australians don’t have to pay for an SSBN deterrent.

David MacDonald

Our GPN is twice that of Australia.

David MacDonald

In fact, nearly 3 times as much.

Mac

GDP size is irrelevant. All that matters is how of a % of GDP a country is willing to spend on Defence.

Both the UK & Australia are only willing to spend ~2%…and the UK’s 2% has to stretch a lot further.

David MacDonald

2% of 100 is 2. 2% of 250 is 5.

dick van dyke

Another % fact for you to think about, Australia is 3000% larger than the UK ( i looked it up out of interest ) like the UK, it is surrounded by water so I guess having a few more of certain navy assets probably makes sense.

Dave G

To be fair, if an amphibious force landed on the wrong side of Aus, its a bloomin long walk to capture canbarra even if you drive till you run out of petrol first…. Not even mentioning the drop bear threat 😉

D J

It was said that Japan actually landed a small exploratory force in north west Australia. It appears that they met more than the feared drop bear (actually it appears, they met outback Australia & decided no-one in their right mind could possibly live here & went home). If only they had known that 4,000km away (small detail of a couple of deserts in between), they could have been surfing at Bondi beach. If only their mothers had done the packing they quite possibly could have made it.

Duker

UKs 2% is a bit of creative accounting
Heres numbers for 2019/20 £39.8 bill

£7.3 bill for depreciation impairments and writeoffs.
£12.8 bill Personnel
£16.7 bill Equipment support, inventory, War Pensions
£6.9 Bill new equipment
£3.5 bill infrastructure and ‘other costs’

As you can see £7.3 bill is just an accounting transfer , not spending
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/defence-departmental-resources-2020/mod-departmental-resources-2020

OkamsRazor

Not sure how you can creatively account to international standards! Silly comment.

Pmichael

There is such thing as international standard

Duker

We are interested in UK defence spending, not the financial statements of the MoD

Duker

Whats the US budget item in Defence for depreciation ?
It get its an accounting method , but it hides the actual yearly cash spending.
It like public companies..’profit’ often is meaningless when its free cash flow -absent the accounting fripparies that matter more

Grant

But it has three times as many mouths to feed… and our mouths seem lazier and think everything is a free l7nch

X

True. But the costs of deterrent aren’t that large. We have a ‘nuclear submarine capability’ than builds boats. We wouldn’t have the SSN’s if we didn’t have the SSBN’s. The largest chunk annual cost of deterrent is Aldermaston not running the boats. It used to be about a billion all in with only a quarter being for the RN. Nuclear weapons are cheap. The biggest cost for the submarine programme was when the government interrupted the drumbeat instead of just keeping things going.

dick van dyke

May I suggest a quick Google search, Wiki is fine, You’ll then see what the current Fleet consist’s of and be able to compare with the RN, plus you will see they lack certain assets like the two Carriers and 4 V class boats, I also think they are waking up to the possible threat posed by China with whom relations are strained.

X

9 T26 with AEGIS………..

……and Hobarts with ASW too.

Last edited 1 month ago by X
Cam

And RAF are buying “9” P8 Poseidons Australia 14 with more to order. RAF buying “3” e7 wedgetails Australia Bought 6 with option for more.

X

And those E7’s operate to enhance the JORN OTH radar system. Find it, fix it, kill it.

Something Different

The UK military has a broader spectrum of capability and commitments. It has twice the number of air warfare destroyers, four SSBNs vs zero, two 65,000 ton proper carriers with F35s vs two much smaller helicopter flattops etc.

X

It has twice the number of air warfare destroyers

RAN T26 are going to sea with AEGIS. That mean the RAN will have 12 area air warfare hulls. And the Hobarts go to sea with a full set of ASW sonars, STWS, and Seahawk with dipping sonar.

You can’t really lump in a ‘nuclear weapons’ as a combat capability.

The RAN are busy around the world as the RN is busy.

You may have point re the carriers. But I would say proper carriers are CTOL and QE’s are really large aviation support ships of type all their own.

Duker

By AEGIS for the RAN T26 , that just means combat system software library.

By that definition LCS is AEGIS too as they have the same basic AEGIS modules building blocks

RAN T26 wont have the US SPY radar like the RCN T26 will have.

RobB

And how do you know that RAN CEAFAR radar isnt better than US SPY radar? Where is the public information on that? Which SPY? For example, SPY 1 is PESA, CEAFAR is AESA.

Steve

Because no one else has bought CEAFAR?

RobB

Has anybody else bought SAMPSON?

Steve

Classic deflection.

X

It will have the ability to fire SM-x missiles and it will use the CEAFAR2 phased array radar. It doesn’t have to use SPY-x. It will be an AEGIS ship. It will be a class ahead of T26 with Sea Ceptor and will be updated in the future. What do you think AEGIS is actually?

Deep32

Zeus’s shield!!!
Sorry mate, couldnt resist.

X

🙂

Gunbuster

Aegis is a command system.
DNA2 is a command system
both are dependent on what inputs from sensors they receive and what weapons are tied into it.

The latest iteration of CEAFAR in service with the RAN replaces 2 analogue radars. I have been told first hand that the replacement cost of a damaged CEFAR Flat Panel is approx 5mil AuD. As there are now 12 panels on a mast thats a lot of money!
As fitted to the current ANZACs and because they currently use ESSM they still need an illuminator. that will change as the new ESSM comes online.

It also needs a massive amount of cooling to be sent up the mast to cool the arrays as the heat generated in what used to be the bearing head is ridiculous. i have been up there and it is not a pleasant place to be.

X

That is why USN engineering uses chilled water for that reason.

Hunters will be still be able to throw Standard Missiles as well as ESSM. And will be using an evolving system in AEGIS. That is an area system.

D J

The biggest difference between UK T26 & the Australian & Canadian versions is the radar. Both the Australian & Canadians are going for very high end ASEA radars – UK decidedly not. While the CMS is important, it needs the sensors to feed it the data to make it shine.

A ship with a Scanter radar & AEGIS will not match C-Flex with Samson.

Supportive Bloke

The cut-outs in the sides of the top of the radar mast are interesting?

David Broome

This bagging of the Type-31 is tiresome.

Given I-SSGW will likely find its way to them and an expansion in the number of Sea Ceptor cells during refits likely, these are powerful vessels with top weight to grow. If a basic towed sonar array ( e.g. Captas-1) was added with ASW torpedos, they become excellent GP frigates for constabulary roles ie East of Suez and to work with the Littoral Strike Group noting that i-SSGW has a land strike capability.

The design looks likely to be the basis to expand fleet numbers. The design has also been sold to Indonesia too and looks ideal for the RNZN that could see 2 or 3 built here in the UK.

If we had it your way we’d likely only gain 1 extra Type-26, reducing frigate numbers to just 9 in a fleet that’s already over stretched. How is that a good thing?

Last edited 1 month ago by David Broome
Sunmack

There’s a lot of “ifs” there none of which are guaranteed

OOA

Perhaps.. hope so.. The lack of a sonar feels like a fatal flaw however.

STKS

I wonder if there would be possibility for the UK to boost it’s Astute numbers with Australian built boats…

Mac

No point.

Like the article hinted at, the Astute replacement could be a shared design for the UK & Australia.

STKS

Don’t think the Australians can wait that long. Collins class needs replaced now. But if we can get another SSN or two to boost numbers while barrow works on Dreadnought, that’d be a big help, both for the RN and Australia who get to build more vessels.

BB85

The Australians want work to start by 2023, I don’t think anything will enter service before 2030. Work should already be underway for the astute replacement now the dreadnought design has been finalised. It’s a good time for Australia to join the program as they will likely get a bigger cut of the pie than they would have from France.

Steve

How is 2023 possible? They were struggling to cut steel on Attack by 2022, and they have just increased the complexity of this program by a significant margin. ASC will need another refit to build the bigger boats, a nuclear fuel handling infrastructure will need to be created (no small task), and they still have to sell this to the Australian electorate, where there is a significant bias against anything nuclear. The last might be the most critical, or this program may not survive a change in government.

Tim Hirst

Very true. Unless both main parties offer at least some level of support this venture will die and the RAN sub service will to up sh1t creek.
SM’s government was on shaky ground before Covid. With the initial success in controlling c19 turning sour there is a significant chance of a change in government at the next election which is due next year.

Richard Broniman

Australians are wising up to the huge benefits of nuclear submarines despite the adamant refusal to embark upon SSBN or even SSN with nuclear weapons. Thinking Aussies realise the SSN is the future in submarine warfare. The non-thinking Green Party and some Labor MPs are vehemently anti. As far as the Greens go they are seen as cave dwellers whilst those in Labor who are anti SSNs will have to toe the party line which is becoming far more accepting of SSNs as long as nuclear weapons are not embarked.

Tim Hirst

So a lot will come down to Labours coalition negotiations should they win but not win big next year?

Meirion x

The Nuclear component module of a SSN could be built in either UK or USA.

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion x
Dave G

If the kettle and its compartment were built in the uk or us, fuelled for the life of the boat, and shipped to Aus for assembly with the rest of the boat, how much domestic nuclear fuel handling infrastructure would actually be needed?

Caribbean

Apparently that is a significant factor in Oz going for the UK/US nuclear boats rather than the French. The fact that they won’t need to develop an onshore nuclear industry allowed the Labour party to support the move

John N

Actually the Collins class subs have plenty of life left in them.

From 2026, each boat is planned to be put through a two year life of type extension program, will add approx 10 years to each.

The project was announced, and budgeted for, a while ago.

Cheers,

Meirion x

BAEs could build a section or two of a SSN, like nuclear component, to be shipped over to Australia for assembly with sections built there.

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion x
In The Bin

The Australian want to start cutting steel end of next year, they don’t have the time for the completely new design. My guess is it will be an Astute rather than a Virginia, with the US combat systems onboard. The Astute has a smaller crew and is closer in size to the now cancelled Attack, it will fit within the existing infrastructure in Adelaide.

N-a-B

Is that the non-nuclear-rated infrastructure that is currently there?

The infrastructure that won’t be certified to work with nuclear boats?

This stuff is non-trivial.

Last edited 1 month ago by N-a-B
Duker

Werent Barracudas a French nuclear design.
I cant see them building the reactor module compartment in Australian shipyard.

Meirion x

Yes, I agree!

DJE

The Astute is also less than half the price of a Virginia Class. It does carry less weapons as the Virginia has Vertical Launched Tomahawks. Neat little article here Astute vs Virginia: Which navy has the best nuclear attack submarine? (naval-technology.com)

N-a-B

If only most of the “information” in that article was relevant or correct……..

X

I had a similar thought. It would be nice to have an 8th (and perhaps 9th) A-boat. But no not so simple. 🙁

Meirion x

Australia does not have the nuclear infrastructure like the UK has, or has specialist steel makers like Sheffield Forgemasters that have presses that can press steel for reactor containment vessels.
SF has recently brought a new press of 13000 tons to be shipped from Japan soon. A new building being built to house the new press.

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion x
dick van dyke

I want to see how many cans of Fosters, Shrimps and jars of Vegemite they can carry, that seems to be the really important bit.

John N

Do you know what? Us Aussies don’t drink Fosters, it’s cats piss, it’s a joke we’ve been playing on the rest of the world for a long time.

Cheers,

PS, we don’t call prawns shrimp either.

Cam

Ozzies say prawns not shrimps lol…

dick van dyke

I always like to wind them up mate, !!!! 🙂

Cam

Good and so you should 😆 👍

In The Bin

I can see the Astute being the hull they choose, it’s much closer in size to the just canned Attack class, only a couple of metres longer, it will easily fit within the existing ship lift and build halls in Adelaide. It also has a much smaller crew than the Virginia. The combat system will be the Lockheed system used by the US, the existing Collins and the now cancelled Attack. My guess is the nuclear reactor section of the vessel will be built in the UK, shipped to Adelaide and mated to the Australian built rest of the vessel.

DaSaint

Bingo! Astute front section to be built in Australia, and the aft reactor and propulsor section to be built in UK, mated together in Australia, with US/UK/French systems already selected for the Attack class. Allows the UK shipyard to continue production until a successor, and then the Australians just continue to buy/build the successor. Keeps the production line hot.

N-a-B

No.

  1. There is no such thing as a production line for the A-boats. Don’t confuse Devonshire Dock Hall and the NAS as such.
  2. Dreadnought is already in build. There are significant time pressures on that programme – mucking about with bits of A-boats for the Ockers is going to put that at significant risk. Particularly if you think they can just change the systems.
Last edited 1 month ago by N-a-B
Jon

Weren’t there problems with putting the new PWR3 reactors in the last batch of Astutes? I think it was looked into and the hull wasn’t big enough (but my memory might be playing tricks). I can’t see the Aussies going for the outdated PWR2 design, so I don’t think it’ll be an Astute.

This article speculates that the SSN(R) Astute replacement will be larger.

Chris

Early speculation points towards a sell of the Astute program to Aus.

Tooling will be transferred to Australia and Astutes will be built there with RR PWR2 reactors under license as BAE Barrow transitions to the Dreadnought build program. US cooperation is needed to transfer RR PWR2 tech to Australia.

Last edited 1 month ago by Chris
DaSaint

Agreed. General Dynamics assisted BAE as it is, and this keeps everyone humming along while successor US and UK SSN and SSBN replacements come on line. Perfect for industry.

4thwatch

The best thing would be for the Aussies to share one of the Astutes or have us base one there so they understand what its all about. A class HMAS Australia

eclipse

Unfortunately with only seven Astutes we don’t have the numbers to share or to send away so far. Seven submarines makes for two operational consistently, and one is needed for the CSG and another is needed for GIUK.

Gavin Gordon

US boats are planning to be based in Australia, I’ve heard.

Cam

Will Australia build more than the RN? Probably. And they did need Nuclear propulsion even if just for endurance. Would be great if they built some Astutes though but the frogs original design given to OZ had nuclear propulsion so wonder if they will use that can’t see them designing and building a completely new Submarine, surely… ps- don’t get OZ politicians to Ask dumb questions about subs again…

. The RN needs another 3 Astutes, shame Boris didn’t announce another order…

dick van dyke

To add another 3 Ass toots, would probably mean drastic cuts elsewhere, oh hang on, not much left to cut !

Cam

How about 6 off the shelf German Subs, for home waters ect ??.

And it Would be nice to see the RN back into “lots of ships and boats” again… It just really sucks having so few of everything. Let’s hope the type 83 order will be 9 minimum.

dick van dyke

Pfft, We spent two World Wars keeping the Germans out of home waters !!!!

Cam

Yeah suppose so lol

X

12 SAAB A-26. 4 of the Pelagic variant for training. And 8 Oceanic ER variants, 1 for the North, and 1 for the Med’.

Tim Hirst

Without abandoning Trident I don’t think there is capacity to build more SSN for a long time. After the SSN build there will likely be a new class of SSN incorporating most of the new technology developed for the SSBN.

Roy

I think the strategic/political signal that the UK, UK and Australia are sending with this alliance is extremely important and useful in the aftermath of the Afghan defeat and given the relentless expansion of Chinese power in the Pacific. Australia is also signalling that it takes the latter extremely seriously; the decision to try to build SSNs is now part of that.

The UK, however, does not currently have anything close to the force posture required to support a serious effort in the Pacific. The RN would have to be much larger, with far greater depth, to make this commitment strategically significant. Specifically what would be needed is a larger surface fleet, more SSNs, more F-35s, more helicopters, more P-8s, etc.. Therefore there remains a serious gap there with respect to rhetoric vs. capability. But politically, it remains an important signal.

AlexS

If Australia don’t change, this will be a disaster in making.

1 -Don’t see how this can be accomplished without a significant hike in military spending.
2 -Need change in procurement. If Australia have same internal industry offsets as in French subs and same silly behaviour not even in 2050 will have submarines.
3- Military service need being something that Australians choose, keep in mind that being a submariners is already a peculiar job even in military forces. They probably need to be the best paid job in armed forces.

Last edited 1 month ago by AlexS
D Can

Australia is significantly increasing our spending. Our army is becoming heavy mechanised, our airforce is going all in on EW and space warfare with JSF, F-18G, P8, Loyal Wingman, Gulfstream EW planes, and AEWACs. The Navy is increasing the displacement of platforms by up to 3 times.

Also since that announcement is a buy of tomahawks and JASM-ER. Both new weapons.

This was arranged between Boris and Scotty 18 months ago but they were waiting for a different US President.

Australia doesn’t have nuclear power generation but we do have a nuclear reactor that makes stuff for hospitals and industry and does experiments.

One implication is if the US will share this then maybe we can buy in to the B-21 program. The really big gap in Australian capabilities is a long range bomber.

Deep32

Yes, its a capability you lost with the retirement of your F111C fleet. TBF there wasnt really much around to replace it capability wise, both the F18 and F35 certainly dont come close in terms of combat range/payload.
I was surprised by the Aus Mod choice of F18, and thought that the F15 was perhaps a better match as a replacement- certainly much closer in terms of payload/range then the F18 could ever hope to be. All water under the bridge now, but any potential B21 buy will not be cheap, but then again nor is starting a SSN programme from scratch! Good luck with both, as they will really add some teeth to your AFs.

dick van dyke

Australian B21 Class = Boomerang Class…. well they did invent the shape !

Deep32

Yes indeed lol, I have so missed your input into these matters, it does make me giggle, – lots!
How is life down in the W country these days, I haven’t been down there for several years, too many really!

dick van dyke

Ha, I used to be all serious like, then I discovered that posting from knowledge and experience just attracted some funny types, you know the trolls, stalkers and those who knew better…. now I just pop in with the odd humorous remark just to lighten things up. Think I pulled the other night too, some creepy Bog Dweller just won’t leave me alone….. even started posting under different names, I particularly enjoy Star Trek but was a tad worried about being ” Assimilated” but “Resistance is futile” so I didn’t fight back ! Anyway, off to Roger the Cabin Boy in a while, might pop back later to see the latest Expert posts, oh and Life’s pretty bloody good here in Chopper Town thanks.

Deep32

Ah, thought you were a little further West then that. Still a nice part of the world though.
Bog dwellers, who needs them!! 😂👍

dick van dyke

I move around a bit, a moving target is harder to hit. 🙂

Supportive Bloke

“ Australia doesn’t have nuclear power generation but we do have a nuclear reactor that makes stuff for hospitals and industry and does experiments.”

Respectfully making a few medical isotopes doesn’t mean anything in terms of nuclear manufacture or handling.

The infrastructure required to even make the fuel rods would be massive.

Even making a naval reactor would be a massive undertaking

Honestly I’d see the reactor made in the UK by RR and the feeling defueling done by UK or USA.

D Can

The plan I believe is we build the hull, the US provides combat systems (as that’s what we use now), and the UK provides reactors (from RR). We want subs not a nuclear industry.

Without China’s recent behaviour this, anything nuclear, would have been unthinkable. Politically in the US and in Australia.

Deep32

Unfortunately the two go hand in hand to a greater or lesser degree, you cant have one without some form of nuclear infrastructure to support your SSN programme.
RR are busy building reactors for our Dreadnought SSBN programme, which will lead into our SSN(R) programme, not sure where if they have the capacity to build your reactors here. Some interesting puzzles to be solved!

In The Bin

TBH I believe US propaganda has turned China into a bad actor, what has China actually done wrong? It was US companies who started the mad rush to manufacture in China, it was the US who wanted China admitted into the WTO, now all of this is coming home to roost, the Chinese are proving to be much better at doing most things than the US. The US needs an enemy to keep funding the military industrial complex, more so now that the debacle in Afghanistan has finished. So it’s ratchet up a cold war with China or start a shooting war somewhere else.

X

This is all true. All I will say is the US enabling China doesn’t make China less problematic. They are each as bad the other! 🙂

Meirion x

Have you been asleep for the past decade or so!

dick van dyke

Might have been on the bog….. 🙂

dick van dyke

Personally I see China determined to avoid past horrors inflicted upon them by others. They have managed to capture the Worlds Bargain and Tat hunters by the billions whilst all the time investing in the next Dynasty…. just my thoughts though.

Sean

Seriously?
• You’ve not heard about China quashing democracy in Hong Kong and abandoning the handover treaty?
• You’ve not heard of China commuting genocide with a million Uighurs in concentration camps?
• You’ve not heard of China’s ongoing destruction of Tibetan culture and dilution of the native population with Han Chinese?
• You’ve not heard of China’s increasing military threats against democratic Taiwan?
• You’ve not heard of China’s economic boycott of Australia?
• You’ve not heard of China illegally building islands for military bases in the South China Sea?
• You’ve not heard of China’s military illegally harnessing ships travelling though international waters that China claims without any legal basis?
• You’ve not heard of China endebting third world nations so that when they can no-longer afford loan repayments they take control of ports etc?

How long have you worked for the CCP/PLA?

D J

My understanding is that the reactors will come from either UK or US. Australia will not be building or fuelling the reactors. At the end of 30 year lifespan, the reactors will be returned from whence they came. This is somewhat like Australian built (of either UK or US design) submarine but with a leased reactor (which may or may not be from the same country). This is necessary because of the use of weapons grade fuel in these reactors. ie Australia could otherwise crack them open & make nuclear weapons. A bit silly really. Australia has known how to make nuclear weapons for decades. Don’t even need breeder reactors or centrifuges. But knowing how & doing so are two seperate things. It’s a way round the NPT.

Deep32

Building and fuelling the reactor are probably the main issues that would need to be resolved before this project can move forward. Taking them back and disposing of said materials is also doable if an expensive way to deal with it.
Notwithstanding those issues, Aus will still have to significantly invest in nuclear certified infrastructure just to support the operation of any SSNs. It’s a bit more specialised then supporting SSK ops. That wont be a cheap exercise either.

D J

It won’t be cheap, but Australia does have considerable money already set aside (those French submarines weren’t going to be cheap & they are cutting numbers from 12 to 8). It also has time (it will be a while before it gets to the nuclear part), space (to build infrastructure), BAE (already a major player in Australia), UK & US government & military support. There is the small research reactor & one of the universities does train nuclear engineers (but only a handful each year). It does mean some expertise does exist.There is also the nuclear test sites in the desert from UK bomb tests. So good understanding of the consequences of getting it wrong.

As to other infrastructure, I understand (JohnN should have details), that Australia no longer has an East coast submarine base, but only a West coast base. With the original plan to build 12 Baracuda based d/e boats, there was talk of a need to build a new East coast base (12 would have been double the current numbers). I also understand that the old East coast base can’t be reactivated. This would give an opportunity to build that East coast base as SSN ready.

Taking them back is the only way of meeting the NPT. A sealed unit is supplied, it is fitted to a submarine, it spends its life in said submarine & is returned seal unbroken. Therefore Australia has not “liberated” any of that weapons grade fuel. Something akin to Germany not having nuclear weapons (what are those then – oh, their not ours, they belong to the Americans – but they are on your planes – your point being?).

The biggest problem I can see is getting enough nuclear engineers willing & capable of submarine service (without raiding the RN or USN).

Deep32

Its a given that you have the means to do this – actually Im a bit envious of the way Aus goes about procurement for its military, you seem to get what you need, where as we seem to spend loads and get well not a lot if our army procurement is anything to go by!!!

Personally I imagine that Aus will base all its future SSN force in one place, having two or more bases just ramps up the costs considerably as you need at least two of everything to support that effort. Its one of the reasons we put all our nuclear boats up in Faslane(notwithstanding any politics involved!!!). We have our own retention issues with this policy that needs to be dealt with too.

Getting enough qualified people is perhaps the easiest problem to solve, if you get enough volunteers. I can see plenty coming over to the UK/US navies on 3-4 year secondments and serving on our SMs to gain experience. The same would probably apply to any civilian engineers, going to both the UK or US facilities prior to them starting your build programme. You will always gain some people from our navies too, although probably not enough for what you need. This is all very doable in the time frame you require for your build programme, although if you lease a boat from say the US (much like India did from Russia), then it will need lots of short term assistance to get a all Aus crew up and running to man it.

D J

Having only one submarine base is a single point of failure. UK has various NATO bases to fall back on. The distance from Faslane to NewfoundLand is shorter than the distance from Australia’s west coast submarine base to its old closed east coast submarine base. From Australian west coast to east coast in a straight line is around 4,000km at its widest. One of the problems on basing submarines entirely in the west is that most of the population lives in the east. Ask any navy, submarines are the hardest branch to get crew for. Crews don’t exist in isolation.

It’s the nuclear specialists where the real problem lies. Australia does train nuclear engineers, but only a few per year. Grab 20 people off the street & shove them in a submarine for 3 months, then see how many takers you have. You train 20 nuclear engineers, the same ratio’s are likely. There is otherwise, a single research reactor. Would you sign up for the course?

Paul.P

This has Johnson and the Foreign Office written all over it. He has leveraged Biden’s and Australia’s desire to contain China, mated it fo his Brexit ‘global Britain’ mantra and engineered a major global political shift in favour of the ‘Anglosphere’ which will last for decades creating load of hi-tech ‘levelling up’ UK jobs and putting one over on the French in the process. Machiavelli would be proud. Homage.

Doug

Yep it has Johnson’s finger prints all over. A ham fisted announcement that has royally ticked off the French yet again and conflated two issues. Personally I think the Australian’s would have been better trying to renegotiate the deal they had with France. They will still have a requirement for new conventional subs at some point. They excel in littoral waters and Australia has a huge coastline to look after. That wouldn’t have stopped them from pursuing the nuclear powered option either and it would have kept the French onside during their trade talks. As for the how, whatever happens it will be massively delayed, unless we hand over a finished Astute to them. These projects are always dogged with delays. It’s all jam tomorrow, which is Johnson to a tee.

Ron5

Surely this agreement is just the US sharing with Australia the stuff that it already shares with the UK?

The chances that the UK submarine industry will benefit is minuscule in my opinion. It’s already struggling to produce the Dreadnoughts. There is no spare capacity.

Rentaghost

If the US wanted to do that, wouldn’t it just have signed a bilateral agreement with Australia? I get the (uninformed) impression that while all sides want a deeper security relationship it’s the UK who wants to sell Australia bits of SSN technology but due to the 58 agreement, need the US to sign off on?

Supportive Bloke

I think you are right.

– RR will do the reactors in the UK

– The motors and turbine/gearboxes/propeller sets will be UK made.

I wouldn’t be too surprised if quite a few bits that are out of yard fabricated we sent to AUS.

The is probably the reason that made saving Sheffield Forgemasters less of a political risk.

They cannot really economically recreate the whole nuclear infrastructure.

I’d also not be surprised if the agreement meant that the fuelling/defuelling was done in the UK or USA as recreating that would be a very major cost.

Meirion x

“The is probably the reason that made saving Sheffield Forgemasters less of a political risk.”

I thought the same, why save SF just for a few reactor’s?

bloke at the bog

You think that’s all they make ?

dick van dyke

What do you know that I don’t?

MikeD

Perhaps Australia might now be a useful place to forward base a carrier

X

Definite article not indefinite. We only have 2 of them.

dick van dyke

Or offer to build one for them ? Heck, We’re doing pretty well with Subs and Frigates after all.

Jake

Three of the five last articles on Navy Lookout describe various aspects of the strategic Indo-Pacific tilt after Brexit.

OPV´s for general duties, the CSG for high end warfare and an extended military partnership with important partners in the Pacific area is a good beginning and I´m sure there is more to come.

UK is doing very well right now given the recources available.

Supportive Bloke

UK is doing very well on naval exports

T26 -> CAN & AUS
T31 -> Indonesia
ASTUTE -> AUS
Carrier tech -> Korea

Really we are the naval tech go to.

Part of this is openly signalling we will export. UK was very wary of exporting after T42 -> Argentina……

Wendy Harbon

the point here there is only positives here for the RAN and Royal Navy, if the RAN buy an upgraded Astute class 2 SSN, it leaves the slipway open then for the Royal Navy to purchase more upgraded Astute SSN’s too.

Because the RAN and the RN Silent Services, real needs around 12 SSN’s each, to monitor both the Chinese and the Russians in the Pacific and IndiN Oceans, plus the Russians in the North and South Altanic Oceans too.

While the RN and RAN, both really need upto 12 Type 26 Frigates each too, for the same reasons, but the Royal Navy equally needs to double its number of Destroyers too.

Whether this is 6 upgraded Type 45 Destroyers, or buying 12 new so called Type 83 Destroyers, with maybe selling a few Type 83’s to RAN and maybe RCN too.

Maybe the future of warship building in the UK, is the UK, Australian, Canadian and New Zealand Governments plus Marine Aerospace Defence Industries, jointing forces, to jointly develop future warships and submarines plus unmanned naval vessels too, as a Commonwealth Naval Ship Building partnership.

After all we all speak the same language, we fight on the same side, and our military and naval histroy goes back centuries too

Stu

You a fan of the CANZUK idea by any chance?

In The Bin

CANZUK is dead in the water, if it was ever actually floating in the first place after this new deal.

Sean

Really? The current Australian administration is a fan, and the Canadian Conservative Party has it as policy – and they’re already of Trudeau in the polls…
Only doubt would be NZ under current administration.

dick van dyke

Gurka fan.

Stu

Not actually sure what’s meant by that. Care to explain?

DaSaint

Maybe the RN transfer Talent, and Triumph as interim SSNs as they leave RN service. By then the RAN should have graduated some crew from Nuke school. Should be able to get a few more years out of them, and then transition to newbuild SSNs.

Deep32

I don’t think so fella, they are both in their early 30’s, so a tad long in the tooth, well on the way to retirement.
A better option would be to take some of their Marine engineers and put them on our boats to gain experience. If this idea goes ahead, it will be many years before the Aussies get their first SSN in the water.

X

I think where as the government are happy to export nuclear technology transferring the T-boats would mean giving Australia to ‘black maskers’ and that would be a step too far.

Deep32

Just a bit!!🤣🤣

X

I remember Talent when she was new.

Deep32

So do I….

X

🙂

D Can

Historically it has adopted an anti-nuclear stance that included preventing warships from entering port if they were either nuclear powered or possibly carrying nuclear weapons.

That is New Zealand not Australia. The NZ PM has already said our news subs not welcomed.

Duker

New Zealand has the same stance as Norway and Denmark in Nato
No nukes on their soil or in their ports

Duker

SEA 1000 project, in April 2016 signed a A$50 billion contract with the French Naval Group to build up to 12 Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A boats.”
A bit misleading

Australia only had development and workshare pre contract. The final build contract was supposed to be signed in the next month or so.

The Design and Mobilisation Contract was signed between the Commonwealth and Naval Group on 30 September 2016,

‘The Commonwealth Government formally signed the strategic partnering agreement (SPA) with NAVAL Group in February 2019 ahead of confirming the final design specifications and requirements for the Attack class submarines.

D J

As an Australian Admiral put it, the contract was designed with a series of gates. This was at the point of the last gate, where Australia decided not to open that gate. As per the contract, they were entitled to not continue at any one of the gates. If they had opened the final gate, they would have needed a better reason to cancel than ‘I’ve changed my mind’.

Duker

Watch the French turn this into $bills for cancelled contract award. Just like ‘they’ made sure UK had to pay £bill many years after leaving EU

Phillip Johnson

The Australian Government of current colour, if not the same people, announced in 2017 an Australian Shipbuilding Initiative intended to replace the RAN Frigates, Submarines and Patrol Vessels. To date that Plan has produced nothing not even the first rather simple OPV.
Now 6 months before an election, said government has torn up its current Submarine replacement Contract even though the first of the existing RAN Collins Class Submarines will reach 30 years of age in 2026 and all 6 will reach that milestone by 3032.
No replacement contract exists, no SSN design has been selected and what was announced yesterday was a plan to have a plan, in about 18 months.
To fill what can only be described as yawning gap the Australian Government intents to do a Life of Type Extension (LOTE) on the Collins class, yet to be scoped, to push the Collins class out to and beyond their 40th birthday.
The above is a fair summary of the submarine situation in Australia. I cannot see anything good in it. The Chinese must be rolling in isles with laughter. .

X

True. But base designs for the frigate and OPV have been chosen. The French SSK was a bad choice as everybody said at the time. And now Australian government both federal and state is obsessed with Covid. One would imagine more would have happened by now if it weren’t for the latter.

Jon

As you say, the potential gap will be filled, so why can it only be described as a yawning gap? I’m sure you could fill the cliché gap with an alternative.

There are worse situations for Australia to be in. If the Barracudas were seen to be a disaster in the making, the Aussies got this right. I only wish the MoD would have shown similar backbone with Ajax.

RobB

‘no SSN design has been selected’
The fact that the UK features so prominently in this announcement, and that Australia is in a hurry to get new submarines, points to Australia getting more or less off-the-shelf Astutes. The only change one can see happening is the incorportion of a US combat system. But the Aussies already have that in the Collins class and are fully familiar with how to transfer it to another platform. So the chances are that alot of homework has been done behind the scenes, and that there is a fairly well-developed plan in existence, that so far hasnt been revealed.

Clint

The first two OPV’s are running 6 months behind due to COVID, Arafura is due to be launched by the end of the year, 3 years after keel laying, the 3rd has had its keel laid in Perth, as the first two were being built in Adelaide to keep worker skills up while the transition to Hunter Class building began.

3 years from Keel to launch for a new class build isn’t too bad when you include all the COVID delays and issues facing just about every major programme globally.

Hunter class prototype steel cutting has commenced and the upgrades at Osborne for the build finished, again COVID delays are running at about 6 months, but it is also believed due to recent announcements of major weight increases in Hunter that defense is possibly enlarging the VLS count from the original 32 cells, hopefully to 48.

As for Attack, defense has been having major issues with Naval Group and the culture differences between France and Oz, with delays mounting in the design and SPA phases. With steel on Attack planned for 2023 that was looking increasingly unlikely.

Highly likely it will be Astute MkII with US combat system, sonar etc as was to be used on Attack, and the PWR3 reactors, since they are an all contained system that does not require refueling unless you exceed the planned service life (30 years)

Phillip Johnson

On the Hunter Class the speculated delay, Aust DOD hasn’t made a definitive statement but it has been pretty well leaked, is that as a work in progress the UK drawings are not yet stable enough to use as a base of the mods the RAN want to make. That is hardly surprising when you compare the size of the RN radar mast with the size of the RAN radar tower.
.

AlexS

Nuclear and submarine engineers don’t fall from trees. How many years to have a finished design? 3-4 at minimum, Then production. Well producing in country like Australia there have no submarine industry will be another fun.
All is set for contractors get a very number on desperate politicians from taxpayer money.

And that with technological, strategic, political and cultural background changes that are fast evolving. Submarine production is too much slow for current world.

Cam

I wonder how many Nuclear submariners the Royal Navy will lose due to this deal, they will be given priority for immigration I would imagine.

Gavin Gordon

“Chinese” and “Laugh” in the same sentence. That’s at first!

Bob

If I were the Aussies I would purchase a couple of Virginia’s from the Yanks.
Operate them for a few years to build up experience and establish manufacturing/support facilities, then build licensed versions of the Astute replacement when it comes online in the 2030s.

X

Astute require less manning. And that’s a big issue with the RAN as not all RN sailors transferring to the RAN are submariners. 🙂

Meirion x

The USN needs the Virginia’s, being built at a rate of 2 per year, to replace the VLS capacity of the outgoing Ohio Class SSGN’s by end of the decade.
The SSGN’s are of a conversion of earlier build Ohio SSBN’s, so they be gone in several years time. After that the USN may revert to building pure SSN’s to replace the Seawolf’s and rest of the LA’s.

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion x
bloke at the bog

2 per year ? you sure about that or is it something you made up ?

Meirion x
Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion x
Gavin Gordon

That rate is one reason my head says Auz ought build US boats with the minimum of adaptions for the least potential drama, though my heart’s attracted to the SSNR idea.

Paul

The Australians could host an American and/or British boat at HMAS Stirling and jointly crew and operate it moving forward until their own boats are completed. It will take years to build the new Australian boats, if we do joint manning in the meantime the Australians could gain operational experience with SSNs and be able to use their own boats all the better when they are built. We all have a treaty now and our priorities in the region align, so let’s put the treaty to use.

Jack65

Its been hinted that the Aussies will lease a couple of US boats ( possibly older LA class) as an interim measure. Its not practical to lease a UK Astute simply because we don’t have anywhere near enough of them. Even if there was enough investment to expand the facilities at Barrow to enable Astute class production to continue alongside Dreadnought (the ideal answer), I don’t think there is anywhere near the amount of trained manpower to do it?

Cam

We have a couple old Trafalgars kicking about…

Chris

Regardless of who builds what, the French are red in the face angry right now. Putting that fire out before they retaliate is a good idea.

Brit in nee

Karma is a bitch, ain’t it.

X

It isn’t like the French would do anything like that is it?
comment image

Brit in nee

just said as much.

X

I posted a nice picture. 🙂

Brit in nee

You did, I have no pics to post other than a nice sunset off Benodet .

X

🙂 I am sure it is lovely.

Duker

And remember these ?

Nesher-1[1].jpg
Duker

This is nicer, the pair together

Mistral-class[1].jpg
Cam

Never really liked the Frogs Mistrals. Dunno why.

Cam

50 billion n trade lost!! Who wouldn’t be pissed.

X

The French have recalled their ambassador from Washington! 🙂

stephen ball

French officials CANCEL gala dinner celebrating ties with US in protest at losing $90bn sub contract | Daily Mail Online France saying they been Allies of USA for 240 years. EG USA Vs UK with the French helping the USA. 1781.

Quasi-War – Wikipedia But they forgot this War. USA & UK VS The French & Spain. 1798.

Plus the Second French intervention in Mexico – Wikipedia France and Mexico VS USA and Mexico.

Last edited 1 month ago by stephen ball
D Can

France withdraws ambassadors to Australia and US over submarines deal

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says France is immediately recalling its ambassadors to Australia and the US in response to the new submarine deal.

He said the decision, on request from President Emmanuel Macron, was “justified by the exceptional seriousness of the announcements” made by the new AUKUS alliance between the US, Australia and the UK.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-18/france-withdraws-ambassadors-over-submarines-deal/100473106

The French are really upset. Glad you live next to them and not me.

Last edited 1 month ago by D Can
X

They already take the p*ss out of us. I don’t think they can do much more. Doris won’t fight back. He is more likely to offer the French compensation………

AlexS

Well this was done as clumsly and with stupidity like the Afghanistan debacle.

What you would expect? this is very serious.

French stopped the sell of their Mistral to Russia due to Western alliance remember.
There will be a big price to pay for this level of idiocy.

Duker

The French switched sides from Israel to the Arab side and halted the delivery of 50 Mirage planes Israel had already paid for.
It was self interest then and self interest now..
Then there was the Sa’ar missile boats embargo which the Israelis sneaked out of port under French noses

Saar3[1].gif
AlexS

Indeed, Israelis could remind French of that.

Duker

Other things to remind us of French ‘perfidy’

b217c0a3-gp01ers_pressmedia-1024x693[1].jpg
dick van dyke

Some will say it was French Idiocy selling Mistrals to Putin.

X

All the Russians are doing now is building their own. They might even buy Type 075 from China if they think this is something they need to do. Mistrals are small and slow.

Last edited 1 month ago by X
AlexS

It is not like a Mistral is some highly secret ship.

X

True. Out of three recent European LHD designs it is the smallest and slowest. Amphibians need to be able to move easily in daily 500 mile leaps to be of use.

dick van dyke

It’s not my opinion, I was just saying “Some Will” personally I think they are a terrible design, Way to Slabby and as X says, too slow and small. Ocean Looked brilliant in comparison even though she was of a different class.

Stu

The U.K. didn’t do anything wrong.
The French lost out to an Aussie decision that they had every right to make.
The U.K. and USA stepped in and made a deal to benefit everyone.
If the French want to get in a tizzy, let them. What? They’re upset because their defence industry got stiffed? Welcome to the club.

Binocs

Totally OTT.
A French election is coming up but this kind of tantrum is just embarrassing.

Allan

Macron needs something to distract the people protesting his growing dictatorship

Duker

Please … isnt that a typical drive by comment about say Trudeau, Ardern [insert woke leader name]

Allan

Pretty much.

RobB

I always thought the way forward for Australia was to convert their conventional buy from France into a nuclear one. But I guess France didnt want to share nuclear technology. Now they do a dummy spit. The other thing I dont understand is why France hasnt also recalled its UK ambassador.

X

Yes. Barracuda is a smaller and simpler boat than Astute and in terms of pure spec exactly what the RAN is looking for.

Andy B

‘The other thing I dont understand is why France hasnt also recalled its UK ambassador’

Perhaps that is their ultimate act of indignation by not considering us worthy of rebuke?

Meirion x

For France to recall it’s UK ambassador, would be just a little short of an Act o War!

Doug

According to the French, Britain is the third wheel in all this and a constant opportunist. Nothing has changed there then.

BigK

RobB, it could be that the French know doing this might mean us recalling our chinooks from Mali were they are supporting them.

Rob

The US support French operation in Mali far more than the UK so that is not the point

Cam

Exactly the US so far far more than 3 choppers…

Cam

It’s to do with EU I’m told.

Cam

Something to do with the EU apparently.

Jeff

Will the US continue to cooperate if Trump is reelected in 2024, or will he cancel the agreement out of spite because it was signed by Biden? Biden cancelled “his” wall. How will he go with Morrison and Johnson after they “betrayed” him by supporting the new guy? These questions and many others will be answered in 2024.

dick van dyke

Trump Fan then ? lol.

X

It’s a laugh that he thinks Biden decides anything beyond his ice cream flavour! 🙂

dick van dyke

I’m still trying to spot his Strings !!!!

X

At the start I thought we would see a ‘hidden hand’ guiding the administration. But as time goes on it obvious nobody is in charge. We have a collection of incompetent individuals who are steeped in hubris roughly travelling in the same direction reacting to events and who think it is still the 1960s and have no idea about the outside world. It is very scary.

Allan

I think all the apparent stupidity is completely deliberately orchestrated. But i’m just a tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy nut.

X

No. It would take too much effort and orchestration.

AlexS

That is what seems to me also X. It is completely haphzard behavior. Trump was a person taken by his emotions sometimes, but this lot do not seem to have emotions at all, they seem to play a game where they don’t expect consequences.

X

The US government is huge. A maze of fiefdoms. Trump’s admin suffered because most of it didn’t want to work with him. It was amazing he managed to do anything. They don’t expect consequences as they live in the DC bubble. Compare how Trump treated relations in East Asia with how the Biden White House is doing it. He treated China with respect but was tough. China respected that approach even if they knew it was detrimental to their objectives. Trump is popular in China. And then compare how Blinken spoke to Wang Yi. The former basically lectured the latter like the PRC was still a country riding bicycles everywhere and wearing blue two piece overalls. Look at Harris’ debacle in Vietnam. After her visit Hanoi contacted Beijing and told them that the US’s views, thoughts, and outlook weren’t theirs. Trump does good work in Korea. I am expecting, if the regime survives, for the Biden White House to undo that as well. That would cause all manner of problems. South Korea doesn’t like Japan, but has good relations with Russia. South Korea is wary of China, but has a lot of investment there. That’s just one corner of the world and you can go on and on about the damage the Democrats are causing world wide. It is dangerous. You can bet that this AUKUS initiative started under Trump, but Biden White House will seek the credit for it.

Phillip Johnson

You first 2 sentences describe all governments. Problems are worse when individual Ministries are a maze of fiefdoms.

X

Not all, most. And the US was designed to be a republic with minimal government apparatus.

Your comment says nothing. Just trying to be chippy aren’t you?

Phillip Johnson

Ah. The US was actually designed to split power between the various arms of government up to and including the Supreme Court to ensure that power was difficult to concentrate in a few hands. The US distrust of big government goes back a long way. That was not minimal government and certainly isn’t now.
That aside you have to be constantly amazed in the way most big, multi agency Ministries spend most of their time on internal battles. Do multi agency ministries actually work very well?

Duker

Ah, But the US government does work differently to other ‘Westminster’ based governments.
Theres a huge number of political appointments in the various government departments. Some have vestiges of protection like the head of FBI ( also sacked) and replacement named by President. All the others can and are ‘serve at presidents pleasure.’
Huge numbers of Obamas people were cleared out very early in 2017 Secretaries, deputy secretaries, assistant secretary’s, principal assistant secretaries…the list was endless.

The claim that AUKUS started under Trump is demonstrably false. Its laughable.
of course Trumpanzees have the same views on Biden, no surprise its taken off elsewhere.

Last edited 1 month ago by Duker
X

The US isn’t a Westminster based system.

Demonstrate that it is false then. Moves like this don’t spring out of a vacuum. The Biden White House has shown it is incapable of doing anything even though it has the full support of the governmental apparatus.

There was a change of ‘ministers’ away from Obama’s. But that happens with every change of administration. But that is the tip of a huge governmental iceberg that is the US federal government.

You perhaps need to stop sucking the tit of the BBC and The Guardian?

Duker

Thats why I said its NOT like other Westminsters- UK , Canada, Australia etc.
Just a list of the 70 positions alone in US DoD which are political appointments- similar for the other major departments
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Department_of_Defense_appointments_by_Joe_Biden
We are talking about way down into the organisation with eg
Assistant Secretary of Army- Financial Management
3 positions for Defense Research and Engineering branch

To think a few positions at the top as UK does as Ministers etc equated to hundreds inside the Departments

X

Ok I missed the not.

But these departments are huge. So a few off the top got canned.

What scuppered Trump was there was no depth or breadth to the pool from which his administration could recruit. Those individuals were swapped out for individuals with mostly the same beliefs and outlook. And similar happened all the way up to cabinet level.

Can’t you get tablets for Trump Derangement Syndrome off the doctor now? 9 months in and the US is a laughing stock, but hey for you better than the Orange Man with his tax cuts and trying to stop needless wars and his jobs growth for black persons.

X

Really you have to stop watching and reading the MSM news.

Duker

Liberal media supressing the truth…blah blah .won the election.

X

What was that? Baa! Baa! Baa! ???

Stu

Not a Trump fan, certainly not a fan of Biden. Not really the forum for this but it’s of concern so – If people can’t see the bias in media, you’re either an idiot, wilfully ignorant or so brainwashed it’s scary.

Off the top of my head:
NYPost & Hunter smoking crack, naked with a 14 year old? Blocked (the equivalent of The Sun) off twitter & no one else in media spoke of it.

No one talked about Bidens previous “racial jungles” comments and known association with KKK sympathisers? Didn’t he do the eulogy? Hell, the myth of unfair imprisonment of people because of the 94 crime bill (considered hugely racist by the Left) – who wrote it? Biden. Mentions in media? Zero.

Russia-gate? Remember that being pushed EVERY night for years? Turns out it was a (to use CNN’s own words) “nothing Burger” and the media KNEW all along.

10% for “The Big Guy” from China…. not a word from Liberal media.

Statistical analysis shows what, 190% more positive coverage of Biden? Is that balanced, objective reporting to anyone?

All the strange goings on at the election ticked a few boxes from a BBC (of all organisations!!) article about ‘how to spot a dodgy election’ & nobody feels like investigating… if there’s nothing to hide…

MAY have won the election – though too scared to demand an audit or investigation to ensure transparency, and faith in the system – and then have the audacity to claim ‘anyone questioning the outcome is undermining democracy’? Take a look at what Pelosi was saying in 2016 when Trump won – fully supported by the media by the way. Hypocrites.

IF legitimately elected, Biden only won because of misinformation & the ill informed electorate. Anyone honestly think just the information above (there is more!) could not have caused a 0.6% swing??? Forget Trumps popularity for a second, does anyone honestly think Biden would have won if he hadn’t been propped up by the media and silicon-valley if just some of the known facts had been discussed or at least not supressed???

This is where people call me names without actually disputing any known facts. I don’t say these things because I wanted Trump. I say these things and pay attention because they do they same thing here in the UK & the influence of the media and worse, silicon valley, SHOULD worry all of us.

X

You have to consider that Biden wasn’t doing very well in the Democrat primaries until pressure was brought down on others to stand aside. Harris is a joke; she is worse than they knew which shows how well they asses and plan. Biden would be gone now if Harris wasn’t so bad.

Biden won because the Democrats cheated and the governmental apparatus at state and federal level either cheater or sat on their hands. 85 million votes really? No way.

Stu

I know bud. The whole thing stinks but figured I’d take the approach of ‘even if legitimate, the “85M votes” couldn’t of happened if the media had provided remotely balanced coverage’.
Don’t even get me started on the utter shower of proverbial that is Harris!

Sean

Not happening so why worry?

Kevin Hastie

As progeny of AUKUS, surely these subs should be named Orca Class (?)

dick van dyke

Word is, they will all be called Sheila.

X

Sheila and Bruce and Cobber and Skippy……

DaveMac

Talk of Australia leasing an Astute Class from the UK. If true please let it be Boat 7 !!!

dick van dyke

No ! We need it and a few more truth be known.

Doug

According to globaldefensecorp.com the Australians are buying block V Virginia class subs. To be ready by 2040 and the British are supplying nuclear fuel rods and associated civilian nuclear infrastructure. I would have thought it would be better if they leased the same or similar in the meantime. They might just be making it up mind

Kevin Hastie

Agincourt?…….yes that would be delightful!

dick van dyke

Maybe we could sell them some Apache Longbows too !

Deep32

I can see why that would be an attractive proposition to anyone drafted to her!!!

Barry Larking

The AUKUS agreement is obviously a political statement designed to give China something to think about as it pushes its regional agenda further than any Chinese state has in modern times. Translating this agreement into practical outcomes like boats in the water will be ages in the making. The only rapid solution would be Australia ending its ban on nuclear vessels and or wepsons and allowing U.S. – and perhaps U.K. – SSN’s to be based in an Australian facility by some feasible future date as the U.K. did last century at Holy Loch.

dick van dyke

I just love Wepsons……………………. lol.

X

Wepsons are very, very dangerous. Especially to foreigners. That is why the government has been doing all it can to disarm the British armed forces.

D Can

Australia has no ban on nuclear powered vessel’s. That is New Zealand not Australia. We don’t allow nukes to be based here. It would upset Indonesia and Malaysia as they are the only potential targets.

X

Yes. I had friends in Invincible when Canberra wouldn’t let her come alongside because the UK wouldn’t confirm or deny cans of instant sunshine were aboard.

dick van dyke

1983 ish ?

X

Yes.

Branaboy

A solution to the current emboglio with France of the submarine could be as that the AUKUS group UAE the French Bar racist design with a British PWR3 reactor. My understanding is that there already is large USA content in the operational and combat systems and that integration into the French systems was what was causing the delays and cost over runs.

The French submarine design had already taken into consideration Australia’s combat system and armament requirements plus that of its manning problems thus the 65 person crew as opposed to the 85-95 in the Astute and over 120 in the Virginia classes.

Under thus solution the USA would lower the cost of sysrems, equipment and armaments sourced from it as would the UK. The French would also now lower the cost of their work as they would now have assistance from UK and USA suppliers and contractors.

The other solution would be for the UK to negotiated with the French, as compensation to buy 4 of the Bar racist SSKs for €1 billion each with the USA paying 25% of the cost. This will increase UK submarine numbers for use in UK waters and North Atlantic while freeing up the Asutes for the carrier task groups and long range patrols.

X

Oh. Not swapping kettles for donks then? That was what was causing the delay. There is nothing to integrate at the moment.

Sean

Easier way. Just ignore the French hysterics.

David Broome

Here are three ideas to secure Astute as the Australian design, that means billions more for British industry. If we assume 40% of the project will be spent out of Australia that amounts to over £17 billion.

1. The government offers to order an 8th RN Astute but built in Adelaide as the lead technology transfer vessel. This does not affect Dreadnought delivery and speeds up Australian shipyard and steel manufacturing skills while allowing for a higher percentage of British furnished equipment than follow on RAN boats. Importantly, this secures the reactor, propulsion and sub systems for Britain (where the bulk of £17 billion + is).

2. The 8th RN Astute to be named HMS Australia to signal the past and future partnership with Australia. This includes training (especially engineering and perisher), two future drydock bases (UK and Australia) handling a common fleet of 16 boats and of course a base of operations downunder shared with the USN. Potential HMS Australia to be based at Fleet Base West to train Australian crews and fleet support until (at least) RAN Boat 1 reaches final operational capability.

3. Australia immediately elevated to Tier 1 partnership for successor at no immediate upfront cost. This would create a critical mass for an ongoing RN/RAN common fleet. Noting the RAN combat system is potentially American. It also means the teething issues associated with Astute’s build would be avoided while creating a UK/Australian engineering skills base with overlapping construction.

Having Australia as a partner also helps to undermine the SNP’s anti nuclear stance. No bad thing.

Last edited 1 month ago by David Broome
DaSaint

Some good points here to agree with. I can see the next 18 months determining how to integrate a US combat system into the Astute class, which really shouldn’t be that hard to do. I could then see BAE committed to build the aft end of the RAN boats, complete with nuclear reactor and propulsor. ASC would build the forward end, and mate both sections in Australia.

In the interim, RAN submariners are going to have to enter RN and/or US Nuke school, and then do exchange training on US SSNs. I could also see the possibility of the USN lending the RAN a Los Angeles class to ‘get their feet wet’, similar to how the Indian Navy leased a Russian SSN for a time. Also as an interim measure, while infrastructure is built up in Australia to permit SSN basing, US and/or UK SSNs will be making more port calls in Australia and may even be forward based there. Consider this an SSN version of the US F-35Bs being deployed on the RN CVs.

I won’t be surprised if the French suddenly win the Indian Navy SSN contract, as a follow-on to their Scorpène type SSK program. France will want to prove a point, and India will be happy to help them do so. Either way, both India and Australia will help to contain the growing Chinese submarine fleet.

Last edited 1 month ago by DaSaint
Sean

India is designing its own SSNs, and is in mid-build of its own-design SSBNs. So I don’t see any contracts available for the French or anyone else.

X

I think perhaps you are underestimating how complicated a process building a nuclear submarine is. It might not happen but I can see some reasoning behind what DaSaint says.

Consider China has SSN’s but they are far behind US or UK.

Consider also France has a close relationship with India just like Russia. And that the French are looking for alternative ‘partner countries’ outside of the West. The French have been very supportive of the Russians in recent times. And were traditionally an ally of them in the past. I could see an India Russia French loose alliance coming to the fore. Though Russia and China are close it would balance that relationship if the Russians had support from powers outside.

Last edited 1 month ago by X
DaSaint

1) I don’t think France is upset enough over a commercial defense contract to align with Russia.

2) India is an arch foe of China.

3) India is sourcing assistance with their nuclear SSN program, while intending to build them all in country as a key demonstration of their Made in India policy. They have a robust shipbuilding industry that most of us in the West scoffed at just 10 years ago, but no one is scoffing now.

4) Russia and China have mutual interests or alignment at times, and very much believe in ‘the enemy of your enemy is my friend’ and realize that Russia places pressure on the US in the East, while China does the same in the West. While I don’t YET see an alliance, similar to the ‘Axis alliance’ of Germany and Japan in the 30’s and 40’s, it does create the same type of pressures on the West in general, NATO specifically, and the US more than others.

An unintended consequence of this SSN decision for Australia, however, is that South Korea may also decide it is in their interests to pursue an indigenous SSN, which they’ve already been mulling. And maybe, just maybe, Canada will return to considering SSNs for their SSK replacements, and could therefore partner with the UK and Australia for joint production of 4 to 6 hulls for their use.

X

Not over one incident no. But the EU is moving. Germany already invests in Russia. There is nothing stopping France shifting to follow Germany. It is too small now not to align with some bloc.

The US puts pressure on themselves. It is US industry that has paid for China’s build up. And even now they don’t show signs of wanting to re-address the balance.

South Korea is a problem. Antagonisms towards Japan and heavy investments in China mean they are caught between two camps. South Korea enjoys good relations with Japan which itself doesn’t.

All good fun.

dick van dyke

You might just have something there X. Personally and putting aside the whole Dictator thing that Russia seems to accept as normal, I have no problem with the Russian People whatsoever. It’s a Leadership thing, nothing at all to do with us normal people. What bugs me about China is their blatant Stealing of Western Tech and exploitation of us Western Bargain hunters who are happy to buy Chinese tat rather than proper Quality stuff made in the UK. ( Nope, my Lap top is made in ROC, just sayin ! )

X

China has many problems. And many are glossed over for a variety of reasons.

As for democracy. Well we have it here, does it work? The Russians like what they like. Putin is popular in Russia. Not with everybody but a (small) majority. He has turned Russia around. He is genuine in his love Russia more than any our politicians are for our country. Have a good at look at Russia and have a look at Western Europe. There are reasons why talk of Russians invading is utter rubbish.

dick van dyke

We ain’t selling Astute’s to Aus….. We’re a bit part in this deal….. I’d love to be proven wrong though.

DaSaint

No one is going to create a completely new SSN design, just for Australia. Not the US and not the UK. If that premise is correct, it has to be a modification of an ‘off-the-shelf’ design. There are only 2 such designs afloat, the Virginia, which is very large, complex, costly and requires a higher amount of personnel, and the Astute, which is almost as large, a bit less complex, and requires fewer personnel.

General Dynamics and HII are producing 2 SSNs per year for the USN, and do have ‘some’ capacity to ramp up to 3 per year, under the right circumstances (pronounced $$).

BAE has the Astute in serial production and arguably could continue to produce them if Australia were to require them, and still be able to gear up for the pending SSBN build.

While the RAN prefers US submarine combat systems, as evidenced in the fact that the French Shortfin Barracuda was to have used them, the only way to get that in a current SSN is to get their hands either on a decommissioned or decommissioning Los Angeles, get a new Virginia SSN. It will take time to redesign the Astute’s interior to accept the US combat system, but that is very much a technical possibility.

The issue I have is statements indicating that the first SSN won’t come of the ways until 2040. You can’t be producing today’s submarine for 2040, so that speaks to incremental upgrades or follow-on designs. That could be Virginias, or it could be the follow-on to Astute. I think that the real question is what happens between 2026 and 2040. Will the RAN get an interim SSN capability (used or new, built offshore) while awaiting production to start in Australia in 2040.

One final point: So who designed the new submarines for Taiwan? None of us think that Taiwan did that by themselves, do we?

X

There is no capacity at Barrow to build more Astutes as Dreadnought is in build. It would be interesting to see if the UK could invest in yard capacity down under and perhaps in the future look to ramp SSN(R) production (at least in part) Down Under. I think they will have to plump for Astute and swallow their pride with the combat system. Lesser of two weevils. 🙂

DaSaint

I think you’re right. Relocate the forgings for the Astute to Australia, once the RN build is complete in the UK. In the interim, configure for the US CMS and weapons.

I wonder what this does to the UK & France collaborating on long-range anti-ship & land strike missiles.

Last edited 1 month ago by DaSaint
dick van dyke

Personally, I think the UK can go it alone now….. France keeps on pulling out of every joint venture or adding extra costs. Time for the UK to get back to what we are good at…… Tempest is a good start.

Last edited 1 month ago by dick van dyke
X

If they pull out they pull out. France has always done very well out of any co-operative venture and we have always came a distant second. Why our political class always invest so much in the relationship I don’t know.

Meirion x

I think the forgings and presses are now being used for the Dreadnoughts.
Sheffield Forgemasters have brought a new 13000 ton press and are building a new to house it.

Last edited 18 days ago by Meirion x
Duker

Australia has already done so at the Osborne yard in Adelaide as part of the prep for the Barracuda deal.
The hundreds of large and smaller systems inside the Sub are a different matter. I would think the whole reactor compartment would be a bridge too far to build in Australia and would appear to remain at Rolls Royce…

X

Yes. I can’t see the kettle being built in Oz.

Branaboy

There is also the French Barracuda design that was offered to Australia. Remember, it originated as a nuclear powered vessel and can easily be returned as such. There is one example now in French service, the Suffren, with 5 more under construction.

The SSK version is already tailored to Australian specifications, in terms of manning requirements, operational and combat management systems and weapons. Why not simple revert back to nuclear propulsion if that is what Australia now desires?

Meirion x

The Suffren’s would need to be refueled once every 10 years, compared to Astute’s once a life time.

Meirion x

I should of added to my last post, is that Australia does Not have any Nuclear infarstructure for the refueling of Nuke subs.

Sean N.

Was listening to the Aerospace & Defense Report podcast from Sept 17. One guest, who often interacts with members of Congress, doesn’t think this is a slam dunk getting it through. A lot of work needs to be done there and he theorized that it may prove to be easier to modify the ’58 agreement to allow the UK to sell reactor tech to OZ instead of the US.

X

Yes. That’s why I think it will be an Astute variant that gets built.

Steve

Just a reminder that BAE Systems is already at the Osborne (Adelaide) build site to construct the Type 26 variant, so there should be some saving in overhead and administration there. You can see the planned site works at about 7min 34sec here: PACIFIC 2019 Day 2 – Royal Australian Navy Programs – YouTube

X

Yes of course good point.

Gavin Gordon

Interesting link. Note KBR, who were of course linked with UK Carrier Alliance, have the contract for submarine infrastructure on the northern site, which seems a good start. Timing of the SSN announcement looks right to readily adapt this to the new submarine requirement.

Steve

Historically it has adopted an anti-nuclear stance that included preventing warships from entering port if they were either nuclear powered or possibly carrying nuclear weapons’ – sorry you got that one wrong. That is New Zealand! Australia often hosts USN carriers and SSNs returning from the Middle East AO.