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Everything posted by Argus

  1. There were lots of perfectly serviceable suspension systems. I'd say this was more a case of late war German engineering wunderwaffen over reach, trying to get the ultimate in low volume low parts count ideal packaging and bugger those awkward little details like it actually working
  2. Just looking back at the E25, I have my doubts about the viability of that geared torsion bar suspension. It's a lovely bit of packaging, but supporting 2.5 tonne of dynamic weight through a set of gears, with late war German metallurgy and lubrication... I'm not saying it wouldn't work, but how long for?
  3. We didn't back out of the French deal until the UK/US one was approved by all parties. There's has been talk of a training boat turning up quite quickly, a Trafalgar or 688, also seeing either an Astute or USN SSN operating out of Australian ports 'a lot.' The nuance is rather different to the USN/RN deal in the 50's, then yeah the RN was after the core IP to design and build its own nuclear plant. Half the reason nukes are even on the table for Australia now is because the new plants don't require refuelling and mid life deep maintenance with the all the overhead that brings. I'm pretty damn sure the plan is to bring in the reactor module from either the US or UK, or as I like to think of it 'High Pressure Steam as a Service'
  4. Alas the Captain Cook drydock is getting to the end of its design life, and is one more factor in a growing list that is going to force a major re-examination of the RAN's presence in Sydney. Manufacture in OZ is very much not a political thing, its tied firmly into lifecycle costs, based on experience gained under the Oberon's and validated by the Collins. The only practical difference between a facility capable of doing the deep maintenance/repair on a submarine and one capable of building, it is the design capacity, while holding the IP is simply essential for long term support. Vendors come and vendors go, if you don't own the IP they have you over a barrel
  5. Garden Island doesn't build submarines, it maintains surface ships. You're thinking of ASC in Osborne. Son of Collins is no more a quick fix than resurrecting any complex weapon system a decade after the line closed down. The yard reconfigured from production to support, so the design capability has fucked off long ago. Plus the combat system would still need to be sorted, and that's a chicken and egg with the overall design package. So with the best will in the world there's years of pissing about to do before anyone cuts steel. Ironically the quickest way to get any sub in the water for the RAN would be to lean on BAE Barrow and see if they can open that possible slot in the Astute line up for us A DE sub will still have piss poor indiscretion rates in tight waters which is a serious operational issue there's no real fix for. AIP is cool for loitering but sucks for transit, and we have a lot of transit to do.
  6. Turns out the reactor techs aren't the biggest manpower bottleneck the RAN are looking at in all this. They haven't needed anyone with high pressure steam qualifications in 20 years, so that trade has to be resurrected across the board.
  7. There is one nuclear reactor in Australia and it has two purposes, supporting scientific research and giving the loonies a place to stage their anti-nuke protests far enough form the CBD they don't get in the way.
  8. Nah mate, I'd have to think you were serious first. The meme was more a general comment, as I genuinely can't remember the last time you had any positive comment to make about anything when you are in Acid Aunty mode. Seriously, I do appreciate your dedication to the art of the well observed cutting one liner. It's just without a little variety it all gets a bit stale on one hand and loses depth on the other. Sure, hate boi's gotta hate and trolls be a'rolln, and fair enough too. We all take our pleasures where we find them. I'm only pointing out your perpetual parade of pithy protestations has become prosaic and is presently precious close to parody.
  9. I don't know if anyone still cares about the original topic but this is worth a look
  10. Sorry for the delay, busy week. I use/used Geography as an obvious and unambiguous example of the factors I was talking about. I do not believe it to be the only such factor. Historical analogies have their limits, we agree on this. We clearly disagree on where those limits might be drawn. With respect to the Subs, PRC and AUKUS. If there is one thing the China/PRC is known for, it is taking the long term view of a situation into account, when most of the world hardly looks much beyond the next electoral cycle is a stretch. Even when China is working to a short term agenda, there's a tendency for us on the outside to read deeper motives into her actions. But there are times when the shoe is on the other foot, I would suggest the subs is one of these and to a degree AUKUS is as well. The PRC is clearly a catalyst in these changes, but it not the only force at play and indeed might only be incidental to the process.
  11. You may want to ease back on the snoot and snark there boss. Apart from anything else it's a really good idea to make sure you are above criticism before you start sneering at people. In the collection of factors you describe as 'the basics,' there is a sub-group factors that do not change very much over time. These factors, that only change a little with time, are the ones I am talking about. Compared to, say geography, a treaty with a life of decades is 'a detail.' This is what I meant by different levels of analysis. Because these fundamentals see little change much over time, it is not unreasonable to base historical analogy on them. You personally might not like this, however a lot of people around here do, and will mostly likely continue to do so regardless. As for AUKUS and SSN's for the RAN. Anyone familiar with Australian Naval history will know that a substantial force of long range submarines has been a known strategic requirement for over 100 years. This will be somewhere between the 4th and 7th attempt (it depends on how you count them) to address this requirement. Up to this point Australia has not chosen to invest the level of resources required to meet this requirement, pesky little things like wars, depressions and peace movements have always gotten in the way. Now it looks like we might finally have the national resource levels to actually to afford the subs we need within an acceptable defence budget. Yes this is all partly about China, but its not all about China.
  12. I honestly don't know if Singapore can do jack against stand off missile strike, but they do have the thickest standing SAM defence network in the region, and on par with any in the world. Singapore knows it has exactly ZERO margin in any conflict and has been preparing itself accordingly since independence.
  13. Why assume Singapore has any choice the matter and China isn't the one picking the fight?
  14. I don't disagree with your wider remarks futon. But I think in this line you highlight our fundamental disagreement. We are simply viewing the situation at two different levels of analysis. Yes on one level the two situations (late 1800's, early 2000's) are very different IN DETAIL, as is only reasonable to expect they would be for half a hundred reasons. Time moves on, technology, the whole axis of world power, all has changed in span of a centaury. But to broaden the view and step back a little, the two cases are not that different, because while the details have changed, the fundamental conditions have not. The physical geography has not changed, and if the political geography has changed regionally. China is still in roughly the same size/shape/place, and concerned with the same border zones. For example control of Formosa still matters because; stealth aircraft or sailing junk, European or Asian, Colonial power or Pirate - the island is still a brilliant base to influence trade up and down the mainland coast of Asia and communications between Japan and places south. So if China is of a mood to care about the sea, Formosa is always going to be point of importance regardless of the finer detail of the situation.
  15. I think you will find Singapore more than capable of defending itself.
  16. Sorry mate, but no, I am not making that assumption. I am just seeing this discussion go spiralling off without any reference to the actual state of play on the ground. Singapore will serve Singapore's interests, it's something they are very good at. The will play both sides against the middle while keeping their powder dry. No one has a problem with a strong China, but nobody wants a strong China that throws it weight around and uses that strength to bully its neighbours.
  17. RN Operational Logistics in the Asia - Pacific area Guys does nobody have Google? The RN retain a presence in Singapore, have done since independence, Naval Party 1022 or the BDSSU, call it what you like. Although most of the ex-RN Sembawang officer housing is occupied by USN personnel these day so I'm told. All this comes along with the appropriate status of forces agreements between the UK and Singapore, and the limits of operational use defined by the 5 Power defence agreement. Does this mean they have an iron clad base in the event of a war with China - no, of course not. It would all very much depend on the exact circumstances. But sheesh
  18. Absolutely Its why our transition from the British Empire to the American Empire was so seamless. It's just a pity we have to keep up with this inefficient phaffing about playing charades with Washington.
  19. Ok mate, I think I can guess where you're coming from <starts humming March of the Volunteers off key. Shall we look at some of those irreconcilable differences in context? The Middle kingdom started the era of modern sea power seeing their coastline much as their inland frontier. A line beyond which was terra barbarous. A zone to be managed to minimise trouble and even then only to the barest minimum. With foreign and domestic pirates playing out the roles of the domesticated and 'wild' steppe tribes. As steady progression of Chinese pirate fleets growing to a certain size, then being co-opted by the state into its new auxiliary navy, to be replaced by the next as time and corruption withered each in turn. We could very well say that Imperial China started out believing it had no unsecured Mahanian exposure to anyone. Early on this was true to an extent because there was not the external pressure to challenge it. However once China's unbalanced economic influence exceeded the global market's capacity to compensate there was going to be change of some sort. Strip the politics out of it and there were only three possible outcomes, 1/ China accepted a change in the terms of trade, 2/ China stopped trading with the rest of the world, 3/ the rest of the world stopped trading with China. China controlled two of those three options, and exercised neither of them. Nothing about Imperial China was ever simple, and I'm not suggesting a radical change like this was even possible within the system of government. But the world supply of Silver was finite and China's appetite for it was not, so something was going to giveway. As a result the Middle Kingdom met Alfred T Mahan for the first time and Freddy won - or he would have if he'd written his books as a pre-teenager. Coming out of the Arrow and Opium Wars, China knew if nothing else she needed a modern Navy. Sure the actual acquisition of that navy was a flawed process, and the amount of foreign involvement required was was yet one more minor humiliation helped up on a horrible period in Chinese history. Yet inspite of all else that was going on, Taiping, Western encroachment, and all the other demands for modernisation. The navy was still getting enough priority to progress +/- a palace or so. To even pretend to be the master of its own destiny, China had to be in control of its coastal waters and that needed a navy. Flip the coin over and look at Japan to the same point (1854-80). Perry didn't give the Japanese any less of a paradigm shift. But the Japanese had the Chinese example to learn from, and fewer obstacles in the path of putting those lessons to work. The Japanese knew right from the start of their modernisation that if they didn't have a navy worth a little respect, no one was going to take them seriously. Further more as an island nation, they were even more vulnerable than China to a hostile naval power. So yes So totally different, that they share the same geography, having followed a similar path to the same conclusions, in the same time period, and ended up in conflict over this very point, or don't they teach the other 'Battle of the Yalu River' these days? Yeah absolutely no parallels to be drawn between China and Japan at all, sorry to be so sarcastic, but really folks around here have their own opinions and their own views, but none of us are that dumb. Turning to the raucous AUKUS, I have to disagree. This is a reactionary renewal, or perhaps revitalisation, of a long standing reality. All three countries have long standing defence relations and generally parallel objectives in the Asia/Pacific region going back to before WWII and explicitly since. AUKUS is recognising shit has gotten serious enough that the old web of 5 Power, ANZUS and the rest need clarification and reinforcement. If you want to see it as an aggressive move, then I'd suggest you have the wrong end of several sticks
  20. Err no. Imperial Axillaries to be sure, but not 'because.' London did not levy troops from the colonies in the late 19th centaury, that's not how the game was played. The Colonies, as with the Dominions later, offered and London accepted, and as often as not the offer came before the request. The Australia colonial contingents served overseas because their colonial governments wanted them too.
  21. But not impossible. So which is it? Did Japan get a navy to protect what it didn't have, get what it didn't have, or do what it couldn't do (stand on the same field as the Western Powers)?
  22. The last 120 odd years of Australian governments have, by and large, agreed that the best place to defend Australia is as far away as bloody possible. We were following this principal before there was an Australian Government, apart from New Zealand, our first two overseas military contributions were to the Sudan and China. Sitting at home waiting for the enemy to come here is by far the worst option - the strategic calculus changes with time, but generally speaking any nation that has the capability to seriously project power down here, is going to be too big for us to cope with. Le May vs Mahan... wtf? It's not like the two are in any sort of conflict. The Gospel of Saint Curtiss is about domination by destruction, winning wars by taking countries OUT in the most expeditious way possible. A Mahan conflict need not see a shot fired. By the time Le May comes out of the cupboard properly, Mahan's been and gone.
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