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In 2014 it looked like Australia was looking to just buy off the shelf but in the last few months, they have been pressing for locally building their next subs. So now Japan's position is looking weak as they don't want to share all the technical details of the Soryu.

 

http://eandt.theiet.org/news/2015/sep/jap-sub.cfm

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Collins-redux?

Seeing the troubles with the Collins, I could understand the Japanese not trusting their sensitive technology in a repeat of troubles.

 

Australia's call.. just buy the Japanese subs off the shelf or try the learning experience again with the either the Germans or the French.

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Practice by building 1 milk cow...screwing it up is lower risk.

I don't think Australia has the money for it unless they cut down the number of a subs they want to be able to deploy. The Japanese still probably would prefer to sell off the shelf to improve protection of the technology rather than have the manufacturing of parts being shifted outside of Japan.

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The Aussie just announced an ambitious ship building programme so that may take the political pressure off to build domestically. But it does create economic pressure to keep limited fund ashore.

 

I hear from some places good things about the Japanese subs and others saying stay away from them, without an specifics why. They are bigger than the Upholder/Victoria class which are bigger than many subs.

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Size makes greater range & endurance possible. The Ozzies want long range & endurance. They also want maximum compataibility with the USN, & I think the Japanese offer that, too. AFAIK the biggest questions are about Japanese builders unfamiliarity with building weapon systems for export, & even more, with having their designs built abroad. But they're familiar with doing both for civilian stuff.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The new Australian government looks to be putting more weight into having them in domestically built. Good luck France and Germany.

 

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/submarines-set-to-be-built-in-australia-under-turnbull-government-20150917-gjpazk.html

 

Many Japanese comments on the net are saying its actually a relief as it keeps Soryu's technology more secured.

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I understand the politics of the "build it here" game but seriously, didn't they learn a lesson from the last sub clusterfark? Then again, I'd be happy to see EB gain from being asked to pull their fat out of the fire again. Subs are a great example of perishable defense construction skills. You can't just pull them out of the drawer every couple of decades when you need them.

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If they don't build them domestically at all, they'll be permanently out of the sub building business. That's probably a bitter pill to swallow, though considering their need base I'm not sure they truly can support a domestic program indefinitely. There's a lot of surface ship activity on the horizon too; I think its probably a good time to just let it go. But that is a political decision far more than a military one.

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Ship building has always been a political decision. Canada built subs in WWII and was prepared to build more post war, but lost out to British subs. The RCN wanted the US designed Barbels subs https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbel-class_submarine Instead we got the O-boats.

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Modern submarines seem to be complicated enough that its a hard industry to pick up or remain proficient in. Australia has the added problem of having very unique submarine requirements (outside perhaps Japan) which means they largely can't turn around and sell anything they make to the global market like Zee Germans, for instance. I don't know what the right answer is; the obvious short term answer is skip the Collins level CF and buy directly off Japan.

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Looks like the Japanese government really wants to win the deal.

 

 

Japan is ready to match European rivals and build a fleet of submarines for Canberra entirely in Australian shipyards, a senior Japanese official said Tuesday, after stumbling in its effort to win a contract worth 50 billion Australian dollars or $34.76 billion.

 

Tokyo was willing to train hundreds of Australian engineers in Japan’s submarine-manufacturing hub of Kobe as well as in Australia as part of its offer for one of the world’s biggest defense contracts, said Masaaki Ishikawa, director general for Acquisition Reform at the Ministry of Defense.

 

His comments are the first from an official directly involved in the bid to the effect that Japan is willing to build the stealth submarines entirely in Australia, where jobs are a hot-button political issue. Canberra is expected to order between eight to 12 vessels.

 

“Whatever option Australia chooses we are ready to provide the necessary technology transfers and skills,” Ishikawa said in an interview. “We will optimize the role of Australian industry.”

 

Japan had been the frontrunner to replace Australia’s aging Collins-class submarines with a modified off-the-shelf version of its 4,000-ton Soryu-class vessel until then-Prime Minister Tony Abbott opened up the bidding in February under pressure from opposition and ruling party lawmakers.

 

While Japan sought to stress the capabilities of its submarines, Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) and France’s state-controlled naval contractor DCNS both said their offers would include a full build in Australia.

 

The European firms have also courted the Australian defense industry and politicians for months, while Japan’s efforts to do likewise have fallen flat.

 

Abbott’s ouster earlier this month was a further blow to Tokyo, given his close relationship with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, sources have said.

 

Ishikawa said Japan would submit three options requested by Canberra: a full build in Australia, a hybrid option that would see the first vessels built in Japan and the rest in Australia, as well as a complete overseas build.

 

It was up to Canberra to assess the risk and cost of each option, he added.

 

An expert advisory panel is expected to deliver its recommendation on the bids to the Australian government in November. The contract also includes a decades-long maintenance program for the submarines.

 

Japan is offering a variant of its 4,000-ton diesel-electric Soryu submarine built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries.

 

“We already have an ocean-going submarine of the right size that is operating today at sea,” Ishikawa said.

 

TKMS, which is proposing to scale up its 2,000-ton Type 214 class vessel, has said it would turn a naval shipyard in South Australia state into a submarine construction and maintenance hub for Asia.

 

DCNS has said it would share for the first time its stealth technology with the Australian government and is also planning a package of economic incentives.

 

Abe has a lot riding on the tender after lifting a decades-old ban on weapons exports in April last year as part of his more muscular security agenda.

 

Japan has yet to secure a major overseas arms deal since then, with its inexperience in the rough and tumble of global defense markets showing.

 

Ishikawa and other Japanese government and industry officials who traveled to the South Australian capital Adelaide last month to promote the Soryu submarines were stung by criticism over their unwillingness to commit to building all the boats in Australia.

That team, Ishikawa said, would deliver a clearer message next month in Sydney in a bid to regain lost ground.

 

There, they plan a second presentation for potential suppliers and partners at the Pacific 2015 International Maritime Exposition, a biennial expo and conference that begins on Oct. 6. A third presentation will be held in Melbourne on Oct. 9.

 

In addition to highlighting the technical merits of Tokyo’s bid, Ishikawa said the team would note Japan’s investment in Australia, point to past industrial collaboration and talk up the benefits of building security ties with a fellow U.S. ally in Asia rather than buying vessels from distant Europe.

 

 

Maybe a sub variant of Soryu with less sensitive technology is being offered, like a cross between Soryu and oyashio. Also the sub deal would be a good way to strengthen ties with Australia in security cooperation while also expanding Japan's influence in the arms market. Those Japanese posters that expressed relief in the deal not going for Soryu were not too happy with the news.

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Is the main concern of Japanese critical of the deal the fact that Oz could be a economic or strategic competitor or that the technology might leak out of Australia? Presumably China is the primary/only concern in the latter case.

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Is the main concern of Japanese critical of the deal the fact that Oz could be a economic or strategic competitor or that the technology might leak out of Australia? Presumably China is the primary/only concern in the latter case.

 

 

Leaks to China by far is my impression. A point often made is that if Australia's future sub are to be entirely built in Australia, many of the Japanese posters are saying France or Germany would be perfectly fine. I haven't noticed any objection to the idea of a German assisted developed Australian sub industry. Not to say I have seen a lot, but from just what I have seen on a military news website that I frequently read. I don't post there, only reading. It has been said to be similar to the F-22 even, like how the US didn't want to export any F-22s in order to safe guard its technology. I have no idea how advance Soryu's tech is. I kind of doubt it's at a level of cutting edge tech like the F-22 but to a point I understand this argument.

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I can see Japanese reservations, though at the same time I'm wondering what could be sensitive relative to the Collins class - it seems like both sides have access to relatively high end submarine technologies, if perhaps the RAN seems to have harder time making any of it reliable. Since the people who comment on such things are never in the know as a rule, I wonder if largely there's little repercussions to Japan exporting their technology. Does Oz have some history of leaking things to China? Certainly the US has had a couple issues with technology going out of Japan in the past.

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I can see Japanese reservations, though at the same time I'm wondering what could be sensitive relative to the Collins class - it seems like both sides have access to relatively high end submarine technologies, if perhaps the RAN seems to have harder time making any of it reliable. Since the people who comment on such things are never in the know as a rule, I wonder if largely there's little repercussions to Japan exporting their technology. Does Oz have some history of leaking things to China? Certainly the US has had a couple issues with technology going out of Japan in the past.

There are videos about Soryu and in some scenes of the videos, sections of the internal rooms of the sub are blurred. But as someone who is not well knowledgable about subs, I can't say. Indeed some people just post away without deeply knowing and I have no doubts that many posts are of that kind. It's an indication of the general mood rather than indications of what Soryu's tech and capabilities actually are.

 

As for leaks to China from Australia, well, AFAIK, Australia doesn't have a lot of cutting edge weapons so not much opportunity for leaks. Giving the shacky history of the Collins sub, having secret tech involved in a repeat of Collins-like difficulties would be undesirable no doubt. I'm not taking the position that Australia isn't a country that cannot be trusted by Japan but with all factors considered, a degree of risk is there. And there are, supposedly, plenty of examples of China stealing tech from the US. China is definitely out to get whatever they can. So if Soryu tech ends up in Australia, Chinese activities to get out of Australia would have to be assumed to go up. And in the case of Soryu, it not only would be for acquiring new tech, but also, as a foreseeable enemy sub, for improving ways to detect and combat Soryu.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 5 months later...

While there was a headline not to long ago saying that Australia would announce their decision shortly, as just a headline, who knows right. From the blog linked in the above post provides some speculation about it worth some interesting reading.

 

 

Submarine decision "Coming Soon" maybe 8 to 15 April 2016

 

The political problems of the of the Turnbull Government may result in an early Election with the likelihood of haste and some confusion in the submarine decision.

In the political environment of the Australian Election Campaign Prime Minister Turnbull is attempting to gain political capital by flagging the likelihood of an early Future Submarine decision. This decision may be on:

- which of the three contenders has won, and

- may indicate how many submarines (if any) are built overseas and how many in Australia. The proportion of work in Australia and $Billions to be spent is the most politically high profile issue.

Turnbull may not specify which Australian States will get most of the submarine work, rather he is more likely to say all will do work.

It is Industry Minister, Christopher Pyne who, coming from South Australia, who will say (or imply) that most submarine work will be in the key State of South Australia. It is in South Australia that Turnbull's Coalition Government may lose many House and Senate seats to Labor, the Greens and to the submarine fixated Xenophon Team.

ANNOUNCEMENT WHEN?

There are many influential variables. But I am guessing Turnbull might announce submarine decisions on Friday, 15 April 2016 (this of course is assuming Japan wins) because:

- that day is the beginning of a visit by Soryu submarine JS Hakuryu, to Sydney on 15 April.

- there is also no distraction of Parliament sitting on 15 April.

- Friday is a traditional day to make major announcements, as detail can be supplied to the weekend newspapers published the next day.

- the "achievement" of making the submarine decision that "helps workers" would occur as a "good news story" just before Federal Parliament sits, on Monday 18 April, to effectively decide if the 2 July (double dissolution) Election should be held

- if Japan doesn't win things are more complicated. Then Turnbull needs to be courteous to prevent loss of face (to him and Japan), making the announcement at least a week before 15 April - hence on 8 April or after the Japanese submarine leaves Sydney 26 April) hence 29 April or later.

As the submarines is a major policy decision Turnbull would tend to follow the conventional of not making the decision during the caretaker period after Parliament is dissolved just prior to the Election (about 5 weeks before any Election) with possible election dates 2 July onwards through to as late as October 2016.

It must be realised that Turnbull has been making policy decisions in an erratic way - as he goes along. So the above predictions are only Guesstimates.

ARTICLE

AAP via Australia’s Channel 9 News reports, April 5, 2016, http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/04/05/12/31/submarine-decision-coming-soon-turnbull
"Submarine decision coming soon: Turnbull
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says a decision on Australia's biggest ever defence contract will be made shortly.
...Industry Minister Christopher Pyne on Monday suggested the winner would be announced before the election, which could be held on July 2 [2016] if Mr Turnbull opts for a double-dissolution.
Mr Turnbull told reporters on Tuesday in Sydney..."Announcements about that will be made shortly," he said.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told reporters in Perth the government needed to fulfil its 2013 election promise to build 12 submarines in Australia. "Our test is straightforward for submarines - build them here, maintain them here, sustain them here," he said..." [see WHOLE AAP-9News ARTICLE]

 

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Fear of technology leakage to China is one fear, but not the only fear.

 

I am in favor of Australia's selection of a Soryu-class option, but it must be said that exposure of Japanese submarine technology to Australia would expose it to the Five Eyes USA-UK-AUS-NZ-CAN espionage alliance and, in turn, Newport News Shipbuilding.

Edited by Nobu
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Fear of technology leakage to China is one fear, but not the only fear.

 

I am in favor of Australia's selection of a Soryu-class option, but it must be said that exposure of Japanese submarine technology to Australia would expose it to the Five Eyes USA-UK-AUS-NZ-CAN espionage alliance and, in turn, Newport News Shipbuilding.

Why would that possibly be a concern? Even assuming the Japanese know something the USN doesn't about silencing, which seems rather generous from the get go given the massive head start the USN has always had post war, it's not like the USN is going to be hunting Japanese subs. And if it was, I suspect Japanese problems would be a bit more serious than loosing a couple of SSKs, considering they would be fighting the largest navy, economy, and nuclear power. The US isn't even a competitor for selling SSKs to other navies, so I just don't see the problem of the remote possibility of technology sharing with 'Newport News' (I would have gone with Electric Boat, but ok) so long as any such information stays in the ECHELON family - they are all allies with no diesel sub production lines to even compete with Japanese exports. No conflict or conflict of interest.

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Japan's most advanced diesel attack submarine, and possibly the world's, incorporates the full engineering expertise of Japanese industry. Whether the USN or any other member of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance would be able to learn anything from the Soryu class is debatable. I would be surprised if the USN, Newport News Shipbuilding et al were not extremely eager to find out.

 

The U.S. not being in the diesel attack submarine business is true. Access to the secrets of the most advanced diesel attack submarine in the world might be enough to kickstart such an enterprise, however.

 

Soryu-class technology would also be an extremely interesting and marketable intelligence commodity.

Edited by Nobu
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