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Yes, but they still cannot be compared for strategic deployment. Which looking at the coastline Australia has to guard, not to mention that their allies are all a good thousand miles to the north if they have to assist them, for Australia it probably would be useful still.

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From what can be gathered by its choices regarding submarine capability, Australia doesn't seem to be that interested in assisting allies in the region.

 

They wanted a bicycle, let them pedal it.

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Yes, but they still cannot be compared for strategic deployment. Which looking at the coastline Australia has to guard, not to mention that their allies are all a good thousand miles to the north if they have to assist them, for Australia it probably would be useful still.

The current acquisition count is 12 but most seem to think that its a politis related requirement that will be scaled down to 8. Going nuclear probably would make even having 8 more unlikely. So with about 6 subs, they won't really have any to spare for helping on the north end of the Pacific. Their area is the large Australia coast line, the waters up and around Indonesia, and realistically at most, the outer southern edges of the South China Sea, Palau, and Guam. The areas further up north such as Taiwan and Okinawa will need to be covered by Japan and the US and if the subs of those two end up overwhelmed or neatralized, a single Australia sub is better off not coming up here and instead keeping a presense further down. It is still a lot of water area but they been doin so with the current Collins class. New LiB subs would still be a major improvement over the Collins and would apply no additional industrial strain or workforce on Australia. They are still below 30 million population, thus less than half the UK even. There's only so much they can do.

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From what can be gathered by its choices regarding submarine capability, Australia doesn't seem to be that interested in assisting allies in the region.

 

They wanted a bicycle, let them pedal it.

They sent F-18s to Japan for joint-training with JASDF last year and its looking like it'll become an annual exercise. Given the sustainability problems with F-35 and how JASDF fighters get lots of air time because of scrambling so much, thus taxing their air frames, thus RAAF sending up fighter aircraft can be a big help.

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There is no political or popular will to support nuclear submarines in Australia. For the RAN it is NOT a choice between SSK's and SSN's, it is between SSK's and no SS's at all.

 

Yes there are a lot of factors that rise the bar to introducing nuclear submarines down here, but none of them would be insoluble given the resources, there's just no hope of that happening. There are also other things we need equally if not more, that just ain't on the cards either, for an island nation fundamentally dependant on maritime trade our ASW capability is frighteningly below par and don't ask about air defence.

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By the time the first Aussie hull gets launched, we are going to see some useful data from the Lithium powered Japanese subs, that may result in changes to the Aussie design.

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