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Australia to Get Nuclear Submarines


Adam_S
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I wont knock the Soryu, or indeed any japanese diesel submarines. Buy diesel electric have a number of inherent problems, a finite range, which considering the problem you have on your doorstep isnt really any kind of issue for Japan as it is for Australia. It means you have to keep snorting, which in an era when you are going to have LOTS of drones doing ASW work (I can even see some emerging to do diesel sniffing), is going to be a real problem in maintaining stealth. Yes, there are real advantages, because a conventional boat you can operate in shallow water a lot easier. Its also quiet, when its not snorting. But the only way I could see that it would work is if Australia could forward base in somewhere like Singapore, and for political reasons (not to mention vulnerablity) I cant see that working.

If you are operating underwater for 3 weeks, you are certainly using oxygen scrubbers. Which will certainly add to the noise index, not to mention soaking up electrical power. Maximum limit in WW2 you could do it was about 48 hours. I could see them needing a lot more time than that in a contested environment like the SCS.

I think when you weigh it up, with the distances over which the RAAN want to operate, the ability to remain submerged in an hostile environment, Nuclear power really is the only choice on the table that fits. If you build a diesel boat big enough, its going to be fairly clumsy in shallow water, and its still vulnerable to surveillance, and still have all the problems mentioned above.. Not only that, but the speed with which an SSN is going to be able to move from Australia to the SCS is going to be unmatched by any diesel electric boat.

In the end, Japan could have pushed harder to offer Australia its submarine, but it didnt. Largely I suspect because they knew over the distances Australia want to operate, it doesnt really stack up. So Japan in this instance is the winner, because it avoided being humilitated like France was. Rejoice!

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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For fighting in WWII, there was no point on ordering foreign capital ships in 1938 with a lead time of 10 years.
 

Also, back to WWI, ask the Brazilians and the Turks on the matter. Especially to the Turks.

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7 minutes ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

I wont knock the Soryu, or indeed any japanese diesel submarines. Buy diesel electric have a number of inherent problems, a finite range, which considering the problem you have on your doorstep isnt really any kind of issue for Japan as it is for Australia. It means you have to keep snorting, which in an era when you are going to have LOTS of drones doing ASW work (I can even see some emerging to do diesel sniffing), is going to be a real problem in maintaining stealth. Yes, there are real advantages, because a conventional boat you can operate in shallow water a lot easier. Its also quiet, when its not snorting. But the only way I could see that it would work is if Australia could forward base in somewhere like Singapore, and for political reasons (not to mention vulnerablity) I cant see that working.

If you are operating underwater for 3 weeks, you are certainly using oxygen scrubbers. Which will certainly add to the noise index, not to mention soaking up electrical power. Maximum limit in WW2 you could do it was about 48 hours. I could see them needing a lot more time than that in a contested environment like the SCS.

I think when you weigh it up, with the distances over which the RAAN want to operate, the ability to remain submerged in an hostile environment, Nuclear power really is the only choice on the table that fits. If you build a diesel boat big enough, its going to be fairly clumsy in shallow water, and its still vulnerable to surveillance, and still have all the problems mentioned above.. Not only that, but the speed with which an SSN is going to be able to move from Australia to the SCS is going to be unmatched by any diesel electric boat.

In the end, Japan could have pushed harder to offer Australia its submarine, but it didnt. Largely I suspect because they knew over the distances Australia want to operate, it doesnt really stack up. So Japan in this instance is the winner, because it avoided being humilitated like France was. Rejoice!

That again entirely over looks the matter or crew size and cost.

As for operating duration underwater, well, I have to admit not knowing such details so I can't counter in detail.

A lengthened Soryu should have about the same range as the French bid that won so that can't be a reason for the Japanese side not pushing harder. The real reason was because the Japanese wanted to sell off-the-shelf and were under that impression while Abbot was PM. That way is least expensive and most secured regarding sensitive sub tech.

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It would certainly take more crew to operate a nuc. OTOH, considering the amount of water you can cover, a single SSN is probably worth two SSK's. That doesnt mean an SSN can do all an SSK can, which is why Russia still operates both.  But as far as strategic reach, which Australia needs, and Japan with the problem on its doorstep does not, there is no real doubt about it. A SSN can run quietly a lot faster than a SSK can.

For this reason, I dont think they are going to get 8 boats, and Im not sure they need it. I would have thought 6 would be more than enough.

As I understand it, the French bid was lower than the Japanese one, and then when they got it the price went up. Go figure. The point is, Japan could have underbid and done the same thing. They either lost because they were honest, or because they were lucky, but the result was the same.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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5 minutes ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

It would certainly take more crew to operate a nuc. OTOH, considering the amount of water you can cover, a single SSN is probably worth two SSK's. That doesnt mean an SSN can do all an SSK can, which is why Russia still operates both.  But as far as strategic reach, which Australia needs, and Japan with the problem on its doorstep does not, there is no real doubt about it. A SSN can run quietly a lot faster than a SSK can.

For this reason, I dont think they are going to get 8 boats, and Im not sure they need it. I would have thought 6 would be more than enough.

As I understand it, the French bid was lower than the Japanese one, and then when they got it the price went up. Go figure. The point is, Japan could have underbid and done the same thing. They either lost because they were honest, or because they were lucky, but the result was the same.

There's no way that the Japanese had it won have gone through a similar cost increase because even assuming the Japanese were willing to setup production and sraff training in Australia, there's still the difference that an Australian Soryu would have been mostly the same as a Japanese Soryu while the French bid was an originally SSN being redesigned into a conventional. 

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13 minutes ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

For this reason, I dont think they are going to get 8 boats, and Im not sure they need it. I would have thought 6 would be more than enough.

Again manning requirements speak for at best six, and possibly just half that, unless you triple the strength of the RAN submarine force. Which might be a reason for the 2040 timeframe that however gives the whole plan a rather vaporous outlook. It already means the Collins' will have to serve a decade longer. 

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I suppose they could do it, but it would mean doing what Britain has done,rebalancing the resources from land or pure air into maritime. Which considering the context of the threat they are wanting to meet actually makes sense. Do they really need a battalion of Abrams Tanks, when anyone trying to Invade Australia will probably be eaten by drop bears and rabid Koala's, for example.

Or here is an even more radical idea, actively recruit people leaving RN or USN service and using them in return for aussie citizenship. For a lot of Brits, I would imagine that would be a fairly attractive offer.

As for the Collins, you idly wonder if the possibility of a lease is going to come up.

 

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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1 hour ago, sunday said:

For fighting in WWII, there was no point on ordering foreign capital ships in 1938 with a lead time of 10 years.
 

Also, back to WWI, ask the Brazilians and the Turks on the matter. Especially to the Turks.

Yeah, but I would guess alot of Turkish and Brazillian officials  got big kickbacks from the shipbuilders for placing the orders...

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https://uk.yahoo.com/news/knife-back-france-cancels-gala-192838490.html

Paris had been planning a series of events honouring the 240th anniversary of the Battle of the Capes, where the French navy helped the US during its war of independence against Great Britain, including functions at their Washington DC embassy and aboard a French frigate docked in Baltimore, Maryland.

Instead, France’s top naval officer, who was set to attend, was sent home to Paris early, the New York Times reported.

 

 

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I wont knock the Soryu, or indeed any japanese diesel submarines. Buy diesel electric have a number of inherent problems, a finite range, which considering the problem you have on your doorstep isnt really any kind of issue for Japan as it is for Australia. 

Were the French in a position to offer nuclear subs? Someone asked this question in my blog and I thought it was interesting.

 

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6 minutes ago, alejandro_ said:

Were the French in a position to offer nuclear subs? Someone asked this question in my blog and I thought it was interesting.

 

From what I know about the contract, the nuclear options wasnt even in the offing. I guess if you are Australia, if you wanted a nuclear powered submarine the only options were French or Russian or Chinese. So rather than having an option of 2 or 3, you are choosing right out the block.

The interesting thing would have been if there had been an open competition right at the start including Britain, the US and France. But then I suspect the French would have baulked at that anyway.

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5 minutes ago, shep854 said:

Sometimes you have to let idiots idiot...

 

Good old Aussie Sky News, you can always count on them to invite the lunatics on, just like Fox.

If he knew anything about nuclear submarines he would have cited HMS Warspite (Major fire, no nuclear release), K19 (Major nuclear accident, no nuclear release) or K219 (Major nuclear accident, no nuclear release).

That he is actually referencing land based nuclear power plants shows how little he knows.

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15 hours ago, Argus said:

The Japanese were inexperienced in this sort of competition and assumed it was all kabuki anyway, so put in a minimal effort that didn't even bother to address several key points, like local content/offsets.

Inexperienced is an understatement. Japan treated an Australia that was incapable of building a product for itself as such, without taking into account an Australia with an ego to protect.

Japan's inability to give Australia and Australians as much face as they needed to swallow the pill of buying Japanese stunted the development of an untapped Japanese economic growth sector for at least a generation.

And I thought Australian stupidity had consequences.

Edited by Nobu
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1 hour ago, shep854 said:

Sometimes you have to let idiots idiot...

They may be idiots, but from their track record of environmental virtue signaling, they are also numerous.

If an Australian Greta Thunberg rises to a position of political power in Australia, they are also going to renege.

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Then sign a contract so they cant. We did it with Concorde, the contract penalty were so heavy we couldn't bail out.

The official Aussie Dept of Defence page is here.

https://www1.defence.gov.au/about/taskforces/nuclear-powered-submarine-task-force

Header of the page shows an Astute. :D

 

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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On 9/16/2021 at 6:24 PM, Stuart Galbraith said:

There wasnt much French tech transfer from what im given to understand. it was akin to 'we will build it, you dont need to know how we build it'.  Which if I was Australian laying down as much money as they were would piss me off to no end.

I think the French were just being realistic. Australia was basically asking for repeat of the Collins project, without any lessons learned, except that somehow it would go better this time. And the only way it was going to go better was with less Aussie involvement...

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3 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Your Beauforts and Beaufighters were all right though. :)

Ok, its going back a bit...

NZ was probably the most amazing contributor back then… elite divisions, several ships, Corsair squadrons, all from a country with a population smaller than 1940s Chicago. 

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