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AUKUS

Old 18th Nov 2021, 21:14
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Reading that Hennessy book that an earlier poster mentioned.
Fascinating - can highly recommend it - crikey - the risks that British submariners took in the 50s sailing up to Nova Zemlya etc.
And Rickover sounds like a thoroughly unpleasant piece of work.
The battle by the Brits to get the US to hand over the reactor technology places the significance of the AUKUS announcement in correct context.
It really is a huge deal for the Americans to agree to hand over the technology to anyone else.
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Old 19th Nov 2021, 01:06
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Originally Posted by Alt Flieger View Post
During the Cold War having the ability to patrol the North Pacific (ie The Soviet Union) made perfect sense.
But the Cold War is over.
Deploying an Attack class nuclear submarine in the South China Sea is something totally different. It is either area denial , which comes close to an act of war, or it is to interdict Chinese submarines to prevent a second strike from their SLBMs.
Hard to see how either are within the scope of Australia’s strategic interests.
We are not a global power seeking to project power.
Taking on China as if we are is a big mistake.
Looks to me like a potential cluster f……
Even the old Orion played the the SCS
https://www.warhistoryonline.com/war...-revealed.html

The video showed a very clear footage cleverly taken by HMAS Orion. The submarine skillfully escaped the unwanted notice of the Soviet Charlie-class nuclear submarine by sneaking beneath and behind the Soviet sub as it headed towards the Soviet naval base.

The footage took images of the Soviet submarine as it was headed towards the Vietnamese port. The camera was secured on the periscope of the Orion which took the footage as the submarine dangerously floated on the rough sea. The location was set 12-nautical miles or 22.2 kilometers outside of Vietnamese territorial limit.

The Orion then took a deep dive close behind the Soviet sub and then to a barely submerged depth again following the surfacing of the Soviet submarine. The prime minister was glued to the video alarmed as he watched the propeller of the Soviet sub in close proximity to the Orion. He also took a glimpse of the Soviet Charlie-class technology from underneath including the ship’s sonar and hull.

The Orion then positioned ahead and still beneath of the Soviet submarine. Pitt then maneuvered the Orion to almost a halt. The Soviet sub hummed pass by without a clue of the watching Australian eyes allowing the Orion to get clear images of the other side of its hull. The photographs and the video itself provided intelligence that could only be gathered if spies were to infiltrate and take the images on the dry Vietnamese port.

Last edited by Senior Pilot; 19th Nov 2021 at 17:55. Reason: ‘The’ or ‘HMAS’, never both!
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Old 19th Nov 2021, 02:42
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Originally Posted by golder View Post
Even the old Orion played the the SCS
https://www.warhistoryonline.com/war...-revealed.html

The video showed a very clear footage cleverly taken by HMAS Orion. The submarine skillfully escaped the unwanted notice of the Soviet Charlie-class nuclear submarine by sneaking beneath and behind the Soviet sub as it headed towards the Soviet naval base.

The footage took images of the Soviet submarine as it was headed towards the Vietnamese port. The camera was secured on the periscope of the Orion which took the footage as the submarine dangerously floated on the rough sea. The location was set 12-nautical miles or 22.2 kilometers outside of Vietnamese territorial limit.

The Orion then took a deep dive close behind the Soviet sub and then to a barely submerged depth again following the surfacing of the Soviet submarine. The prime minister was glued to the video alarmed as he watched the propeller of the Soviet sub in close proximity to the Orion. He also took a glimpse of the Soviet Charlie-class technology from underneath including the ship’s sonar and hull.

The Orion then positioned ahead and still beneath of the Soviet submarine. Pitt then maneuvered the Orion to almost a halt. The Soviet sub hummed pass by without a clue of the watching Australian eyes allowing the Orion to get clear images of the other side of its hull. The photographs and the video itself provided intelligence that could only be gathered if spies were to infiltrate and take the images on the dry Vietnamese port.

The true value of subs. My view is that we need 6 boomers and say 6 smaller boats to cover the deep ocean vast distances and a littoral sub...

Last edited by Senior Pilot; 19th Nov 2021 at 17:55. Reason: Fix quote
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Old 19th Nov 2021, 03:03
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Originally Posted by TBM-Legend View Post
The true value of subs. My view is that we need 6 boomers and say 6 smaller boats to cover the deep ocean vast distances and a littoral sub...
Well, you just ensured at least a few more pages from the thread with the boomer comment.
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Old 19th Nov 2021, 03:34
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...With 24 locked and loaded specials...
Most Orstrayians don't realise how dead set their nation was on getting The Bomb.
Snowy Mountains Power scheme's primary purpose was to generate power for Australia's Manhattan Project.
And ANU was to be it's Princeton.
Or at least that was Wayne Reynolds case in Australia's Bid for the Bomb.
He makes a convincing if controversial argument.

Last edited by tartare; 19th Nov 2021 at 04:44.
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Old 19th Nov 2021, 04:45
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tartare

Happened to at Jervis Bay today. The plan was for nuclear reactor there to produce weapons grade uranium.

I think it was only in 1969 the government finally conceded it wasn’t going to happen.

Wayne Reynolds book - short synopsis at:
https://www.mup.com.au/books/austral...onic-book-text

Personally I found his book to be very enlightening.
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Old 19th Nov 2021, 05:58
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Allowing the detonation of 12 UK nuke bombs was out ticket to the UK show. We didn't even need to do it on our own. I don't know who said no. I think the US told the UK to tell us? End of story, no bomb, a non-proliferation treaty and under the nuke umbrella of the US/UK.
https://www.arpansa.gov.au/understan...eapons-testing
Nuclear weapons testing occurred from 1952 to 1963 at Maralinga, South Australia; Montebello Islands, Western Australia and Emu Field, South Australia.
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Old 19th Nov 2021, 07:32
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Originally Posted by layman View Post
tartare

Happened to at Jervis Bay today. The plan was for nuclear reactor there to produce weapons grade uranium.

I think it was only in 1969 the government finally conceded it wasn’t going to happen.

Wayne Reynolds book - short synopsis at:
https://www.mup.com.au/books/austral...onic-book-text

Personally I found his book to be very enlightening.
Sure was.
Drove down to Jervis Bay with family and went out to the reactor site.
Foundations still visible.
If Gorton had his way, things would have been very different, and perhaps not in a bad way either.
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Old 22nd Nov 2021, 22:30
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The text of the aukus treaty has been released

https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary...ing_considered
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Old 22nd Nov 2021, 23:48
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Wow.
There it is.
The first time since the 1960s that the United States has agreed to share some of it's crown jewels with anyone other than Britain.
Historic.
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Old 23rd Nov 2021, 00:16
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And china's reply
https://www.9news.com.au/world/china...3-a19b5dfdca18


In a diplomatic response to the agreement, China's President Xi Jinping proposed a Southeast Asia nuclear weapon-free treaty.
Mr Xi announced his plan during a virtual summit of leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
"China supports ASEAN's efforts to build a nuclear weapon-free zone, and is prepared to sign the Protocol to the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone as early as possible," Mr Xi Jinping said.
The Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone is an agreement signed in 1995 between 10 Southeast Asian member-states.
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Old 23rd Nov 2021, 00:27
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So this is the Bangkok Treaty of 1995 - right?
Assume the proposal is to freeze in place what nuclear weapons states in the region already have?
So, China gets to keep missiles and SSBNs, and promises to build no more, but in return Australia agrees not to acquire nuclear powered boats?
If that's correct - sounds like a bit of a shite deal...
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Old 23rd Nov 2021, 04:30
  #713 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by West Coast View Post
How far from Australian shores should a submarine have to go to defend the approaches to the homeland in your opinion? Safe to say they’d have to stay there for a period of time.
1. The simplest tracking n' targetting solution is proximate to the home port of your playmate. Open ocean tracking sucks biggly, but there are ways n means.
2. An AUS boat assisting the defence of a USN carrier group is a lovely story, not one that the USN skimmer drivers would be so pleased about. (blood is thicker than anechoic rubber)
3. If I had a choice of target to chase between an SSN and an SSK, that is a no-brainer.
4. boat drivers still like to look n' see. Got photos somewhere of the attack periscope of a 688i (nice camo) chasing a DIII.

AUS defence needs boats, enough to have a credible number out in the playpen at any time, so that their exact location becomes both a tactical and a strategic issue for those that may have a grumpy disposition. Range is not an issue, nor is transit speed. What is needed is FOBs that permit a number of quiet boats to be an inconvenience to the planning of those with a case of excessive testosterone.

All navies have manpower deficits, particularly of long lead skills. Last time I looked, AUS had more boats than crews, Time to get reserve programs working.

As nice as a new shiny, glow in the dark toy set is, I would have thunked that a big buy of SSKs would be a better defence posture, coupled to enough manpower to keep a large number out in the open sea at any given time.

Better yet, a bunch of standoff armed drones.

Whatever, don't plan on having GPS based guidance, in the SCS area, the unannounced GPS jamming is becoming an irritant, along with the PLAF/PLANF bleatings of their hurt feelings on "their safety being compromised" by nations that are actually compliant with the UNCLOS. 121.5 is now apparently a PRC propaganda freq.
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Old 26th Nov 2021, 22:40
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For all those Australians whining about nuclear power not being safe - and nukular reactors sitting on docks in the middle of cities - there's an astonishing story buried in that submarine book.
HMS Valiant - in 1977 - under power when the Captain gets summoned back to the tunnel above the reactor compartment, and looks down through the thick window onto the reactor (a fascinating detail in itself).
He describes it as normally well lit and cathedral like - full of complex machinery - and radiation of course; completely sealed.
But in this case, the entire reactor compartment is full of seawater - due to a pipe leak - while the reactor is running!
They shut it down, drain the seawater - then restart it.
And it runs just fine - despite having being submerged in saltwater.
Testimony to the engineering.
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Old 26th Nov 2021, 22:49
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Originally Posted by tartare View Post
Wow.
There it is.
The first time since the 1960s that the United States has agreed to share some of it's crown jewels with anyone other than Britain.
Historic.
Except for the time they gave France, their land based, marine nuke engine. That they used to make their 'own'.
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Old 26th Nov 2021, 23:54
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Originally Posted by golder View Post
Except for the time they gave France, their land based, marine nuke engine. That they used to make their 'own'.
Please elaborate? (out of interest)
Are you referring to Le Redoutable's reactor?
Or the earlier Q-244?
7 May 1959: Under the Franco-American Defense Agreement of 1959, the U.S. provided France with 440 kg of enriched uranium for use only in a land-based submarine reactor prototype.
U.S. Congress refused to grant France access to classified submarine reactor design information.
1959: The Q-244 project was finally abandoned.
V comprehensive presentation here on all nations nuclear marine capabilities/history:
http://www.lynceans.org/wp-content/u...-nuc-power.pdf

Last edited by tartare; 27th Nov 2021 at 00:09.
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Old 27th Nov 2021, 00:34
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Originally Posted by tartare View Post
Please elaborate? (out of interest)
Are you referring to Le Redoutable's reactor?
Or the earlier Q-244?
7 May 1959: Under the Franco-American Defense Agreement of 1959, the U.S. provided France with 440 kg of enriched uranium for use only in a land-based submarine reactor prototype.
U.S. Congress refused to grant France access to classified submarine reactor design information.
1959: The Q-244 project was finally abandoned.
V comprehensive presentation here on all nations nuclear marine capabilities/history:
http://www.lynceans.org/wp-content/u...-nuc-power.pdf
Believe nixon assisted france with nuclear bomb and propulsion tech under the table, wanted more targets for russia but didn't want to be seen to be helping france develop it


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Old 27th Nov 2021, 00:41
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Didn't know that.
V intriguing.
https://www.wilsoncenter.org/publica...y-to-strategic
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Old 27th Nov 2021, 05:01
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Given that publicly they were refused. It's possible what i was told is wrong, or may have been a mix of stories. With Nixon and such. The story I was told would have been the Q-244. As well as the uranium. There was a sub, nuke power plant for land base only. it may have been components provided? To assist the land-based plant.
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Old 27th Nov 2021, 10:17
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There’s been some interesting posts on this thread and I think the decision to cancel the Attack class submarine was the correct action in the current political climate - for quite a number of reasons. The key development allowing the RAN to purchase/build SSN’s is the availability of reactors that have sufficient fuel for the life of the vessel. This means that there is no requirement to build the massive infrastructure to handle radioactive material or rely on other nations to refuel the vessels. Even though the new nuclear powered submarines will not be operational for many years, the decision has sent a strong signal that the West will stand united and will not allow expansionist aggression by any country to occur.

A number of people have expressed concern about a potential gap between the Collins class retirement and the future SSN’s becoming operational, but the planned Collins Life of Type Extension (LOTE) should adequately cover that period.

I understand that the fatigue checks on the 6 boats has confirmed that all the hulls are suitable for the LOTE and, if the information on Wikipedia is accurate, these hulls have better steel than even the Virginia class SSN’s.

“ The hull is constructed from a high-tensile micro-alloy steel, developed by Swedish steel manufacturer SSAB, and improved by BHP of Australia, which was lighter and easier to weld than the HY-80 (LA class) or HY-100 (Virginia class) nickel-alloy steel used in contemporary submarine construction projects, while providing better results in explosion bulge testing.”

The first boat (HMAS Farncomb) is to commence the LOTE in 2026 in conjunction with a planned 2 year full-cycle docking. The aim is to try to complete the LOTE within those 2 years but, being the first to go through the process, it is expected to run a little overtime, possibly as long as an additional year. On completion, it will have 10 more years of operational service before its expected retirement circa 2039. The LOTE will involve separation of hull sections to allow replacement of all 3 diesel generator units, the main electric motor with possible replacement of batteries, fitment of telescopic photonic masts & acoustic upgrades. It may also involve sonar upgrades if they haven’t been previously fitted to the vessel.

Subsequent vessels are programmed to follow every two years with the last boat to complete the LOTE, HMAS Rankin, possibly retiring after 2048 so that should allow sufficient time for the first 4 SSN’s built in Australia to be operational.

The Collins class is currently experiencing good availability and all are now fitted with the AN/BYG-1 combat system (same as Virginia & retro-fitted to the LA class) and are thus performing well. They are getting a number of Sonar upgrades,
a Modular Cylindrical Array (MCA) based on Sonar Type 2076 submarine technology developed by Thales teams in the UK (as fitted to the Astute class). The existing flank array will be replaced by the latest generation flank array as well as new High Frequency Intercept arrays and the locally developed Heron Mine & Obstacle Avoidance System (MOAS). Thus, in conjunction with LOTE acoustic improvements, they will remain as a full fighting force for the duration of their service life. They currently are armed with Harpoon anti-ship missiles and the upgraded Mark 48 Mod 7 Common Broadband Advanced Sonar System torpedo which was jointly developed by the US and Australian navies. This torpedo’s CBASS guidance control system has wider sonar bandwidth and can function at depths much greater than 365 meters. More resistant to enemy countermeasures, the CBASS torpedo variant can be optimized for targeting fast, deep-diving diving submarines or slow-moving submarines and surface ships in shallow waters.



______________________________

If it is decided to purchase/build the Virginia class, the RAN would probably be looking at the Block VI configuration because it will have the acoustic enhancements that are currently being trialled aboard the USS South Dakota. This means the Australian SSN’s will have the latest available technology which is necessary as the RAN traditionally keeps vessels in service for their full fatigue life. They must be upgradable to ensure they are effective and survivable throughout their service life. The US plans to order the Block VI for production in the 2024-28 timeframe so this should fit with the Australian construction timetable. It’s even possible that the later vessels could be built to Block VII standard.

The submarines can be built without the Virginia Payload Module (VPM) at a saving of about US$500M per hull but the VP Tubes add a lot of flexibility & firepower as well as providing a launch capability for future UUV’s & hypersonic weapons. It would future proof evolving capability to include the VPM on at least half of the fleet - to not have VPM capability would limit how much the Virginia’s could be adapted to new technologies through to the end of their service life.

The 33 year life of the Virginia’s S9G reactor (& its much higher output) gives a significant advantage over the 25 year life of the Astute’s PWR2 which is reported to be out of production & has some safety concerns (Fukishima like, primary cooling system). The extra life that the reactor gives the Virginia class helps to offset its higher cost. The US has better facilities for disposal of the reactor core at the end of the SSN’s service life at the US Department of Energy’s Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State. The UK has had all of their older submarines stored at Devonport (Plymouth) & Rosyth for a long time and have finally started the process of removing radioactive components and disassembling them. There have been a number of reports about maintenance events on the Astute class which would indicate that design is not as operationally mature as the Virginia’s.

Another plus for selecting the Virginia would be the higher level of support (maintenance & re-arming) available at US submarine bases in the Pacific & Indian Oceans. If the Astute is selected, the RAN would have to arrange larger infrastructure & logistics.


There are still many hurdles, especially to get US Congressional approval, etc. I believe the leaders in the US would generally be in favour of a long term, trusted alliance partner having access to the latest technology as it assists them in doing the heavy lifting in maintaining peace throughout the Pacific.

PS. There are a lot of articles indicating that the US doesn’t have any spare submarines that the RAN can lease prior to building their own. The number of SSN’s in the US Navy fleet is currently way down on what they need so they can’t spare one. The only possibility is to take one of the Block II Los Angeles class boats that is in the process of decommissioning, paying for a very expensive refuel and overhaul, then try to keep it serviceable for another 10 years while the RAN sailors gain SSN experience. The USS Oklahoma City completed its final voyage in Bremerton a few days ago so it could be a candidate but, following the RAN’s experience with the Kanimbla class rust buckets, I can’t see them going down this path. Also, the USN currently has a backlog of submarines idle while waiting for their turn for refuelling & overhaul because the small number of shipyards able to do this work are unable to meet the demand - they wouldn’t be able to fit another vessel in their timetable for it to be prepared for RAN use. The hapless USS Boise returned from a patrol in 2015, and it hasn’t gone back on patrol since. Posting crew members to RN & USN submarine positions may be the only way for RAN submariners to learn how to operate SSN’s. The Royal Navy also doesn’t have any spare submarines available for lease.



Last edited by Going Boeing; 11th Feb 2022 at 23:52.
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