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AUKUS

Old 15th Dec 2021, 09:31
  #761 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Asturias56
The problem with Australia having a full nuclear deterrent is that it would only take 5 - 10 warheads coming the other way to fry most of the population.
Aye, it's a MAD world...
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Old 15th Dec 2021, 10:46
  #762 (permalink)  
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Its worth remembering that prior to 1960, the UK had zero experience of building SSNs or the equipment to do so. It spat them out quite regularly thereafter and that was with very immature technology. Using today's technology and skills, I have no reason to believe the Aussies can't
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Old 15th Dec 2021, 12:53
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Originally Posted by NumptyAussie
Aye, it's a MAD world...
MAD has worked for nigh on 60+ years long may it continue...
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Old 15th Dec 2021, 15:46
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Originally Posted by TBM-Legend
MAD has worked for nigh on 60+ years long may it continue...
For the other half of 'M' out of MAD you would need more than just a handful of instant sunshine buckets. For MAD Australia is geografically not terribly favoured. Unless living in the desert appears as an attractive option...
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Old 15th Dec 2021, 19:37
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Originally Posted by henra
For the other half of 'M' out of MAD you would need more than just a handful of instant sunshine buckets. For MAD Australia is geografically not terribly favoured. Unless living in the desert appears as an attractive option...
It would make for some great MAD MAX films.
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Old 15th Dec 2021, 21:22
  #766 (permalink)  

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MAD only works when all the nuclear powers are pragmatic enough to realise the consequences. Worryingly, I suspect there are a few now who don't (or don't really care).
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Old 15th Dec 2021, 21:35
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Sure, it seems apocalyptic and you'd get every fool from Helen Caldicott down on the streets in protest.
Hugh White has the view the discussion should be had - and he's a pretty sensible and well informed bloke.
From what I read - the USN is considering reintroducing a nuclear equipped cruise missile.
So, let's say we get the Virginia class.
The Block V will have a loadout of at least 28 TLAMs.
Assume that there is a TLAM-N or it's successor reintroduced.
Based on that - the numbers aren't as tilted in China's favour as might first appear.
Sure, they could effectively obliterate Australia with one missile... but that's not the point.
Being conservative and assuming earlier generation TLAM success rates of 85 per cent - that's a potential of 23 Australian nuclear warheads hitting Chinese targets in a second strike from one boat.
A nuclear equipped Australia using just one of it's boats could hold at threat a significant proportion of the Chinese population.
Pause for thought for Chinese decision makers - and that's the stabilising point of MAD.

Last edited by tartare; 15th Dec 2021 at 21:56.
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Old 16th Dec 2021, 08:28
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But whence cometh 23 or more Australian warheads? They will need to be thermonuclear ones to achieve the objective of holding the Chinese population at threat, and they have to fit TLAM Follow on.
The non proliferation treaty means they are not coming ready made, and even if you are slipped a design under the table, they are not easy to turn into reality. Turning yellow ore into HEU and or Pu ain't easy or cheap either.
Then you have to have won the political donnybrook, before you can even make a serious start.

Good Luck

N
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Old 16th Dec 2021, 09:35
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Originally Posted by Bengo
But whence cometh 23 or more Australian warheads? They will need to be thermonuclear ones to achieve the objective of holding the Chinese population at threat, and they have to fit TLAM Follow on.
The non proliferation treaty means they are not coming ready made, and even if you are slipped a design under the table, they are not easy to turn into reality. Turning yellow ore into HEU and or Pu ain't easy or cheap either.
Then you have to have won the political donnybrook, before you can even make a serious start.

Good Luck

N
Making the HEU is probably easier than we think. ANSTO (https://www.ansto.gov.au/) developed SILEX, its considered to be the most efficient means of creating HEU. How much more efficient than conventional centrafuges or what ever means most people use, I got no idea.

But silex is exclusively licensed to the US government. But nuclear weapons for australia is a pipe dream and wont ever happen
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Old 16th Dec 2021, 23:13
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Originally Posted by rattman
But nuclear weapons for australia is a pipe dream and wont ever happen
Indeed.
I agree with the earlier poster - that if a war wrecked and (at that time) artisanal economy like Britain can progress to a full CASD in ~20 years, then I reckon Australia now and in future is certainly technically capable of doing.
Even the nuclear powered boats alone are well within Australia's manufacturing and sustainment capabilities.
Australia prior up until the 60s had a vibrant manufacturing base - I seem to remember hearing that at that point up to 30 per cent of GDP was manufacturing related.
The rot set in after that.
The thing that's freaking ill informed commentators is that this project is a multi-decadal one of nation-building scale - but that doesn't mean it's not doable.
As to weapons - you're dead right.
The general public here are appallingly naive about nuclear power alone - and despite the ANZAC tradition, Australian culture is a lot less martial than that of Britain or the US.
The thought of Australian nuclear weapons would prompt hand wringing on an epic scale!
That said, I think the John Bradfields of Australia's past would be appalled by the spineless, short-termism and lack of vision of today's decision makers.
The though of the CCP invading Australia or directly attacking the mainland is likely a fever dream - but the possibility of them annexing neighbouring territories is not.
I can see a future where China might attack regional neighbours in continuous low-level conflicts and skirmishes, much like Russia is doing now, and raise a finger to anyone who objects.
A time when the RAN might not be able to sail through international waters to the north because there was a real risk of actually being sunk, or our P-8s being shot down.
Chinese intelligence agencies killing local dissidents here in Australia with impunity - not outside the realms of possibility.
And everyone here too scared to say anything for fear of provoking the CCP.
All because we didn't have the wick to properly stand up to them when we could.
Do we really want a near neighbour like that?


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Old 17th Dec 2021, 01:21
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The Israelis have them on their boats. Can't be too difficult
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Old 17th Dec 2021, 08:22
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As Tartare said - "that if a war wrecked and (at that time) artisanal economy like Britain can progress to a full CASD in ~20 years, then I reckon Australia now and in future is certainly technically capable of doing."

You might also look at N Korea - a genuine economic basket case, Israel - not a vast industrial complex, Pakistan & India - probably roughly equivalent to the UK around 1950 at the time they started building a bomb. The technologies are well known - the question is do you have the political will and sticking power to divert a very large amount of national wealth and expertise for a decade into building a bomb?

Looking at the current users you'd say you'd have to face a clear and overwhelming threat to the very existence of the the nation. I don't think the Australian public sees China in those terms as yet
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Old 17th Dec 2021, 08:29
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Luckily Australia has a few friends on speed dial that may have a few spare, that they could borrow....
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Old 17th Dec 2021, 10:54
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Kinda missed this, but apparently SK is looking at nuclear subs and some discussion that they might be bought into the submarine part of the aukus deal. There are various sources talking about, hard to tell if they just reprinting the same dodgy source or genuine multiple sources. If SK gets one going to assume japan might be try and jump aboard as well. H I Sutton wrote an article for naval news or you can just google to see a list of sources and look at your preffered one
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Old 17th Dec 2021, 11:14
  #775 (permalink)  
 
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India and France are talking nuke subs too.
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com...w/88267243.cms
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Old 17th Dec 2021, 21:40
  #776 (permalink)  
 
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In another life, was at a press conference in Wellington with the Indian ambassador in `98 just after their test had been announced.
"There's huge poverty in your country - how can you justify spending all that money on nuclear weapons?" asked me as a smart arse young journo.
He smiled wryly and said "Actually, developing weapons isn't that expensive at all."
Food for thought - no pun intended.
I agree - it's all down to political will.
I wonder if somewhere in Canberra, on some highly classified, air-gapped system, there are updated scenarios modelling how we'd rapidly get our hands on them from the cousins, or what a breakout time for a domestic capability might be.
Certainly would have been the case in Gorton's time.
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Old 18th Dec 2021, 01:22
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Originally Posted by tartare
In another life, was at a press conference in Wellington with the Indian ambassador in `98 just after their test had been announced.
"There's huge poverty in your country - how can you justify spending all that money on nuclear weapons?" asked me as a smart arse young journo.
He smiled wryly and said "Actually, developing weapons isn't that expensive at all."
Food for thought - no pun intended.
I agree - it's all down to political will.
I wonder if somewhere in Canberra, on some highly classified, air-gapped system, there are updated scenarios modelling how we'd rapidly get our hands on them from the cousins, or what a breakout time for a domestic capability might be.
Certainly would have been the case in Gorton's time.
Nuke weapons aren't an option. We have signed a nonproliferation treaty. They are off the table.
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Old 18th Dec 2021, 04:58
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The nuclear option is a ship that sailed a long time ago. Billy McMahon canned it back in the ‘70s.
Probably the worst PM in Australian history.
Nuclear power should have been an established industry long ago.
But Australians are naive and content to rely on the USof A to guarantee their security.
Stupid but politically the only option.
Australians don’t want to face up to their strategic reality.
Or spend the money or effort required to be independent.
Curtin started it and not much has changed since.
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Old 18th Dec 2021, 14:48
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Probably the worst PM in Australian history
Every black cloud has a silver lining, he pulled us out of Vietnam.
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Old 20th Dec 2021, 06:45
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Originally Posted by megan
Every black cloud has a silver lining, he pulled us out of Vietnam.
You are being far too generous. He just continued Gortons policy and the job was finished by Whitlam.
He was a no idea light weight who nobody liked or trusted.
If we had a nuclear industry carbon emissions would have been sorted by now.
A Huge missed opportunity that we are paying for now.

Last edited by Alt Flieger; 20th Dec 2021 at 21:50.
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