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AUKUS

Old 17th Sep 2021, 07:56
  #81 (permalink)  
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https://www.defensenews.com/global/a...ine-ambitions/

Australia details its nuclear-submarine ambitions

MELBOURNE, Australia – The Australian government has established a Future Nuclear Submarine Task Force which will work with U.K. and U.S. counterparts over the next twelve to eighteen months to determine the best way to acquire the boats.

While a specific type of nuclear submarine is yet to be determined, likely candidates would appear to be either Britain’s Astute-class attack submarine or the U.S. Virginia-class vessel. Construction is slated to take place locally at Osborne in South Australia…..

A decision on the final number of new submarines is expected to be made by Canberra during the upcoming analysis phase.….

The decision is understood to have been brought about by the deteriorating security environment and rapidly evolving military technologies in the Indo-Pacific region, and it is enabled by new technology which allows Australia to build nuclear-powered boats that do not require a supporting civil nuclear industry.

Australia has spent around $2.4 billion (US$1.76 billion) on the Attack-class design so far, but the additional cost of terminating the current contract is yet to be negotiated. The projected cost of the new future nuclear submarine has also yet to be determined or announced…..

The change of heart is likely to mean the Royal Australian Navy’s Collins-class submarines will now remain in service, in diminishing numbers, until the late 2040s. The six Collins boats will cycle through a further Full Cycle Docking (FSD) activity and Life of Type Extension (LOTE) program to ensure their effectiveness until withdrawal.

The scope of the LOTE upgrade has not been made public, but an announcement by South Australian Premier Steven Marshal Thursday revealed the work will also be done at Osborne.

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Old 17th Sep 2021, 08:09
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AUKUS is AWKWARD but better then U-SUK-A.
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Old 17th Sep 2021, 08:23
  #83 (permalink)  
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https://www.politico.eu/article/why-...ench-sub-deal/

Why Australia wanted out of its French submarine deal
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Old 17th Sep 2021, 08:53
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
As a choice I think it's the right one - the RAN need long range and endurance - not something you get with a diesel.
If you want range and endurance, why not develop an unmanned system? They could also go a lot deeper than a manned sub. Talking of which, I wouldn't be surprised if China has developed such systems and our now contemplating deploying them in international waters off Australia's bases, to pick up and shadow their subs as they leave port.

While I can understand the Oz decision, our role doesn't exactly make sense. As Theresa May noted in Parliament yesterday, would we really contemplate going to war with China over Taiwan or anywhere else within that neck of the woods?

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Old 17th Sep 2021, 08:59
  #85 (permalink)  
 
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All this shows as ever is that China, its leaders unencumbered by the need to win a election every 4-5 years, thinks much longer term than any Western country. Why ever start a messy war when you can just gradually buy the bits of the world that you want......
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Old 17th Sep 2021, 09:06
  #86 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
There seems to be a real worry in Europe, not least in France, that this is the UK turning its eyes, and it’s military, to the Pacific - and realising how much they need the UK strategically. Not sure if the joint declaration on AUKUS being so close to this meeting was a coincidence or deliberate.

Might have been more appropriate in the EU army thread - but also fits here.

Back in the day the UK, along with the USA, was involved in not only NATO but also CENTO and SEATO. The latter two withered on the vine. One wonders what the rise of AUKUS will mean for the former as the focus shifts back to the Pacific.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baghdad_Pact

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southe...y_Organization


https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/d...h-eu-rp9c05bnl

Dutch leader Mark Rutte will invite Britain to join deal with EU

Boris Johnson will be offered a pact with the European Union on defence and security co-operation today during a meeting in Downing Street with Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister…..

“Afghanistan is a catalyst for further discussion on European defence co-operation, preferably including the UK,” a diplomatic source said. “Since Brexit, not enough European leaders have been in touch with Johnson. It is important to look at the geopolitics without being divided and there is a need to work with the UK.”

France and Germany support the initiative and EU sources have suggested that Downing Street is more receptive to talks after British tensions arose with President Biden……

Rutte will make the offer despite French anger over a security pact between Australia, the US and Britain. The EU regards the issue as primarily a trade dispute over Australia’s decision to drop a submarine contract with France rather than a strategic question.…..


Dutch, French and other European governments back greater co-operation with Britain to overcome European dependency on the US for airlifts, evacuation of nationals and emergency humanitarian assistance.

Doing a deal with the UK is integral to European plans to develop a rapid reaction force to intervene independently of the US to ensure aid is delivered and evacuations carried out in a crisis……

The EU yesterday expressed “regret” that neither the Americans nor the British had consulted European capitals over the new alliance with Australia to counter China but it played down the significance of the row.

Borrell [the EU’s foreign affairs chief] said: “I understand the extent to which the French government must be disappointed. We regret not being informed.”

He said that the EU foreign ministers would discuss the agreement and the French would call for European navies to increase their military presence in the region.

“EU foreign and defence ministers will be pressing for an increase of our presence in the Indo-Pacific and enhanced defence of our interests in the region,” Borrell said. “I am not saying we should send a European fleet in but we should have vessels there.”

Politically this seems timely for the UK, especially in the light of recent events. It strikes me that it represents an opportunity and the UK could demonstrate its post-Brexit European bona fides by responding positively to it.
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Old 17th Sep 2021, 09:28
  #87 (permalink)  
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While I can understand the Oz decision, our role doesn't exactly make sense. As Theresa May noted in Parliament yesterday, would we really contemplate going to war with China over Taiwan or anywhere else within that neck of the woods?
The pact is about support for Australia. There was carefully no mention of China, let alone Taiwan, Korea or Japan during the television briefing (which might worry Japan and Korea more than Taiwan).

Australia stepped into support the UK in Europe during two wars, I would think being prepared to do the same thing if heads ever come to a head in their region would find public support.
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Old 17th Sep 2021, 10:25
  #88 (permalink)  
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You should bear in mind that switching to a French SSN gives you a sub that requires refuelling every 10 years using shoreside infrastructure Australia does not have. An Astute with a Core H reactor is fuelled for life, thus cheaper to run and maintain and arguably more capable and can be integrated with US kit. Its a sensible move IMHO
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Old 17th Sep 2021, 11:08
  #89 (permalink)  
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To follow on from that. and from the comments I have seen concerning the decision..,

The French haven’t yet finished commissioning their first new SSN for 30 years (the Suffren), which is only displaces 5K tons compared to the Astute class at 7.5K, and hence can carry only a total of 18 torpedo/Mx (French models only). Not a lot of firepower if you have to cross an ocean to rearm.

Not sure if the size is a result of reactor output, but it has also led to far more automation with a crew of only 65, even at that complement it can only carry enough food and other consumable for a maximum of 70 days as opposed to around 90 for the Astute. With comments raised about rotation in combat and fatigue on long patrols. Again something not optimum for Pacific oceanic distances.

In short, once deciding to go nuclear, there would have been a lot of risk in Oz opting for a French boat built for for Med and Atlantic littoral Ops for the Pacific theatre.

One thing I discovered when researching Astute vs Virginia class subs, which surprised me was the following.

The US Virginia-class SSN has a S9G reactor of about 150 MW driving a 30 MW pump-jet propulsion system built by BAE Systems (originally for the Royal Navy).”

https://www.navaltoday.com/2014/02/2...opulsors-deal/

p.s. The Virginia class S9G reactor doesn’t need refuelling for it’s planned lifetime, as with the PWR2 in the Swiftsure and Astute subs - but again it would then depend on Congress approving export of nuclear material.
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Old 17th Sep 2021, 11:08
  #90 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Navaleye View Post
You should bear in mind that switching to a French SSN gives you a sub that requires refuelling every 10 years using shoreside infrastructure Australia does not have. An Astute with a Core H reactor is fuelled for life, thus cheaper to run and maintain and arguably more capable and can be integrated with US kit. Its a sensible move IMHO
Although defuelling at EoL tends to require the same infrastructure as that for refuelling. I don't think they'll get an infrastructure saving here, but probably a reduction in scope of mid-life refit in both cost and duration.
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Old 17th Sep 2021, 11:16
  #91 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
One thing I discovered when researching Astute vs Virginia class subs, which surprised me was the following.

The US Virginia-class SSN has a S9G reactor of about 150 MW driving a 30 MW pump-jet propulsion system built by BAE Systems (originally for the Royal Navy).”

https://www.navaltoday.com/2014/02/2...opulsors-deal/
I wouldn't read too much into that. While the pumpjet was first applied operationally to an S-boat in the RN, the people who designed it are long-retired and it was built by a company called VSEL. The unit on the end of the Virginia class is US-designed and US manufactured.
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Old 17th Sep 2021, 12:46
  #92 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Frostchamber View Post
Politically this seems timely for the UK, especially in the light of recent events. It strikes me that it represents an opportunity and the UK could demonstrate its post-Brexit European bona fides by responding positively to it.
I sincerely hope the answer is no. The UK’s support for European defence and security is through its full contribution to NATO - something most EU states signally fail to do. If they want a separate RRF they should fund it themselves.
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Old 17th Sep 2021, 13:27
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ORAC's #92 resonates with me.
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Old 17th Sep 2021, 13:31
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Originally Posted by Video Mixdown View Post
I sincerely hope the answer is no. The UK’s support for European defence and security is through its full contribution to NATO - something most EU states signally fail to do. If they want a separate RRF they should fund it themselves.
Why would Europe care about what happens in the far east? Besides if nations we consider allies gets attacked that is....

That area is more US sphere of interrest. (And the UK has obviously also made it hers)

Giving Australia nuclear subs is also dragging them into a conflict (with China) they would have a hard time to reach using "normal" boats.... kind of "I scratch your bag.....".
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Old 17th Sep 2021, 13:35
  #95 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by andytug View Post
All this shows as ever is that China, its leaders unencumbered by the need to win a election every 4-5 years, thinks much longer term than any Western country. Why ever start a messy war when you can just gradually buy the bits of the world that you want......
This is the correct view, as well as the one about needing numerous body bags.

I am amused that most of the posts here are about the hardware - it is the 'software' of the Diplomatic failure that is far more important as it is the route that could lead to needing the hardware.

Across the last 30+ years, China has acheived all it needed without firing too many bullets. They own vast tracts of Africa and have many others under their thumb. I do not expect politicians to remember lessons from over 100 years ago (Afghanistan) but the AUKUS announcement tells us that the politicians have forgotten the lessons of the last 20 years. Since 1950, PRC has made it's view of Taiwan very clear - and now UK, USA, Aus have ignored modern history.

If you do not like what China does to it's people, then do not trade with them! Move your manufacturing back home but, to try and have cheap manufacturing - whilst antagonising your trading partner? Such stupidity.

The American M.I.C. blends too well with the old colonial view of gunships. The past 18 months have shown us how important an integrated, collaborative world is. This is a colosal mistake all round.
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Old 17th Sep 2021, 15:09
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Originally Posted by Video Mixdown View Post
I sincerely hope the answer is no. The UK’s support for European defence and security is through its full contribution to NATO - something most EU states signally fail to do. If they want a separate RRF they should fund it themselves.

Normally I'd tend to agree, but we are living in interesting times (which, for good or ill, we have just helped to make more interesting still) and I think the balance of considerations has shifted in a way that such a traditional binary approach isn't necessarily the smart play right now.

What we have here are fellow European nations beating a path to the UK's door to tell us that they both want and need us to be part of their undertaking. That's quite significant and not unhelpful from a UK viewpoint, bearing in mind that there are other areas where the UK rather wants to be part of the European setup, and getting their agreement to that hasn't always been straightforward. Incidentally I suspect it's no coincidence that they have chosen the Dutch to pitch it to us, unless the Dutch have chosen themselves. More surprising just now would have been a pitch by the French.

I suspect your view will prevail and it's one I entirely understand - the NATO point is an important one. But there are ways round things, our involvement could be couched around with statements about NATO primacy etc, UK assets temporarily attach themselves to EU efforts in the Med, the western Indian Ocean etc when it suits, and this needn't be too much different. Having the EU saying they want us along warrants a bit of magnanimity I think and it does no harm to take an opportunity to visibly underline our credentials as Europeans at this particular juncture.

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Old 17th Sep 2021, 16:23
  #97 (permalink)  
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HMG has awarded BWOS and RR £85m for initial studies for the SSNR project replacing the Astute class. Coincidence?
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Old 17th Sep 2021, 16:28
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"If you want range and endurance, why not develop an unmanned system? They could also go a lot deeper than a manned sub."

true but people want people out there in difficult situations - you can't communicate easily with anything submerged so you are dependent on people on board - think the "Belgrano" - would you be happy to leave that to AI?
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Old 17th Sep 2021, 16:31
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"They own vast tracts of Africa and have many others under their thumb."

legally yes - but since when has that counted for much in places like Africa? If the local despot says "kick the Chinese out" then out they go - the Russians found that out in Egypt way back
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Old 17th Sep 2021, 16:36
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Originally Posted by Navaleye View Post
HMG has awarded BWOS and RR £85m for initial studies for the SSNR project replacing the Astute class. Coincidence?
Probably. They are at least learning that you need to keep design teams constituted and functioning, otherwise we get a repeat of Astute (and T26 and potentially Dreadnought). In the context of a nuclear submarine programme, it's not a huge amount. For example at £55M pa, that's about 15% of one DAYS NHS spend.

For comparison - that £170M is less than the Assessment Phase contract award to BAES for T26 back in 2010 or so. That assessment phase that went so well a four year game of chicken then ensued between MoD and BAES over who was going to pay the additional amount.....
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