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AUKUS

Old 16th Apr 2024, 21:09
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Originally Posted by ORAC
Aston Martin cars use AMG engines, it doesn't make them Mercedes.

RR got major input from the US on how to improve the design of the PWR3, leading to a 30% in the number of parts, but that doesn't make it an American reactor.

Designed, built and fuelled at Derby so not dependent on the USA for support during it's service life.
Uranium enrichment is a complex task requiring specialised equipment that is strictly controlled - does RR have the capability to do high levels of enrichment in-house or is the fuel sourced from the US?
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Old 17th Apr 2024, 01:38
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Originally Posted by Going Boeing
Uranium enrichment is a complex task requiring specialised equipment that is strictly controlled - does RR have the capability to do high levels of enrichment in-house or is the fuel sourced from the US?

UK does it through https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urenco_Group

Also note the US doesn't do nuclear enrichment, they are running from a stockpile of enriched uranium they purchased from Ex USSR / russian decommissioned warheads. At current rate they are expecting to need to restart enrichment in / around 2050. Also US has a license for a SILEX (Separation of Isotopes by Laser EXcitation) that was developed in australia in the late 90's

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Old 17th Apr 2024, 05:49
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Urenco currently just produced HEU for civilian use.

The UK has a reported stockpile of 22 tons of HEU, each PWR3 reactor contains around 200Kg of HEU which it burns at the rate of 6.06Kg per year during its working life.

Working on the basis of 4 Dreadnaught, 5 SSNA for Australia and 7 for the UK as Astute replacements will need around 3 tons over the next 30 years. So there is no rush to restart production.
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Old 18th Apr 2024, 07:40
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Originally Posted by ORAC
Working on the basis of 4 Dreadnaught, 5 SSNA for Australia and 7 for the UK as Astute replacements will need around 3 tons over the next 30 years. So there is no rush to restart production.
I believe that the stated number of 5 SSN-A’s for the RAN is an erroneous figure which originates from media who didn’t study the timeline for retirement of existing submarines. The first 2 Virginia’s (circa 2032/4) are slated to have 20 years of service life remaining and will be operating in addition to the 6 Collins class. The first Collins (Farncomb) will be replaced by the 3rd Virginia (2038) and the rest of the Collins will be replaced by the first 5 Australian built SSN-A’s. The first 2 Virginia’s will then be replaced by the 6th & 7th SSN-A. Eventually, the 3rd Virginia will be replaced by the last (8th) SSN-A as the RAN will not want to support multiple types in its submarine fleet any longer than necessary due to the increased cost and higher manning levels.

The option for 2 additional Virginia’s is only there in case there are lengthy delays with the SSN-A program & are thus needed to fill the gaps as the Collins class retires. I’m sure that everyone involved is hoping that they are not necessary due to the high additional costs.

The aim is for the RAN to end up with a single fleet of 8 SSN-A’s with the Collins & Virginia’s retired.

I would not be surprised if, assuming funding becomes available, the RN will want more than 7 SSN-A’s as they are finding their current fleet is stretched.
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Old 19th Apr 2024, 02:49
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The aim is for the RAN to end up with a single fleet of 8 SSN-A’s
However, the clock doesn't stop when we get to 8 SSN-A's.

Hopefully, Australia will learn that the smart way to build big things like subs is to always have one on the production line. If they have a 33-year lifespan, we need to be building one every 4 years. When we need a newer model down the track, we modify the existing production line. Not close it down, sack everyone and then go "oh, wow, look how much it's gonna cost us to start a whole new sub-building industry again".
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Old 19th Apr 2024, 06:01
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Originally Posted by Xhorst
However, the clock doesn't stop when we get to 8 SSN-A's.

Hopefully, Australia will learn that the smart way to build big things like subs is to always have one on the production line. If they have a 33-year lifespan, we need to be building one every 4 years. When we need a newer model down the track, we modify the existing production line. Not close it down, sack everyone and then go "oh, wow, look how much it's gonna cost us to start a whole new sub-building industry again".
Yes, it needs to be a continuous build. In an ideal world, both the RN & RAN would operate 9 SSN’s each + the RN would have 4 SSBN’s, then, with a 33 year reactor life and a 3 year drumbeat, Barrow could build 7 SSN’s & 4 SSBN’s while Osborne would build 11 SSN’s - I know, IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN!
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Old 19th Apr 2024, 06:22
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What is the planned size of the Australian production hall?

If it’s similar to that at Barrow it would hold 3 subs in construction - one finishing build, one mid-build and one starting. Assuming a 10-12 year build time that’s one entering service every 5-6 years, which with a 30 year life would be able to maintain a fleet size of 5-6 boats.

An experienced team might get that down to 8 years - the current time to build a Virginia class, rolling one off the stocks every 4 years, which would maintain a fleet of 7-8 boats.

After that you are looking a hall/line able to build 4 at a time.


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Old 19th Apr 2024, 07:23
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This pic shows the planned development for the Osborne site. The olive green buildings are existing and the white buildings (& grey paved area) are planned to be built.

The large green shed on the left is where final construction of the Hunter/Type 26 Frigates is underway (capable of two side by side) with further buildings not shown where sections are assembled. The surface ship building area is known as ASC South.

The slightly smaller green building leading to a ship lift is where the, now cancelled, Attack class submarines were to have been built and is the site where the Collins class were originally built and now have their 2 year Full Cycle Docking (every 10 years). This is where ASC North (submarine) starts and will be expanded very significantly.

Those buildings will give a reference for the size of all the planned buildings. It is a massive area of land and, when it’s complete, it will be a very modern, digital, parts manufacturing and submarine assembly complex. The final assembly hall is on the right side adjacent to a very high capacity ship lift. The area is considerably larger than what is in use at Barrow.

The unused section in the middle is the Mutton Cove Conservation Reserve which is off limits to any development.


Future plans for ASC North

Hunter class frigate final assembly hall

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Old 19th Apr 2024, 08:33
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I posted some shots of the undeveloped site in #1448 back in October. Its a massive area alright and should allow for an optimised layout .

Its going to be a major employer just building the place.

I know a lot of S Australians are hoping it will restore some engineering jobs that were lost there from the 1970's onwards
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Old 19th Apr 2024, 20:42
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Originally Posted by Asturias56
I posted some shots of the undeveloped site in #1448 back in October. Its a massive area alright and should allow for an optimised layout .

Its going to be a major employer just building the place.

I know a lot of S Australians are hoping it will restore some engineering jobs that were lost there from the 1970's onwards
Dunno if I mentioned it here. A good friend of mine is marine electrician in cairns, he works on everything from naval stuff to fishing trawlers. Hes already had initial approaches from some un named recruiters about attending infromation days for an unspecified "national ship building program" Sounds like they are already starting to headhunt for it
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Old 20th Apr 2024, 07:09
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I'd be surprised if there aren't some people with Australian accents setting up job shops in Barrow & Derby
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Old 22nd Apr 2024, 07:12
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More infrastructure in support of Defence members involved with the Submarine and Frigate construction has been announced.

https://www.defenceconnect.com.au/in...d-near-osborne
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Old 22nd Apr 2024, 11:26
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stretching it a bit to say "close to the CBD" but new accommodation is always a good thing
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Old 22nd Apr 2024, 22:09
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​​​​​​​The Royal Navy’s latest Astute Class submarine has been officially named at BAE Systems’ Submarines site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. Agamemnon - named after the ancient Greek king - is the sixth of seven Astute submarines being built by the Company. Here's the video.
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Old 22nd Apr 2024, 22:10
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Originally Posted by Asturias56
stretching it a bit to say "close to the CBD" but new accommodation is always a good thing
It's all relative. In some places, it is still inner city at 10km.
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Old 27th Apr 2024, 13:02
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We have China's attention. Let's hope they take it seriously.

AUKUS expansion to 'undermine peace' (ecns.cn)
China is gravely concerned about the potential expansion of the Australia-United Kingdom-United States trilateral security alliance, saying that it would severely undermine peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, the Ministry of National Defense said on Thursday.

Wu Qian, the ministry's spokesman, made the remarks at a news conference in Beijing in response to reports that Japan has expressed its intention to join AUKUS and that Canada is considering starting negotiations on joining the security alliance.

"We are open to normal military cooperation between any countries, but we firmly oppose relevant countries forming exclusive groupings, building bilateral or multilateral military alliances targeting China, creating division and stoking bloc confrontation,"
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Old 27th Apr 2024, 13:31
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Originally Posted by ORAC
The Royal Navy’s latest Astute Class submarine has been officially named at BAE Systems’ Submarines site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. Agamemnon - named after the ancient Greek king - is the sixth of seven Astute submarines being built by the Company. Here's the video.
I think it's more accurate to say the submarine is named after a number of historic Royal Navy ships rather rather than a Greek King, most notably HMS Agamemnon launched in 1781 and part of Nelson's fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar.
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Old 1st May 2024, 23:09
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The circus continues to put on a show.

More than 100 lawmakers call for appropriators to restore Navy’s second Virginia-class sub

The letter is the latest sign lawmakers have rejected the Navy’s argument that the cut was a strategic one due to a construction backlog, though some key signatures are missing.
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Old 8th May 2024, 05:02
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https://www.scmp.com/news/china/dipl...s-other-allies

South Korea brings hypersonic tech to the AUKUS table in a sign Seoul is moving closer to the US and its other allies

South Korean Defence Minister Shin Won-sik has confirmed Seoul is in talks to take part in Pillar 2 of the defence alliance
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Old 10th May 2024, 05:12
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https://www.defensenews.com/naval/20...some-may-help/

US Navy’s submarine fleet is too small. Here’s how selling some may help.

This is the first story of a two-part series on how the U.S. submarine force is participating in the trilateral AUKUS alliance. Click here to read the second story.
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