Australia Navy Australia SSN Program

Cabatli_TR

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Australia has scrapped its strife-torn $90bn submarine deal with France and entered a new pact with the United States and the United Kingdom to acquire nuclear-powered submarines.

Scott Morrison made the announcement early on Thursday in Canberra during a virtual address with Joe Biden and and Boris Johnson – a coordinated show of diplomatic strength clearly aimed at China, the rising power in the Indo-Pacific.

While some defence analysts have pushed for the development of nuclear-powered submarines in Australia for two decades, Australia does not have a domestic nuclear industry.

The prime minister told reporters: “We intend to build these submarines in Adelaide, Australia, in close cooperation with the United Kingdom and the United States.

US, UK and Australia forge military alliance to counter China

“But let me be clear – Australia is not seeking to establish a nuclear industry or establish a civil nuclear capability, and we will continue to meet all of our nuclear non-proliferation obligations.”


 

Saithan

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It's going to be very interesting to see the effects of this in France. It's a lot of money. I imagine that KSA, Egypt and UAE might try to fill in a void and get their hands on some more arms from France. I'd have mentioned Russia too, but I'm not sure if France would go that far.
 

kalopsia

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It's going to be very interesting to see the effects of this in France. It's a lot of money. I imagine that KSA, Egypt and UAE might try to fill in a void and get their hands on some more arms from France. I'd have mentioned Russia too, but I'm not sure if France would go that far.
Naval group statement :
"Naval Group takes note of the decision of the Australian authorities to acquire a fleet of nuclear submarines in collaboration with the United States and the United Kingdom following their comprehensive capability review.
The Commonwealth decided not to proceed with the next phase of the program. This is a major disappointment for Naval Group, which was offering Australia a regionally superior conventional submarine with exceptional performances. Naval Group was also offering Australia a sovereign submarine capability making unrivalled commitments in terms of technology transfer, jobs and local content.
For five years, Naval Group teams, both in France and in Australia, as well as our partners, have given their best and Naval Group has delivered on all its commitments.
The analysis of the consequences of this sovereign Australian decision will be conducted with the Commonwealth of Australia in the coming days."

https://www.naval-group.com/en/statement-1019
 

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Sunk before Service: Australia’s Disastrous Submarine Project​

DCNS-Future-sub_1f7e-e1611195083225.jpg


SEA 1000 Attack Class submarines (Image from defenceconnect.com.au)

One only gets into the submarine procurement business to spite government treasurers and economic managers. Efficiency and effectuality are bonus additions, but hardly necessary. Witness the evolving disaster that is Australia’s SEA 1000 Future Submarine program, won by France’s DCNS, now Naval Group, in 2016.

From the start, this seemed an audaciously peculiar choice. Australia had avoided purchasing more appropriate, medium-sized submarines from a conventional submarine maker, opting, instead, for a nuclear submarine design that would be retooled for conventional use. For a country that is the third largest exporter of uranium, this was ironic as much as it suggested castration.


Australia’s then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was all assurance about what would be a new class submarine, the Shortfin Barracuda. “The competitive evaluation process (CEP) has provided the government with the detailed information required to select DCNS as the most suitable international partner to develop a regionally-superior future submarine to meet our unique national security requirements.”

Defence Connect also noted such lofty expectations, with the Attack Class submarine “expected to deliver a quantum leap in the capability delivered to the Royal Australian Navy and its submarine service by leveraging technology and capabilities developed for nuclear submarines, implemented on a conventional submarine.” Be wary of leaping submarines with leveraged technology.

This pompous assertion of faux strategic value was initially to cost AU$50 billion. But by May 2018, it became clear that the picture was somewhat dearer. Rear Admiral Greg Sammut had to concede to Australian senators in an estimates hearing that another AU$50 billion would be required to sustain the submarines for the duration of their operating life. In explaining this to Senator Rex Patrick, Sammut had obviously heeded lessons from the civil service school of obfuscation. “Many of the detailed costs of acquisition and sustainment will be determined during the design process through choices made but at this point early estimation of the sustainment costs for the fleet are of the order of up to $50 billion on a constant price basis.”

Combing through this dull, turgid answer, and the implications were ominous. The expenditure for the submarine program would only rise, with the cost of sustaining the naval brutes being anywhere from two to three times that of their acquisition price. “It’s disturbing that Defence has done this,” remarked Senator Patrick at the time.

In any other context, this would be regarded as gross negligence, but defence costs operate in another realm of insensible practice. And just to illustrate the point, over the course of five months in 2020, the submarine project cost Australian taxpayers a further AU$10 billion, occasioned by currency fluctuations and an oversight on the planned commencement date for the construction of HMAS Attack, intended as the fleet’s lead boat.

The rising cost of the program has caught the attention of other politicians as well. One Nation’s Senator Malcolm Roberts might be risibly dotty on such matters as climate science, but when it comes to defence expenditure, his feet are firmly planted. In May 2020, he, in his own words, “took time to condemn the new contract signed to build 12 new submarines.”

To his fellow senators, he asked whether the government had taken leave of its senses during times of COVID-19. “In the middle of this pandemic we cannot afford to proceed with this contract. This money will be far better spent to support the Australian recovery from the economic pit, that is caused by this pandemic. By the time these submarines are delivered, they will be obsolete.”

These are not the only problems associated with this profligately foolish exercise. Questions have been asked about what has politely been termed “the amount of Australian industry content in the program” and the commitment of Naval Group to developing Australian industry. Suspicions remain that this is, at heart, a French driven enterprise, with a duped Australia limping along with the cash.

In January 2020, the Australian National Audit Office weighed in with a report outlining the risks in the SEA 1000 program, even at its incipient stages. “The decision not to acquire a military-off-the-shelf submarine platform, and instead engage a ‘strategic partner’ to design and deliver the submarines with significant Australian industry input, has increased the risk of this acquisition.” Delays were already taking place in the design phase; “contracted milestones” had been extended. The ANAO also had a nugget of enlightenment: the government’s own Naval Shipbuilding Advisory Board, comprising US admirals previously receptive to the French proposal, suggested that Australia walk away from its contract with Naval Group.

In February 2020, such concerns worried the Department of Defence and Naval Group sufficiently to warrant a firm rebuke to naysayers in a joint statement. “Sovereign control over the Attack Class submarine fleet and maximising Australian industry involvement throughout all phases of the Attack Class Submarine program are contracted objectives in the strategic partnering agreement between Defence and Naval Group.” Australian industry would also be “systematically” approached “to identify suitable suppliers of the vast array of equipment to be fitted to the submarine, ranging from hydraulic systems to galley equipment.”

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds was distinctly unimpressed with Naval Group Australia CEO John Davis, who had expressed his frank concerns about the project to journalists, generally approving of the findings of the ANAO report. “I am disappointed by comments attributed to Naval Group Australia as they do not reflect the strong collaboration between Naval Group and Australian industry on this program of national significance.”

The literature of expert doubt is also growing. A report commissioned by Submarines for Australia, conducted by Insight Economics last year, was damning. It noted how Naval Group was pushing back on incorporating “Australian content”; a “dangerous capability gap” given delays in the project; and the “questionable strategic value” of the entire effort. Gary Johnston of Submarines for Australia was crushing in his critique: the Australian-French contract was based on “dumbing down a nuclear submarine by removing the whole basis of its superior capability, and then charging at least twice as much for a far less capable submarine.”

The suggestion by Insight Economics, building on concerns from the Defence Department that some mitigation strategy might be in order, was revisiting the Collins class submarine – Australia’s current operating submarine platform – and modernising it. “On the basis of expert professional advice, we consider that an evolved Collins 2.0 submarine, with a comparable ability to Attack, could be delivered at least five years earlier, at a much lower cost and with 70 per cent of local content.” Dare they dream?

The SEA 1000 effort is misfiring masculinity at worst, a striking example of Maginot Line thinking: we need this to make a statement, because other countries so happen to be playing in the same waters. The tendency towards error and bungling, notably when it comes to acquiring and maintaining a submarine arm in defence, are consistent. The Collins class submarine itself, intended as Australia’s “Holden amongst submarines,” should have furnished sufficient warning. Instead, it laid the grounds for another colossal blunder, showing defence procurement to be a game for dunces.

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I found this article because I recalled something about the submarine project being riddled with some issues.

Standard crap from any advisor/company always BS and never admit mistakes that's what NG is doing with their announcement. sure Australian politicians also fucked up by screwing up choices and such.

From the start, this seemed an audaciously peculiar choice. Australia had avoided purchasing more appropriate, medium-sized submarines from a conventional submarine maker, opting, instead, for a nuclear submarine design that would be retooled for conventional use. For a country that is the third largest exporter of uranium, this was ironic as much as it suggested castration.
Says it all!
 

Gary

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I think the RAN needs to consider the block V Virginia class. It's in full production and it's superior than any nuclear attack sub active in the Asia Pacific theater.

It saves time and money rather than pursuing completely new design.
 

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Not only is this embarassing for France but Australia is still going to pay a hefty sum for the cancelled contract.

Our politicians are stupid in Australia. If were going to get diesel powered subs we should have gone to the Germans. If we were going to buy nuclear powered get a American or a British nuclear powered submarine.

Its just retarded 180 turns.
 

mulj

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good, now france will be more autonomous in decision making, they will try to mess with usa interests somewhere else.
 

Vergennes

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It was naive to think we could make major business in the military sector with a country of the "five eyes". It was bound to happen to be honest.
 

Ryder

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It was naive to think we could make major business in the military sector with a country of the "five eyes". It was bound to happen to be honest.

Australians were already finding ways to get out of the contract.

Also how they demanded a Nuke sub to be turned into a diesel powered sub.

So many dumb requirements. Australian tax payer is going to take pay the bill anyway especially for France's cancelled contract. Retarded politicians.

Nothing else could explain the retarded decisions. A nuclear sub was already talked about for Australia but our Politicians dismissed it because we did not need it or it was too expensive.

If australia wanted a diesel sub they could have easily went for a german one.

Does France do any diesel subs? All I know is that they mostly use nuclear powered.
 

Ryder

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yes they do, the Scorpene, in fact it's the most likely winner for ID Navy tender for new diesel attack sub.

Okay thanks. Why didnt go for a Diesel one then??

Both sides could have a win win here.
 

Melkor

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Good decision. The anglosphere of Aus-UK-US is a special alliance and a EU-centric France wasn’t a natural partner for this level of spending. The money will now maintain the relationships that matter most … The French can concentrate on sales to the Arabs and Greeks. Putting my Turkish hat on, I envy Australia, they are building one hell of a navy.
 

Gary

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I mean Australia.
don't know the details but here's my shot:

  1. Australia already complained about cost overruns + disagreements on certain technology transfer deals.
  2. Australia now being a committed player in the Indo-Pacific struggle really wants a submarine with non stop endurance--limited only by food--they'll need them to be in constant patrol in Asia.

but prolly because of showing early commitments for the recently announced AUKUS pact.
 

Test7

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Mistrals were sold to Egypt instead of Russia due to pressure from the United States in the past . This is really a betrayal. Second biggest disappointment after Afghanistan.
 
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