RAN Discussions on SSNs only

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Redlands18

Well-Known Member
You’re showing your age too, an old bastard like me!

Yes the PDR Annual yearbook, which included a reproduction of the updated IISS Military Balance, always made good reading, gave a very good, and reasonably accurate, look at the military direction of each of the worlds nations.

Believe it or not, in my garage is a large number of packing boxes full of decades worth of PDR and other military/defence related magazines.

That includes boxes full of Australian Aviation mags, including very early mags when AA was known as “Australian Aviation & Defence Review”.

Actually I’ve been thinking of doing a big clean out, but I don’t want to ‘bin’ them, maybe someone here on DT might be interested in them??
Australian Aviation is another that has seen better days, especially in regards to Defence
 

aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Given the USN demand for new Virginia boats I cannot see the US just handing over production slots for Virginias without causing issues in the US politically.

However I think there is the palatable option to increase capacity by set up a line in Australia for building 1 or possibly 2 block sections here and shipping to the US for consolidation. This would increase the overall drum beat and would mean Australian could be contributing to the build line and would not have to build a nuclear industry over night.

The Nuclear capability and increase whole of boat capability could then be ramped up over time. It might mean boat 1-6 are a combined build before we get to the stage of being able to build a full boat. Or possibly never build a full boat but assist with increasing the overall build rate. This delivers several benefits.

1. We can potentially increase the overall build to 3+ boats per year between the 2 countries.
2. There is no need for the initial massive transfer of knowledge that I believe would swamp us.
3. It gives us time to build the capability without slowing the delivery time frames into the late 30s.
4. Its keeps the domestic ship building work force rolling
5. Gives ability to start with the simpler blocks (if there is a such a thing) and build to a complete boat in Australia over time.
6. Potentially keep costs under control.
Australia, nor any other country for that matter, will be building anything for the US military and sending it over for consolidation. Not unless there are big changes in US Law ! Can't see any US Congress voting for that any time soon.


There is no quick fix or fast track for this, the limiting factor is still trained personnel, either way it is going to be a long haul.
 

John Newman

The Bunker Group
Australian Aviation is another that has seen better days, especially in regards to Defence
Yes sadly AA is not what it used to be, I haven’t looked at or purchased a copy of AA for a very long time (appears to now be under the same ownership as those who publish Defence Connect, not the best either).

The only bright light is that one of the very long time major contributors to AA, Andrew McL, runs ADBR.

Cheers,
 

Bob53

Active Member
Australia, nor any other country for that matter, will be building anything for the US military and sending it over for consolidation. Not unless there are big changes in US Law ! Can't see any US Congress voting for that any time soon.


There is no quick fix or fast track for this, the limiting factor is still trained personnel, either way it is going to be a long haul.
This chat may piss of the mods I guess. [Mod edit: Don’t assume to speak for us and the next time you try, you will be banned for a longer period.]

Hear you. But haven't we already had one significant change from the US?

I can see the argument in Washington.
  • Our trusted allies and closest friends the Aussies want to buy 12 of our subs.
  • and they want to add all US systems so they can work in effectively with us in the pacific
  • and they want to fill them with US weapons
  • We need more of them for the USN at a rate that we can't do ourselves.
  • The Aussies want to start building parts of our subs which could increase our drumbeat.
  • And we can get another source of supply for some of the supply chain which lowers risk
  • They are willing to spend billions to get set up to do it.
  • With them buying our subs would mean more jobs for American suppliers.
  • We can build a bigger sub force for the USN to confront the risk we face in the pacific
  • And we get a trusted ally to help us do it
  • And will expand the industrial base for our own program
  • And will give us a support base in the south
Is the response going to be.... we would rather be defeated in the pacific than let 1 job go offshore?
 
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aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
This chat may piss of the mods I guess.

Hear you. But haven't we already had one significant change from the US?

I can see the argument in Washington.
  • Our trusted allies and closest friends the Aussies want to buy 12 of our subs.
  • and they want to add all US systems so they can work in effectively with us in the pacific
  • and they want to fill them with US weapons
  • We need more of them for the USN at a rate that we can't do ourselves.
  • The Aussies want to start building parts of our subs which could increase our drumbeat.
  • And we can get another source of supply for some of the supply chain which lowers risk
  • They are willing to spend billions to get set up to do it.
  • With them buying our subs would mean more jobs for American suppliers.
  • We can build a bigger sub force for the USN to confront the risk we face in the pacific
  • And we get a trusted ally to help us do it
  • And will expand the industrial base for our own program
  • And will give us a support base in the south
Is the response going to be.... we would rather be defeated in the pacific than let 1 job go offshore?
Or they just help us, like they are going to do, and make even more money out of the equation !

There is a massive difference to, and we actually don't have it yet, getting the keys to the club and changing US law and taking jobs away from the US ! The effort that it will take to set up even just what you are proposing is equal to us just starting our programme anyway, there is no net benefit, if we get to the stage where we can produce hull sections we may as well just be building our own boats.

And to what end does us slowly learning how to make some blocks help us get into the game earlier ?
 

alexsa

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
This chat may piss of the mods I guess.

Hear you. But haven't we already had one significant change from the US?

I can see the argument in Washington.
  • Our trusted allies and closest friends the Aussies want to buy 12 of our subs.
  • and they want to add all US systems so they can work in effectively with us in the pacific
  • and they want to fill them with US weapons
  • We need more of them for the USN at a rate that we can't do ourselves.
  • The Aussies want to start building parts of our subs which could increase our drumbeat.
  • And we can get another source of supply for some of the supply chain which lowers risk
  • They are willing to spend billions to get set up to do it.
  • With them buying our subs would mean more jobs for American suppliers.
  • We can build a bigger sub force for the USN to confront the risk we face in the pacific
  • And we get a trusted ally to help us do it
  • And will expand the industrial base for our own program
  • And will give us a support base in the south
Is the response going to be.... we would rather be defeated in the pacific than let 1 job go offshore?
Your line of thinking makes the UK irrelevant .. which is clearly not the case.

Again .... what we have to go on in the announcements made does not support this. The political push back with building the AOR's in Spain is a case in point with not building a significant proportion of the vessels in Australia (this was a major issue with the French contract as they did not appear to want to provide for Australian content). It is equally unlikely the US would have Australia building sections for their vessels. Unless, or until, there is evidence in the political utterances that these vessels will be substantially built in the US I suggest we drop it and wait to see what comes out of the 18 month review. I think we will get more detail sooner than proffered 18 months.

And correct the Mods are getting a tad fed up. Suggestions need to be reasonably plausible. Action will be taken if this is not heeded.


alexsa.
 
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aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Just a few more links for some casual reading ;) as with the previous links even more detail in the reference materials.

Here is an FOI document, heavily redacted, on a review of the Royal Navy Nuclear Reactor Test Facility Review, a very interesting read and good to read in conjunction with a previously linked piece on the UK NNPP and use of HEU, linked again below:



The following report, Lessons of the Collins Submarine Program, again some heavy reading, but worth it for some good background and understanding of some of the complexities, also pay attention to the "Performance" section, among others, it will give you the best overview of the Collins Class and what it can do that you will find in any open source material !


The following 4 part series from RAND, about 400 pages of reading and associated reference you can search, again gives a good overview of
"Learning From Experience" about the US, UK and Australian Submarine Programs.





Cheers
 

John Newman

The Bunker Group
This chat may piss of the mods I guess.
Not just the Mods, but also the Def Pros and Senior Members too.

None of the above groups want to see discussion stifled or quashed, but it has to be within the realms of reality, reasonable reality.

I’m always reminded of something I was told many many decades ago:

“put brain in gear before putting mouth in motion” or today, fingers on the keyboard.

Anyway, just my opinion.
 

ddxx

Well-Known Member
Beyond the discussion of Virginia or Astute, which is likely a decision which has already been made, I’m curious about the roles of the future RAN SSNs.

Given the investment and obvious deterrent capability of SSNs, one would logically think conventional long range strike capability would be a integral, if not essential part of the future boats.

And given the substantial investment in hypersonic and long range strike weapons development already budgeted, one would also imagine they’d want flexibility in such long lead, long life platforms to field such future weapons.

And that in turn begs the question whether torpedo tubes alone offer such flexibility over the aforementioned long life of the platforms.
 
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Bob53

Active Member
Warnings are not optional & pretending you are not guilty also does not work
Not just the Mods, but also the Def Pros and Senior Members too.

None of the above groups want to see discussion stifled or quashed, but it has to be within the realms of reality, reasonable reality.

I’m always reminded of something I was told many many decades ago:

“put brain in gear before putting mouth in motion” or today, fingers on the keyboard.

Anyway, just my opinion.
Hmmm can’t really cop that.

There is nothing in my comments that are beyond reality or in fantasy land and all within the realms of reality …..and I have clearly stated the reasons why.

Not so long ago we had any talk of SSN shut down as impossible and never going to happen….. not within the realms of reality.

Prior to that in another thread over 12 months ago I spoke of the risk to our northern bases and how they could be isolated and how the fuel supply was the biggest risk and was howled down with lots of folks saying no one would dare do such a thing.

That last comment reminds me of something I was told many decades ago.

30 years of career experience and a title doesn’t automatically translate to a mature professional capability. I have observed a far larger portion that have 1 years experience repeated 30 times.

@Bob53 A one month reply ban to this thread for ignoring Alexsa's warning in Post #266 above. You are lucky that it's not a total Forum ban for one month.

Ngatimozart.
 
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vonnoobie

Well-Known Member
Beyond the discussion of Virginia or Astute, which is likely a decision which has already been made, I’m curious about the roles of the future RAN SSNs.

Given the investment and obvious deterrent capability of SSNs, one would logically think conventional long range strike capability would be a integral, if not essential part of the future boats.

And given the substantial investment in hypersonic and long range strike weapons development already budgeted, one would also imagine they’d want flexibility in such long lead, long life platforms to field such future weapons.

And that in turn begs the question whether torpedo tubes alone offer such flexibility over the aforementioned long life of the platforms.
The problem with that thinking is it can delay the project for a long time for something that is yet to go beyond the drawing board, Something that may not deliver the full capability promised if any at all.

That being said the one long range strike that the USN has been looking into since 2015 is a torpedo with a 200nm range that would be guided in on its terminal phase by another asset (UUV, UAV, another aircraft etc) so assuming that torpedo currently under reasearch/development is that size of the current ones their shouldnt be an issue in fitting them latter.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
The problem with that thinking is it can delay the project for a long time for something that is yet to go beyond the drawing board, Something that may not deliver the full capability promised if any at all.

That being said the one long range strike that the USN has been looking into since 2015 is a torpedo with a 200nm range that would be guided in on its terminal phase by another asset (UUV, UAV, another aircraft etc) so assuming that torpedo currently under reasearch/development is that size of the current ones their shouldnt be an issue in fitting them latter.
Is it realistic to expect a 200 nm range torpedo can have the same dimensions as current torpedoes that have significantly less range? Perhaps some new fuel for thermal torpedoes might allow this but it seems to be a stretch, same for battery technology used in electric torpedoes which IIRC have less range than thermal.
 

vonnoobie

Well-Known Member
Is it realistic to expect a 200 nm range torpedo can have the same dimensions as current torpedoes that have significantly less range? Perhaps some new fuel for thermal torpedoes might allow this but it seems to be a stretch, same for battery technology used in electric torpedoes which IIRC have less range than thermal.
It is based around a Torpedo propulsion concept developed by Pennsylvania state university

US navy looks at next generation SSNX submarines and 200 mile range torpedoes | NextBigFuture.com

Have been unable to find much on it, Very very few articles and no actual details on what the concept was so Im guessing its been classified top secret but key part of article linked that does make me believe that it will be the same size as current torpedoes

"One of the areas Johnson has already identified as critical for SSN(X) is integration with off-board systems. Vice Adm. Mike Connor, said that future submarine weapons for both the Virginia and the future SSN(X) would be networked extremely long-ranged weapons. "

So unless the USN is planning to strip down and rebuilt every Virginia which is about as likely as the greenies praising coal power then it would have to be within the same diameter.

-----

OT but Penn state have also played big part in developing work on a new light weight Torpedo with ability to be programed from the asset to be used in either an offensive or defensive role.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
@vonnoobie … Understandable that little information is available. If in fact a new propulsion is viable and fits into existing tubes, that is a huge development. If guess a possibility is a combination of better propulsion technology that allows for better range due to fuel improvement along with slower speed through most of the transit to target.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
The recent collision experienced by the USN’s Connecticut Seawolf is a good reason why a major SSN facility in Australia makes sense, at least for everything accept for the nuclear module.

 
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alexsa

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
The recent collision experienced by the USN’s Connecticut Seawolf is a good reason why a major SSN facility in Australia makes sense, at least for everything accept for the nuclear module.

Not necessarily a dedicated SSN facility but a decent sized drydock with supporting facilities. However, there are particular sensitivities (details of props, sensors and arrays (and even damage) when pulling a sub out of the water and management of the reactor when in dock. I suspect that unless docking else where was the only option the USN would take the vessel to a US facility.
 

alexsa

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Hmmm can’t really cop that.

There is nothing in my comments that are beyond reality or in fantasy land and all within the realms of reality …..and I have clearly stated the reasons why.

Not so long ago we had any talk of SSN shut down as impossible and never going to happen….. not within the realms of reality.

Prior to that in another thread over 12 months ago I spoke of the risk to our northern bases and how they could be isolated and how the fuel supply was the biggest risk and was howled down with lots of folks saying no one would dare do such a thing.

That last comment reminds me of something I was told many decades ago.

30 years of career experience and a title doesn’t automatically translate to a mature professional capability. I have observed a far larger portion that have 1 years experience repeated 30 times.

@Bob53 A one month reply ban to this thread for ignoring Alexsa's warning in Post #266 above. You are lucky that it's not a total Forum ban for one month.

Ngatimozart.
@Bob53

I am responding as you missed the point. We are all stunned about the SSN turn around. The fact is that the RAN have needed an SSN type capability which what led to SEA 1000 (and the Collins for that matter). Most submariners and ex-submariner have made this point and it seems now near enough to an SSN is not good enough and we appear to have bipartisan support for the first time.

However, your suggestions are not supported by any statements made on this issue or the current infrastructure plans. Ignoring the current statements made by the members of AUKUS for completely speculative and unsupported muttering does not add to the discussion, it just generates arguments. There is enough in the statements themselves to consider noting:
1. The UK are involved so factor that in
2. The AN/BYG-1 combat system will be used and integration with sensors and weapons that were selected for SEA1000 is already taking place as part of the ongoing and future upgrades of the Collins Class. So integration is being dealt with. There is nothing so far to suggest the sensor package will change, so factor that in.
3. The Submarines will be build in Osbourne and the construction of that yard is continuing. There is NO mention of that Yard building elements for the US programme .... and why would you?
4. The reactor will be supplied by either the US or UK

All of this factors are being considered as part of the 18 month review and give plenty to speculate about. Suggest you take this into account when you re-join the discussion.
 
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spoz

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
And a number of laws passed by Congress, notably 10 U.S.C. 2534 which provides:

That none of the funds provided under this heading for the construction or conversion of any naval vessel to be constructed in shipyards in the United States shall be expended in foreign facilities for the construction of major components of such vessel….

prohibits the USN (or indeed the USCG) having any vessels built, or major components contructed, outside the US. And given the nature of US politics it would be political suicide for any administration to propose changing that. So any discussion which proposes doing so is in cloud cuckoo land - it ain't going to happen.
 

ddxx

Well-Known Member
Australia’s nuclear-powered submarines should be built in America | The Strategist

Some interesting points in this ASPI piece in regards to building the future SSNs.

In summary, the author argues that the substantial cost and time savings associated with building the boats in the US would outweigh any benefits in building the boats at Osborne. He suggests that the savings go into building AUVs in Osborne under the AUKUS banner for both RAN use and potential export to AUKUS partners and other allies.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
Australia’s nuclear-powered submarines should be built in America | The Strategist

Some interesting points in this ASPI piece in regards to building the future SSNs.

In summary, the author argues that the substantial cost and time savings associated with building the boats in the US would outweigh any benefits in building the boats at Osborne. He suggests that the savings go into building AUVs in Osborne under the AUKUS banner for both RAN use and potential export to AUKUS partners and other allies.
What it comes down to is how valuable is a domestic build program to Australia and what sort of premium are we willing to pay for it. I would argue that it is of limited value. Particularly if you factor in the possibility that this maybe the first and last generation of manned nuclear subs Australia ever build.

Before we abandoned the Attack program the split between local and overseas spending looked like being around 60/40 and the cost of the program was at high risk of blowing out even further. The $35B in savings proposed by the author does sound feasible and I am sure there is no shortage of replacement programs that money could be spent on.
 
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