RAN Discussions on SSNs only

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alexsa

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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.
Maybe, but there is an interest in sovereign capability which is why the continuous ship building programme is in place and the in-country missile production capability is being developed. There is also the issue that the US may not have the capacity to build the additional hulls noting their own need for replacements of the LA SSNs. History provides a lesson here in WWI where Britain were building Dreadnoughts for lots of folk .... many of which were 'taken up' by the RN when the war broke out. If we simply relied on build to spec Virginia's (assuming they keep building the Block IV boats) and the US saw their need as greater than ours in the current climate we may find ourselves in a similar situation.

The continuous ship building programme is just that, the first 8 will be replace by the next class. The first 8 may also see iterative changes in batches during the build. Building in the US (if practical ... with the author assumes is the case) removes this option, diminishes our industrial capability to build .... and maintain our submarines and may not provide the boats sooner given the USN's demands (again the author ignores the lead time to order equipment for the submarines). It may also be a breaker for the bipartisan support we are currently seeing.

One of the reasons the French options was 'blowing' out and was in difficulty was the delivery of the required capability and Australian industry input. The ASPI article ignores that fact and seems to ignore the fact that building the boats provides the industrial capability to maintain them.

The assumption is it will cost more ... because the Naval group appeared unable to deliver. The $35 billions is based on very broad assumptions noting that Wrights law relates to innovation. It basically supports a continuous build programme if you look at it. I would hope that have US and UK technical support based on an in service hull would address some of that risk ... and certainly that is the expectation from the announcements to date. If we keep building ships and submarines then the cost of production drops ........... which is basically what Wrights law states.

What Is Wright's Law | Learning Curve of Innovation (ark-invest.com)

Finally this is yet another article assuming an off the shelf Virginia is the desired options which calls into question the role of the UK. They clearly have a role and the Astute (or derivation of it) is certainly in the mix.
 
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alexsa

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Oops , missed this:

"The UK to provide atomic fuel rods and associated facilities".....
Yep and other reports point to the Astute. There are a range of reports promoting the Virginia best option (21 Hours ago) suggesting the game is still in play

US and UK begin jostling to supply Australia with nuclear submarine fleet - ABC News

It could be either noting the DoD page still has both options on the table.

Nuclear-Powered Submarine Task Force | About | Department of Defence

I would note there was a lot of reporting that the FREMM got the frigate contract immediately before the T26 was announced. I will wait for an announcement from the Government before I rely on anything in the press.
 

vonnoobie

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At the moment every claim in the media and public including here means and parden my French jack s***.

Claims on which submarine it will be, who will do what and at what cost simply can't be known as the 18 month period to research options and come up with a suitable boat and plan has literally just started.

Claims we could save $35 billion on them are just a fantasy when we don't know what they will cost us not do we know how much they will cost to build here. As is common a varied amount of foreign content usually goes into our domestic programs, do people think that content will automatically jump 192% even when acquired from hot production lines or do they think just the Australian content will jump almost 320% (based on 60% Australian content and figures of $4.8b for US boat and unsubstantiated claim of $14 billion for Australian built).

Have they even factored in how domestic support of our fleet would either benefit or struggle depending on local or overseas build, or if domestic then the inherent knowledge that would be gained putting us in a position to provide support and maintenance to US/UK Pacific/indian ocean based boats and what revenue that could bring in.

At the moment every article is pure speculation based on a very narrow view point compared to looking at every aspect related.

Rant over, have a nice day
 

hauritz

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It may also be a breaker for the bipartisan support we are currently seeing.
Finally this is yet another article assuming an off the shelf Virginia is the desired options which calls into question the role of the UK. They clearly have a role and the Astute (or derivation of it) is certainly in the mix.
Good points and I certainly wouldn't write off the UKs chances. If Australia are to build their own boats then the UK would be in a position to provide a more suitable drumbeat production model than the US. They also already have a connection to Australia with the Hunter class.

I actually can't think of any examples of the US setting up an overseas naval construction program.
 

vonnoobie

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Good points and I certainly wouldn't write off the UKs chances. If Australia are to build their own boats then the UK would be in a position to provide a more suitable drumbeat production model than the US. They also already have a connection to Australia with the Hunter class.

I actually can't think of any examples of the US setting up an overseas naval construction program.
Exactly, both nations have positive aspects in this field that would benefit us one way or another.

For standardized supply chains, maintenance and training yes the US would be better, however the UK would also be better not being as crew heavy, and they have a system built around building a small number of boats over a long timespan. The US and industry has more resources that it can throw at it but the UK through BAE has experience building abroad and BAE is literally right next door to where the submarines will be built.

Hypothetically if the Astute was chosen we could do the same deal we did with the frigates, same deal intended for naval group, let them take over the yard for duration of build to put in place the long term experience and skill sets.
 

Gryphinator

Active Member
If the new subs are to be built in their home country, what are the "leftovers" workforce wise? Just wondering if an increased number could make the Hunter builds quicker?
 

vonnoobie

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If the new subs are to be built in their home country, what are the "leftovers" workforce wise? Just wondering if an increased number could make the Hunter builds quicker?
Currently none to not much at all as most of it doesn't exist yet. All said and done building hunters quicker just means you need to A. Replace them sooner or B. Have a valley of death in shipbuilding.

That said they are going to be built here, no chance for UK to build them and chance at getting spare US capacity is slim to none. That and government has said several times they will be built here and we are continuing with construction of our new submarine hall in SA to do so.
 

ngatimozart

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ngatimozart

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WRT TO A VIRGINIA CLASS CONSTRUCTION LINE BEING BUILT IN AUSTRALIA FOR THE USN, IT WILL NOT HAPPEN BECAUSE IT IS AGAINST US LAW. SEE @spoz POST FOR THE REFERENCE LAW.

"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."​

IT TOOK SPOZ FIVE MINUTES TO USE GOOGLE TO FIND THE REQUIRED INFORMATION AND HE KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT US LAW. DO A BIT OF RESEARCH BEFORE BURSTING INTO PRINT BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW THAT THE US IS VERY STRICT ON ITS NUCLEAR CAPABLE WEAPONS SYSTEMS. WE ALSO KNOW BY NOW THAT NO DECISION UPON THE PLATFORM HAS BEEN MADE YET AND WON'T BE UNTIL AROUND MARCH 2023. WE DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THE CRITERIA ARE.
 

Redlands18

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Arguably, I don’t think we have enough insight as of yet to know what is and is not in the mix.

It’s worth remembering that the VPM tubes are designed for more than just missiles, such as the ability to tube launch a large UUV.
The Block IVs still come with 12 Tubes, the VPM just increases it from 12 to 40. UUVs up to 530mm/21in diameter could also be launched from the Torpedo Tubes. The Block V is 140m long, 25m longer then the Block IV, I'm not sure they can build a Block V at Osbourne. Politicly I'm not sure the Block V is a option anyway either in Canberra or Washington. 6-8 Block IV Virginia's would be a huge leap in capability as is.
 

ddxx

Active Member
The Block IVs still come with 12 Tubes, the VPM just increases it from 12 to 40. UUVs up to 530mm/21in diameter could also be launched from the Torpedo Tubes. The Block V is 140m long, 25m longer then the Block IV, I'm not sure they can build a Block V at Osbourne. Politicly I'm not sure the Block V is a option anyway either in Canberra or Washington. 6-8 Block IV Virginia's would be a huge leap in capability as is.
Absolutely, I just don’t know if we can make the assumption that it’s not in the mix.
 

vonnoobie

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Diplomatically block V would be a hassle on its own. It would be one thing getting the block IV with ability to launch a dozen tomahawks but getting one that could launch 40 and it goes from Australia getting a more powerful defensive capability to Australia trying to entirely dominate the region.

As we have seen already some nations at least on the surface aren't entirely on board with us getting SSNG's so how do people honestly think they would react the same if we increased that to the next level.
 

alexsa

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Absolutely, I just don’t know if we can make the assumption that it’s not in the mix.
Given recent changes I will not rule anything out emphatically but if you want to support the idea of Block V then you have to deal with the following:
  • As noted by a number of posters, the response from a number of neighbours has been, at best, lukewarm to the idea of Australia having SSN's. A case can be made for a hunter killer with a land attack capability (noting the Block IV and Astute can both carry special packages) but the block V would unsettle a lot of folk with a massive land attack capability. How do we justify this level of capability.
  • The UK maintains a stock of Tomahawks at about 100 to 150 units (that is guess work based on reports of purchases and firings). You would need more than this to load out 4 Block V's. Again that sort of missile capability potentially on your doorstep will be unsettling and I am not sure we will purchase that many units. Our budget is not infinite.
Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missile (TLAM) - Think Defence

I doubt the Block V is an option due to the factors above and the fact this is the latest version the US have (to be delivered from 2025).
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Diplomatically block V would be a hassle on its own. It would be one thing getting the block IV with ability to launch a dozen tomahawks but getting one that could launch 40 and it goes from Australia getting a more powerful defensive capability to Australia trying to entirely dominate the region.

As we have seen already some nations at least on the surface aren't entirely on board with us getting SSNG's so how do people honestly think they would react the same if we increased that to the next level.
The Block Vs will also replace the 4 Ohio SSGN conversions
 

ddxx

Active Member
Given recent changes I will not rule anything out emphatically but if you want to support the idea of Block V then you have to deal with the following:
  • As noted by a number of posters, the response from a number of neighbours has been, at best, lukewarm to the idea of Australia having SSN's. A case can be made for a hunter killer with a land attack capability (noting the Block IV and Astute can both carry special packages) but the block V would unsettle a lot of folk with a massive land attack capability. How do we justify this level of capability.
  • The UK maintains a stock of Tomahawks at about 100 to 150 units (that is guess work based on reports of purchases and firings). You would need more than this to load out 4 Block V's. Again that sort of missile capability potentially on your doorstep will be unsettling and I am not sure we will purchase that many units. Our budget is not infinite.
Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missile (TLAM) - Think Defence

I doubt the Block V is an option due to the factors above and the fact this is the latest version the US have (to be delivered from 2025).
I’m not advocating for any particular platform, I’m just arguing that as none of us are privy to the details we really can’t rule out options based on assumptions.
 
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