RAN Discussions on SSNs only

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KiwiRob

Well-Known Member
The figures for Astute are a little misleading. The start date listed is really just procurement of long lead items. When I was there around 2012 there was not much activity on boat four.
As others have said the reasons are the need to maintain continuous build, plus, in the past, the restricted ability of Rolls to mass produce PWR2, which was at the end of its development life and becoming a limiting factor on the program.
If Australia go down the "Astute +" route there's the opportunity to bring it up to a much more economic level of activity and cut the build times.

But no-one is ever going to get close to the US, which is a completely different model, more like a car factory. They bulk-procure material safe in the knowledge that there's another five boats coming up soon, it would only work in the US.
I've been at Cammell Lairds a few times, on a couple of occasions they have been in the midst of getting Astute hull modules ready for delivery. The last time I was there they had the bow for no. 7 in the building hall.

If Australia build Astutes surely they would also follow the same time line as the UK, when the final hull is out the door the first successor hull will be entering production.
 
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SD67

Member
The studies for done for boat Construction ie final assembly pointed to 30-40% overlap being optimal. When boat A is 60-70% finished the mechanical trades are basically done, it's over to the sparkies / weapons systems people, so you need boat B ready to go to keep the metal bashers busy.
 

Depot Dog

Active Member
Thank you all who contributed answers to my production question. I get it now. Different countries, different manufactures, different demand for essential equipment like reactors etc. I am happy it just manufacturing techniques and nothing more.

My reason for asking is the naval continuous ship build plan. The last sub should be in the water around 2055. I realise the number has dropped from 12 to 8 but complexity has gone up. My concern in this deteriorating enviroment, we need to start to speed things up. I have read posts and agree crew training, infrastructure and submarines will not appear overnight. Hopefully it starts sooner not later. Hopefully before the end of the 18 month scoping study we can start putting programs in place to accelerate it.
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Speaking of deteriorating enviroment, take a look at Stan Grants interview with Victor Goa.

Victor threatens conflict and nuclear war against Australia. This is very worrying stuff

Regards
DD
 

swerve

Super Moderator
The Chinese clearly either haven't heard of the parable of the sun & the north wind, or disagree with it. This matches all the Chinese comments I've heard or read. They're all aggressive. Can't they see that threats make other countries think that improving their defences, & cooperating more with each other, are rational & desirable?
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
The Chinese clearly either haven't heard of the parable of the sun & the north wind, or disagree with it. This matches all the Chinese comments I've heard or read. They're all aggressive. Can't they see that threats make other countries think that improving their defences, & cooperating more with each other, are rational & desirable?
Can’t they see…..apparently not or they don’t think there is time to improve our defences. Could be right about the time?
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
Speaking of deteriorating enviroment, take a look at Stan Grants interview with Victor Goa.

Victor threatens conflict and nuclear war against Australia. This is very worrying stuff

Regards
DD
Ahh Victor ... nothing like threatening a country with nuclear armageddon to win over the hearts and minds of the populace. Before he opened his mouth I was on the fence about nuclear subs ... now I want nuclear weapons as well.
 
The indecision is appalling at this stage of the game. They possibly do know what they'll be building but it's not inspiring confidence at all. I had a conversation on Twitter with a French defence guy, he feels the Hunter class is taking far too long as well considering how far along the UK are...
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
The indecision is appalling at this stage of the game. They possibly do know what they'll be building but it's not inspiring confidence at all. I had a conversation on Twitter with a French defence guy, he feels the Hunter class is taking far too long as well considering how far along the UK are...
I’m not sure if the French are the doyens of getting capability built quickly Or whether he has an appreciation of how long complex projects take.
As an example, th first in class Barracuda Suffren, commenced construction in 2007 and has just commissioned And I suspect planning her build would have taken at least several years.
Construction of the Hunter prototype modules has commenced, a new shipyard has been built and a workforce is being assembled.
we learnt from Collins that rushing into construction before all detailed planning ha been completed is false time economy so I applaud the caution and planning on display with the Hunters.
 

SD67

Member
I may be wrong, not an expert etc but I honestly don’t think it’s possible to build a Virginia anywhere other than the US. They have a different manufacturing approach, its all bulk purchase high overhead and mass production. The product may be attractive but in practice trying to build an Australian supply chain for around 10% of their output will be near impossible / more hassle than it’s worth. You’d also have to factor in Congress, ie would we actually get a Virginia or would it be V- (degraded export version ).

In terms of leasing old boats I’m sceptical - the RN examined taking a couple of Ticos as an interim for T45 and the numbers were scary.

IMHO there was always going to be a bespoke element it’s unavoidable. Collins lifex is bespoke, Shofin would have been bespoke. Virginia by the time it was actually built here would also be bespoke. I’ll bet 10 quid on SSN(R), design work has just started so based even on the imperfect Astute timescale that could mean a boat in the water in early 2030s with aussie input from day 1
 

John Newman

The Bunker Group
I wonder how much life remains in the Collins class.
From my understanding, without another FCD, the first Collins was originally due to retire in 2026.

But with the planned class wide FCD/LOTE (which should add another 10 years), the FCD/LOTE will commence in 2026, boats will follow every two years up to 2036.

The first updated boat is planned to be delivered back to the RAN in 2028, following boats every two years up to 2038.

If so, the first boat should come to the end of its service life in 2038, and again followed every two years by the next boat up until 2048.
 

aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
us or uk subs stationed in australia with mixed crews?
Potential for subs to be based in Australia is probably high, but they won't be flying the AWE, and maybe not so much mixed crew but can be used for training depending on the boat selected for the RAN.

Problem is the UK really don't have any to spare, it would be a push for them to forward deploy a sub to Australia on a permanent basis, they simply don't have the hull numbers, and what they do have are busy in the Northern seas containing Russia who have also become increasingly belligerent in the region. They only have 4 active and one not long launched with the remaining 2 a way off yet.

Yes they reportedly have one in the region, and that is more of a flag waving exercise than anything. That does not discount anything from happening in the future, who knows what has been hashed out and agreed to in the AUKUS agreement thus far, but they will only have 7 subs and don't think they will be sending a boomer :) and nuclear or not the rule of 3 still applies.

The US would be more likely as their strategic refocus is into SE Asia and the Indo Pacific region, so they could re base a few subs from around the pacific into Australia providing opportunity for Australia to start gaining experience in nuclear submarine operations, maintenance, systems, shore support and safety etc.

So many ifs and buts, we just have to wait until info comes to light and we go through the process :)

Cheers
 

aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Whilst we are still wondering if it would be Virginia Blk 4/5 or the Astute, RAN just released a CG render of its future sub, which to me, looks like a modified Astute with X-rudder.

Royal Australian Navy (Facebook)
That image is actually a BAE rendering of the future RN Dreadnought Class SSBN, don't think we are getting SSBN's, As usual they put up a lot of different artwork and renderings when new kit is announced, not unusual. Not that far back to think of and remember many different conceptual drawings that were put up for the Attack class. Could be merit in it being a BAE drawing though ? never know :)


Cheers
 

aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
I may be wrong, not an expert etc but I honestly don’t think it’s possible to build a Virginia anywhere other than the US. They have a different manufacturing approach, its all bulk purchase high overhead and mass production. The product may be attractive but in practice trying to build an Australian supply chain for around 10% of their output will be near impossible / more hassle than it’s worth. You’d also have to factor in Congress, ie would we actually get a Virginia or would it be V- (degraded export version ).

In terms of leasing old boats I’m sceptical - the RN examined taking a couple of Ticos as an interim for T45 and the numbers were scary.

IMHO there was always going to be a bespoke element it’s unavoidable. Collins lifex is bespoke, Shofin would have been bespoke. Virginia by the time it was actually built here would also be bespoke. I’ll bet 10 quid on SSN(R), design work has just started so based even on the imperfect Astute timescale that could mean a boat in the water in early 2030s with aussie input from day 1
Don't ever underestimate the complexity Australia can add to a Defence acquisition project :oops: ;)

Cheers
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
I would actually question the value of building a complete nuclear sub in Australia as opposed to perhaps building modules and providing components for all USN and Australian ships. Without a nuclear industry we would never be able to complete a nuclear boat anyway.

Any dreams Australia might of had for a independant submarine building capability went out the window when we decided to go for nuclear boats anyway so maybe we should just content ourselves with a workshare arrangement.

This of course would only work if we went with a US design.
 

Lolcake

New Member
And the cost of the, leasing, maintenance, and upkeep of 30- 40 year old SSNs is going to be cheaper than the LOTE of the Collins? If the LA class boats were 20 years old had just had a LOTE and a refuel, then yes it may be viable, but they haven't and the refuel alone costs a fortune. The hulls also suffer from radiation degradation over time which SSKs don't. There's nothing that can be done about.
The le is only extending those made in mid 90s.
 

hairyman

Active Member
If we take on the Astute, what would the weapons that we would need to Americanise, and why could'nt we go with the British weapons as planned. am sure some of them for the Astute would be American anyway.
 
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