RAN Discussions on SSNs only

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Lolcake

New Member
Navy Confident It Could Build 3 Virginia SSNs a Year, Though More Study Needed On Shipyard Capacity

“We are looking at expansion options: it will require investment at EB and Newport News, our vendor base. We’re not going to do that at the expense of the Columbia program – the Columbia is the priority. The second priority is to execute the schedule for Block IV and Block V (Virginia-class subs), and we have full confidence we can ramp up to three per year if the Navy is called to go do that.”

The presidents of both shipyards recently said they believed they could handle three SSNs a year but that they and their suppliers would only invest in the additional infrastructure, machinery and people if the Navy sent a clear demand signal and committed to higher shipbuilding rates for a long duration."

Would it be reasonable to justify based on the above to build most if not all boats in the states, would be hell of a lot cheaper and would give them justification to increase their capacity to 3 a year. Concurrently we focus on setting up all necessary personell training, maintenance systems and infrastructure. We would get the boats a hell of a lot quicker than building them here. Would love to see the later boats still built here, but in terms of getting 4-6 boats in the water as fast as possible I'm hoping this is the option that will be provided.
 
I do not believe this has been mentioned earlier in this thread, the PWR 3 reactor in question uses highly enriched uranium, 93 percent That is bomb grade uranium. Thus any nation with such a reactor, could if they chose take the reactor, open it up, remove some uranium and make many many nuclear bombs given that the amount of uranium in question over all submarines goes into the tonnes, and the amount of uranium needed to make a single atomic bomb is 25kg

Now is Australia likely to do this, no. However we could if we really really wanted to.

Would you feel comfortable if other nations decided they required nuclear powered submarines, and those nations chose the highly enriched uranium type of reactor. Say Spain, Italy, Brazil, Indonesia, Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Argentina, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Canada, South Africa, that is sixteen nations apart from Oz, that might in a few decades or now have the financial and technical ability to operate a nuclear submarine. What is to stop Russia from selling a nuclear submarine to one of those 16 nations, and when we protest, Russia and the nation is question can say, well it was OK for you, we are simply responding to our legitimate security needs as Australia did many years ago.

The long term strategic risk of alloying non nuclear powers access to bomb grade nuclear material is something that should not be dismissed lightly

Some other things of note, the submarine procurement process has been terrible. Just say the consensus of as now is that Nuclear Subs are the way to go. However 4 or 5 years ago it was completely the other way. If we wanted nuclear subs why not just order them five or six years ago, and be way quicker in the curve. Now we run the risk that the Collins will get old and less effective as we wait for the new subs to arrive, which will be when, I doubt before 2036, at which the oldest Collins class would be 40 years old.

I do realise that the demeanour of China has changed in the last few years, however there are meant to be a lot of experts in Canberra, and apparently few were wise enough to predict that China would become more nationalistic and thus we really should go for nuclear subs now. Just a short reminder, it was the same lot in Canberra now that were there when they decided to contract for non nuclear submarines 4 or 5 years ago

I also have a couple other questions. If a german 212 submarine can operate with a crew of less that 30, and the Virginia requires 130, what do the other 100 sailors do? I do realise some are required for the reactor, I do realise that the Virginia will have more equipment and thus more operators, however the number does seem very high

The other thing that puzzles me. Australia is a long way from other places, thus we need a submarine with a long range. The Collins was/is good but something better would be nice, part of that would be longer range, speed, endurance. That is best done with a larger submarine It may be that the best submarine for Oz is over 5000t. I say this based on the size of the british, french and US subs. I have a suspicion that one reason the German submarine proposal was rejected was that it was a fraction small compared to what was really wanted (pure speculation). If this is the case (and it is an if) then why not when setting the requirements for the competition years ago, ask that the submarine be at least 5000t in size
 

JohnJT

Member
I also have a couple other questions. If a german 212 submarine can operate with a crew of less that 30, and the Virginia requires 130, what do the other 100 sailors do? I do realise some are required for the reactor, I do realise that the Virginia will have more equipment and thus more operators, however the number does seem very high
If the Arafura class has a crew of 40 and the Hunter class has a crew of 180, what do the other 140 sailors do? :p
The 212 is tiny, the Virginias are massive. Bigger vessel, bigger crew.
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
I do not believe this has been mentioned earlier in this thread, the PWR 3 reactor in question uses highly enriched uranium, 93 percent That is bomb grade uranium. Thus any nation with such a reactor, could if they chose take the reactor, open it up, remove some uranium and make many many nuclear bombs given that the amount of uranium in question over all submarines goes into the tonnes, and the amount of uranium needed to make a single atomic bomb is 25kg

Now is Australia likely to do this, no. However we could if we really really wanted to.
That figure sounds a little high IMO. I suspect several devices could be produced with that much enriched U-235 or Pu.

Something to also keep in mind is that the facilities to assemble and then disassemble/recycle a nuclear reactor are quite specialized. IIRC the amount of radiation emitted by a sufficient mass of enriched fissionable material to serve in a device is fatal and rapidly so. Also, while I do not know any specifics on how the reactor cores are constructed, I doubt that the fuel is all together in a large mass, as that would be quite vulnerable to a runaway chain reaction. Or in other words, it might spontaneously go boom. It could potentially be easier to acquire uranium and separate/enrich it sufficiently to make a device, or run it through a breeder reactor to make Pu.

Would you feel comfortable if other nations decided they required nuclear powered submarines, and those nations chose the highly enriched uranium type of reactor. Say Spain, Italy, Brazil, Indonesia, Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Argentina, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Canada, South Africa, that is sixteen nations apart from Oz, that might in a few decades or now have the financial and technical ability to operate a nuclear submarine. What is to stop Russia from selling a nuclear submarine to one of those 16 nations, and when we protest, Russia and the nation is question can say, well it was OK for you, we are simply responding to our legitimate security needs as Australia did many years ago.

The long term strategic risk of alloying non nuclear powers access to bomb grade nuclear material is something that should not be dismissed lightly
A key reality to keep in mind is just how many countries are capable of producing a compact reactor which could fit in and then power a sub (or other naval vessel for that matter). There are only a handful of them, and they are fewer in number than the nuclear-armed nations. I would expect that Russia and/or China would take a serious look at what was in their respective national interests prior to selling reactor technology or reactors to other nations.

Some other things of note, the submarine procurement process has been terrible. Just say the consensus of as now is that Nuclear Subs are the way to go. However 4 or 5 years ago it was completely the other way. If we wanted nuclear subs why not just order them five or six years ago, and be way quicker in the curve. Now we run the risk that the Collins will get old and less effective as we wait for the new subs to arrive, which will be when, I doubt before 2036, at which the oldest Collins class would be 40 years old.
IIRC there have been opinions for some time that the RAN required nuclear-like capability from conventional subs. Nuclear was always kept off the table because there is a whole pile of things required to establish and then sustain such a capability and the costs (in terms of resources, personnel, facilities, diplomatic and political will) had always been considered "too high". Clearly that has changed, though we do not yet know what or why it changed. However, until this change in circumstances happened, trying to order nuke boats several years ago would have been a non-starter.

I do realise that the demeanour of China has changed in the last few years, however there are meant to be a lot of experts in Canberra, and apparently few were wise enough to predict that China would become more nationalistic and thus we really should go for nuclear subs now. Just a short reminder, it was the same lot in Canberra now that were there when they decided to contract for non nuclear submarines 4 or 5 years ago

I also have a couple other questions. If a german 212 submarine can operate with a crew of less that 30, and the Virginia requires 130, what do the other 100 sailors do? I do realise some are required for the reactor, I do realise that the Virginia will have more equipment and thus more operators, however the number does seem very high
Bit of an apples to oranges comparison, beyond the differences in the size of the subs. The USN has a different CONOPS when it comes to crewing a vessel than a number of other nations. An example of this would be the difference in crew between a USN Oliver Hazard Perry-class FFG with 15 officers and 190 enlisted not including embarked helicopter crews or maintainers. OTOH a RAN Adelaide-class FFG which is the Australian name for the OHP frigate, would also have 15 officers, but a to crew of 184, so only 169 enlisted, again not including embarked personnel for the helicopters. The USN CONOPS called for 21 additional enlisted crew serving aboard the same class. IIRC this is because the USN crews vessels with dedicated damage control teams, following lessons learned in WWII.

The other thing that puzzles me. Australia is a long way from other places, thus we need a submarine with a long range. The Collins was/is good but something better would be nice, part of that would be longer range, speed, endurance. That is best done with a larger submarine It may be that the best submarine for Oz is over 5000t. I say this based on the size of the british, french and US subs. I have a suspicion that one reason the German submarine proposal was rejected was that it was a fraction small compared to what was really wanted (pure speculation). If this is the case (and it is an if) then why not when setting the requirements for the competition years ago, ask that the submarine be at least 5000t in size
I suspect that the size of the sub was not a requirement, but that operational ranges, transit times, crew endurance, and a host of other variables were requirements. It would then fall upon the sub designers to work out what arrangement of features and capabilities would deliver the required capabilities. While a designer could certainly increase the displacement of a sub to enable more things to be fitted, increasing the displacement would have all sorts of flow-on effects. The greater sub mass would require greater energy to move the vessel through the water, potentially requiring greater fuel and battery capacity to meet the increased load requirements, as well as engines and gensets with greater generation capacity, and so on.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
I do not believe this has been mentioned earlier in this thread, the PWR 3 reactor in question uses highly enriched uranium, 93 percent That is bomb grade uranium. Thus any nation with such a reactor, could if they chose take the reactor, open it up, remove some uranium and make many many nuclear bombs given that the amount of uranium in question over all submarines goes into the tonnes, and the amount of uranium needed to make a single atomic bomb is 25kg

Now is Australia likely to do this, no. However we could if we really really wanted to.

Would you feel comfortable if other nations decided they required nuclear powered submarines, and those nations chose the highly enriched uranium type of reactor. Say Spain, Italy, Brazil, Indonesia, Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Argentina, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Canada, South Africa, that is sixteen nations apart from Oz, that might in a few decades or now have the financial and technical ability to operate a nuclear submarine. What is to stop Russia from selling a nuclear submarine to one of those 16 nations, and when we protest, Russia and the nation is question can say, well it was OK for you, we are simply responding to our legitimate security needs as Australia did many years ago.

The long term strategic risk of alloying non nuclear powers access to bomb grade nuclear material is something that should not be dismissed lightly

Some other things of note, the submarine procurement process has been terrible. Just say the consensus of as now is that Nuclear Subs are the way to go. However 4 or 5 years ago it was completely the other way. If we wanted nuclear subs why not just order them five or six years ago, and be way quicker in the curve. Now we run the risk that the Collins will get old and less effective as we wait for the new subs to arrive, which will be when, I doubt before 2036, at which the oldest Collins class would be 40 years old.

I do realise that the demeanour of China has changed in the last few years, however there are meant to be a lot of experts in Canberra, and apparently few were wise enough to predict that China would become more nationalistic and thus we really should go for nuclear subs now. Just a short reminder, it was the same lot in Canberra now that were there when they decided to contract for non nuclear submarines 4 or 5 years ago

I also have a couple other questions. If a german 212 submarine can operate with a crew of less that 30, and the Virginia requires 130, what do the other 100 sailors do? I do realise some are required for the reactor, I do realise that the Virginia will have more equipment and thus more operators, however the number does seem very high

The other thing that puzzles me. Australia is a long way from other places, thus we need a submarine with a long range. The Collins was/is good but something better would be nice, part of that would be longer range, speed, endurance. That is best done with a larger submarine It may be that the best submarine for Oz is over 5000t. I say this based on the size of the british, french and US subs. I have a suspicion that one reason the German submarine proposal was rejected was that it was a fraction small compared to what was really wanted (pure speculation). If this is the case (and it is an if) then why not when setting the requirements for the competition years ago, ask that the submarine be at least 5000t in size
Actually Brazil has already began construction of an SSN, due in 2034. But none of those other Nations except for Canada have the Range and Endurance requirements that the USN, RN and RAN has. Talking of Submarine Crew sizes the Collins class was designed to operate with a crew of 42 but with operational experience the RAN raised the manning requirement to 58.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
Australia is in the weird position of offering a number of university courses in Nuclear Engineering even though we have no domestic nuclear industry. As a result we apparently used to train more international students in these courses (including Chinese) than Australians.

The question is whether these courses will become more popular with Australians given that a nuclear submarine capability may still a couple of decades away with pretty much no other job opportunities available to them in the nuclear industry.

In fact what real encouragement will there be for nuclear engineers in Australia with such limited career options available to them?
 

spoz

The Bunker Group
An unofficial analysis done many years ago suggested that Australia could, if it wanted to, have a basic home grown fission weapon about 18 months from the word “go”. That would, however have been a free fall bomb; any sort of sophisticated delivery system would have been likely to take quite a lot longer. So from that perspective the fact that we had a sealed unit which contained weapons grade material in it would be pretty irrelevant. Easier to start from scratch, particularly as extracting it would render useless an important strategic asset.
 

ddxx

Active Member
In fact what real encouragement will there be for nuclear engineers in Australia with such limited career options available to them?
A lot of money and job security. There's a lot of work in the lead up too, it's not just when the boats are being built.
 
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Stampede

Well-Known Member
A nice little article by Marcus Hellyer in todays Strategist


Within the next 18 months government will need to reassure the Australian public there will be no drop in submarine availability as we transition forward.



Regards S
 

Lolcake

New Member
Defense spending bill promises historic support for submarine production, Courtney says


Defence spending bill passed voting that approves facility upgrades to support 3 Virginia's a year from 2025. The article goes on to talk about this also having implications for aukus.

Hard to tell if this ties into having our boats being built in the US initially. Guess we will find out soon enough.

Scomo has also hired a former us navy secretary as a liason between us and the US who advised the scrapping of the french deal. Wonder also if he will also push for the Virginia's and lobby his friends abroad to make that happen. Pure speculation or course.

 
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Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Defense spending bill promises historic support for submarine production, Courtney says


Defence spending bill passed voting that approves facility upgrades to support 3 Virginia's a year from 2025. The article goes on to talk about this also having implications for aukus.

Hard to tell if this ties into having our boats built in the US initially. Guess we will find out soon enough.
Probably more likely only about the Propulsion system, the Reactors would have to be built in the US, I suspect the best way to do it would be the entire Hull section housing the Reactor, Engineering spaces etc would be built in the US and then shipped to Australia to be fitted to the rest of the Sub.
 

ddxx

Active Member
Probably more likely only about the Propulsion system, the Reactors would have to be built in the US, I suspect the best way to do it would be the entire Hull section housing the Reactor, Engineering spaces etc would be built in the US and then shipped to Australia to be fitted to the rest of the Sub.
Building the first two in the US, followed by the next 6+ in Osborne could certainly help with timelines if it's a possibility with the increase in production to three boats p/a from 2025.
 

Lolcake

New Member
Probably more likely only about the Propulsion system, the Reactors would have to be built in the US, I suspect the best way to do it would be the entire Hull section housing the Reactor, Engineering spaces etc would be built in the US and then shipped to Australia to be fitted to the rest of the Sub.
Definitely this would make the most sense from a local construction standpoint.

I am hoping however, we can somehow tap into the increased production and build the first 3-4 boats in the US at the very least. I would personally prefer most if not all are built abroad but still have the capacity to build later boats (boats 5+) here and also perform the maintenance. We would get the boats far earlier and cheaper than a local build if we could tie into the us production line. Unsure if the US would allow us to take up the third boat slot but if an agreement takes place we can have all boats in the water by 2033
 
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Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Definitely this would make the most sense from a local construction standpoint.

I am hoping however, we can somehow tap into the increased production and build the first 3-4 boats in the US at the very least. I would personally prefer most if not all are built abroad but still have the capacity to build later boats (boats 5+) here and also perform the maintenance. We would get the boats far earlier and cheaper than a local build if we could tie into the us production line. Unsure if the US would allow us to take up the third boat slot but if an agreement takes place we can have all boats in the water by 2033
All Boats in the water by 2033? we are now starting to get into fantasyland for several reasons.
1/ PM Morrison has already stated they are hoping to have the first Sub by the end of next decade.
2/ Morrison has said they will be built at Osborn and don't forget that when you build Overseas every cent goes into the Coffers of that Country, so being cheaper to build overseas can be false economy and turn out to be more expensive in the long run. When you build in Australia a lot of those funds goes into the Australian economy and back to the Government in Taxes.
3/ The USN needs new Subs even more badly then the RAN does, they still have 28 LA Class in service all older then the Collins and probably a lot harder used.
4/ There is no way we can be even remotely ready to operate 8 SSNs by 2033, the RAN has no one qualified to operate Nuclear Reactors and as been stated on here by people with far greater knowledge then me, it will take 10 years to qualify a RAN SSN chief Engineer.
 

Lolcake

New Member
All Boats in the water by 2033? we are now starting to get into fantasyland for several reasons.
1/ PM Morrison has already stated they are hoping to have the first Sub by the end of next decade.
2/ Morrison has said they will be built at Osborn and don't forget that when you build Overseas every cent goes into the Coffers of that Country, so being cheaper to build overseas can be false economy and turn out to be more expensive in the long run. When you build in Australia a lot of those funds goes into the Australian economy and back to the Government in Taxes.
3/ The USN needs new Subs even more badly then the RAN does, they still have 28 LA Class in service all older then the Collins and probably a lot harder used.
4/ There is no way we can be even remotely ready to operate 8 SSNs by 2033, the RAN has no one qualified to operate Nuclear Reactors and as been stated on here by people with far greater knowledge then me, it will take 10 years to qualify a RAN SSN chief Engineer.
Agree that is an unlikely scenario, it depends on the us agreeing to give us that third slot. Which is unlikely given where they are in relation to replacing the la class. Exciting stuff. Never would have thought would would be obtaining such a capability. Eager to see them in the water sooner, rather than later
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Agree that is an unlikely scenario, it depends on the us agreeing to give us that third slot. Which is unlikely given where they are in relation to replacing the la class. Exciting stuff. Never would have thought would would be obtaining such a capability. Eager to see them in the water sooner, rather than later
If we have one in the water by 2040 that will be a good result, don't know about you but I will probably be tottering around the Old Geezers home suffering from Oldtimers disease by the time we have one commissioned.
 
Malcolm Turnbull is on telly at the moment. Like him or dislike him, his arguments need to be dealt with on their merits

He made the point that Australia would be the first non nuclear power to obtain submarines powered by weapons grade uranium. This would create a precedent. I made this point a week or so ago on here. What will Australia say if decades to come if other nations, buy nuclear submarines from say Russia powered with weapons grade uranium. Would it now be OK for Iran to buy a nuclear powered submarine powered by bomb grade uranium from Russia,,, but hey nothing to worry about,,, they say they are just doing what Australia is doing,,, just like them,, it is merely to power our submarines,,, trust us.. ..

He also made the point that Abbott wanted to buy submarines made in Japan (his words).. So we may have wasted a couple years at the very top level looking into that route, before going into the submarine competition.

Kym Bergman wrote an article in APDR a while back. He is generally OK, may not have the best sources but attempts to make the best arguments he can with the information he has at hand. His main point was that Australia has spent a good decade or more stuffing around with a replacement for the Collins and we are still at step 1. He wrote, and I dont know it is true or not true. that the reason why Oz did not get a Collins II, was that a small handful or defence bureaucrats had a dislike of the swedes. If this is true I find it deeply troubling. Looking back a Collins II would have been a pretty good fit, something more modern, a bit larger, a bit quieter, bit faster, longer range, and also available. We could have started building 7 or 8 years ago

Now it looks as though we are going to have a gap between Australian made boats and the end of the Collins. Would appear certain that that gap will be filled with overseas made boats, be they leased or bought. Then when it comes to building those boats in Oz,, will the high local build value be retained? Maybe yes, maybe no, what if the supplier says no, do we have any negotiating position.

I am still a little confused as to why the 2015 submarine competition took so long to get started, based on how long it takes to build a submarine from scratch including design phase to commissioning, that is realistically 15 years, and based on the fact that Collins can last to say 2033, you are cutting it very close, when the winner of the competition in 2016, starting the competition a good 7 or 8 years earlier would seem prudent
 

tonnyc

Well-Known Member
What will Australia say if decades to come if other nations, buy nuclear submarines from say Russia powered with weapons grade uranium. Would it now be OK for Iran to buy a nuclear powered submarine powered by bomb grade uranium from Russia,,, but hey nothing to worry about,,, they say they are just doing what Australia is doing,,, just like them,, it is merely to power our submarines,,, trust us.. ..
Buying a nuclear-powered submarine to get weapon-grade fissile material is an extremely expensive and pretty slow way of getting weapon-grade fissile material.

The nuclear submarine is going to cost, well, let's say they go Russian and it's cheaper. Call it $2 billion and 15 years. They buy it, they cut it apart making the sub useless, and they get the weapon-grade fissile material. Which they haven't assembled into a weapon yet. And they haven't figured out a way to drop it into enemy territory yet.

If I have that sort of money and time and the willingness to plow through international sanctions, I would've instead build a Magnox type nuclear reactor to make plutonium out of natural uranium. Like what North Korea did. No need to go big, a 5 MWe reactor will make plutonium year after year after year giving me as much weapon-grade material as I want. Magnox type reactors are 1950s tech. I betcha it's way cheaper than buying a $2 billion submarine. Taking the old estimated cost of Magnox construction in the UK, applying an inflation calculator from 1980 to 2020, and multiplying by the estimated 5 MWe size of the reactor, I got $5 million in today's money. Even if I give it a fudge factor of ten, and say it's $50 million, that's still way cheaper than the $2 billion needed for a nuclear submarine. Easier to hide too. The amount of money and people needed to build a small nuclear reactor will always be smaller than needed to make a nuclear submarine, and the smaller the number of people, the easier to keep it a secret.

Seriously, the technology needed to make a nuclear bomb is WW2 tech. Any middle-power country who wants to do it can do so with no need for "this one weird trick" like buying a nuclear submarine (or civilian nuclear power plants, or reprocessing nuclear fuel). It's neither very difficult nor very costly. The reason why we don't need to worry about Iran buying a nuclear submarine to get at its weapon-grade nuclear fuel is because it's way cheaper for them to make their own. If Iran ever buys nuclear submarines, it won't be so they can get at the HEU. It will be because they want a stealthy submarine that can stay underwater indefinitely.

If you don't like the idea of Iran buying a nuclear submarine, just apply the same sort of pressure nations apply whenever some foreign country do something you don't like. Turnbull is not some paragon of character who is squeaky clean, nor is Australia, nor is any country ever. Is Australia clean of human rights violations when they pressure China about their human rights violations?

Anyway, as an Indonesian, I do have concerns about Australia getting nuclear submarines. I can understand the reasoning, but I'll be lying if I say I'm not concerned. But my concern is not about Australia cutting the sub open to get at the HEU so they can make nuclear weapons. My concern is because Australia will have advanced submarines with indefinite endurance.
 
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SteveR

Active Member
Malcolm Turnbull is on telly at the moment. Like him or dislike him, his arguments need to be dealt with on their merits

He made the point that Australia would be the first non nuclear power to obtain submarines powered by weapons grade uranium. This would create a precedent. I made this point a week or so ago on here. What will Australia say if decades to come if other nations, buy nuclear submarines from say Russia powered with weapons grade uranium. Would it now be OK for Iran to buy a nuclear powered submarine powered by bomb grade uranium from Russia,,, but hey nothing to worry about,,, they say they are just doing what Australia is doing,,, just like them,, it is merely to power our submarines,,, trust us.. ..


I am still a little confused as to why the 2015 submarine competition took so long to get started, based on how long it takes to build a submarine from scratch including design phase to commissioning, that is realistically 15 years, and based on the fact that Collins can last to say 2033, you are cutting it very close, when the winner of the competition in 2016, starting the competition a good 7 or 8 years earlier would seem prudent
Just a reminder that the 2009 Defence White Paper specified non-nuclear. Only a few months ago I understand that Joel Fitzgerald, the Defence Minister in 2009, now admits it was a mistake to exclude the nuclear power option for SEA 1000.
Now a bit of history about how long it took to get the Collins working. I recall going to a 1983 Defence Exhibition in Canberra where the submarine candidates trying to reach the shortlist were exhibiting. It took 4 more years for the Swedish model to be selected over the Type 2000 German offer. The Collins was launched about 1992 but then had to fitted out with a combat system that was over specified. Kockums now Saab fitted three Swedish Hedemora diesel engines telling Australia that they would be supported and developed for future submarines - but in few years Sweden changed to German MTU diesels leaving Hedemora to supply pare parts but with no design team to fix problems with their engines. By late 90s we worked out the Collins had improperly machined propellers and bad flow noise, making them quite noisy at speed. We had to go to General Dynamics (GD) in the US to get the designs and props fixed. Kockums took Australia to court for sharing it design problems with the US and we had to pay a large sum to buy their Intellectual Property rights. So our experience with Kockums was not good. Kockums was then sold to Germany before being bought back by Saab in about 2012 to design the A 26 but with quite a lot of ill will., so choosing a Swedish design right then was probably not a good idea. Even recently we have learned the A26 is 3 years behind schedule and is costing significantly more:

Saab, FMV, renegotiate A 26 submarine contract as costs rise, schedule slips (janes.com)

Also just a reminder how difficult it is to design any submarine if you do not have design team with recent experience - as Australia does not. Spain developed its S80 submarine on the basis of co-producing the Scorpion submarine with France - part but not all. It then developed a true submarine - one that would submerge but never surface! It has taken years of US (GD) help to fix the problem by extending the hull to increase buoyancy. The the UK in the 1990s took its post-Cold War peace dividend and let its SSN design team atrophy. By the time they started the Astute class they badly under-estimated the effort and skill and had to bring in GD (again) to help them get it right after more than a billion pound overspend. Australia is in exactly the same place as Spain and UK were.
 
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