I think you’re severely underestimating how radical a capability this could be.
Several sources (including ADBR
) indicate a weapons payload of between 500 and 1000 pounds internally. Presumably more can be added to external hard points if needed.
It also appears to use significant stealth shaping and use of composites (although presumably not coatings). It’s not going to show up like an airliner or a B-52.
The other remarkable things about it are:
- range of 3,700km. That puts the whole of the South China Sea and the shipping lanes between the southern tip of India and Singapore in range from Tindal and the Cocos Islands
- that it’s been designed from the bottom up to be easily mass produced and fit into existing supply chains where possible
- that it will be manufactured in Australia at Toowoomba (as you note) meaning we’re less / not dependent on imports to continue production in a crisis and could presumably scale production quickly
- the speed at which it has been developed which has been phenomenal
- unit cost in the single digit millions, meaning we can acquire hundreds (or more) of the things.
Honestly if it delivers on the promise I think that this could deliver a capability to Australia that is every bit as revolutionary as nuclear powered subs.