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Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates

Discussion in 'Navy & Maritime' started by icelord, Feb 13, 2007.

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  1. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    It's a load of absolute rubbish. Their so called expert is an ex army intelligence officer - an oxymoron - who knows jack shit about subs and things that float. It comes just after The Australian article from earlier this week that had an accountant as their expert. Both are Murdoch media enterprises and it's starting to look like a Murdoch campaign against the subs for some reason.
     
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  2. ASSAIL

    ASSAIL Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Andrew Bolt is a conservative political commentator who has very strong “opinions”.
    First, he was a strong supporter of a precious PM, Tony Abbott who was a fan of the Soryu class boats.
    Abbott was knifed by the next PM, Turnbull and this led Andrew Bolt to detest him, Turnbull was also a very progressive conservative which heightened the dislike.
    So, when Turnbull’s team chose Naval Group over Mitsubishi/Soryu there was an instant disdain for anything “Turnbull” and that included the Attacks.
    Second, Bolt has always been a strong protagonist for Nuclear power and that extended to submarines and he has found a number of well credentialed supporters who agree with him including many retired uniforms. (I also hold this view but as discussed many times, it won’t happen until there’s bipartisan agreement, highly unlikely)

    I’m not surprised by his rant, it’s true to form.
     
  3. Stampede

    Stampede Active Member

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    Thanks for the post

    If all I knew about our future submarine was from this video from Sky, I'd be very perplexed and concerned.

    Defence and naval group may want to "sell" this project.

    This dry media release may not cut the mustard in this age of sensational news grabs.

    Just a thought


    Regards S
     
  4. Ananda

    Ananda Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Gent's on the insight of the debate. For me, if I can comment on the interview, they talk about how more cost effective introducing Nuclear Subs to Australia Navy compared to the SEA 1000 choosen Subs. Still they don't talk on the Investment cost need to be beared on SSN support infrastructure and comparing Virginia Class SSN cost occurred in USN will not be the same if Australia buy Virginia class SSN.

    A neutral Journalism should compared all the cost and benefits between the two choices. The interview clearly one sided, but I do believe it is very hard to find balance Journalism in the world today. Most media in the world now tend to be one sided on each their own view.

    Just wondering actually if Australian public is begin to be more Nuclear powered leaning. I'm supporter of nuclear energy, but I know that view still controversial and sensitive by some part of public especially in some countries that haven't introduce commercial Nuclear power or Nuclear power vehicles.
     
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  5. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    Won’t dwell much on nuclear options in this thread but with respect to public opinion on all things nuclear I think climate change could be the driver towards a more favourable view for nuclear options. Improved reactor designs would help as well.
     
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  6. Takao

    Takao Well-Known Member

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    To paraphrase a very, very senior officer:

    There is one project of national significance and strategic importance - SEA 1000 (Attack)
    There are two of national significance - SEA 5000 (Hunter's) and AIR 6000 (JSF)
    Everything else is flexible.

    From a slightly different point of view, if you wanted to change / reduce the funding of any of those three you will get significant pushback - but only one is immune. So our actions reflect the above view.

    As for details, they've been covered enough. There are many advantages to building in Australia, even if it costs more. There are so SSN's for lease or sale in the near term. There are advantages to SSKs in SE and NE Asian waters. Navy workforce is tracking well against DWP 16 and any future growth - noting we would have years to build the Attack crews. It's likely to be expensive, but those figures haven't changed (sold poorly yes...changed? no). There are likely to be delays and cost increases - but these aren't houses we are building, they are much more complex. And even houses blow out in time and $$!

    Beyond that 'stuff', submarines are unique capabilities that provide a non-nuclear power the only form of actual deterrence they can get. Especially for a maritime nation. So, for all the nay-sayers, if SSNs aren't available because the USN desperately needs them - what do you do instead? Making Collins the answer gets us to the position of Army using M113s today - dangerous and stupid. Of course - all this requires thinking beyond a headline.
     
  7. 76mmGuns

    76mmGuns Member

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    There's something I'm curious about. I'm a bit hesitant to ask as this forum doesn't like "what if" questions, but I want to know- is there any benefit to having multiple classes and sizes of subs for Australia? I know we have limitations both in terms of money and crew, but say we operated 2 sizes. One was like the German Type 214, the other is the much larger and longer ranged Attack class.

    The one similar to the Type 214 has reasonable range (on paper at least), can be made quickly, and could be used for patrols around Australia. It needs less crew, can be built faster, can give decent abilities. The Attack class could be used literally anywhere else in the world, and perhaps can be customised for long journeys (I don't know what, but I assume so)
     
  8. John Newman

    John Newman Well-Known Member

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    There is a simple solution to all the crap that is in the media regarding the subs, a very simple solution, stop reading the $hit in the first place!

    Many years (and decades, late 60's and 70's) ago, I would read the morning newspaper going to work (front cover to back cover and back again), I'd read the afternoon newspaper going home (back in the day when we had morning and afternoon newspapers here in Sydney), then I'd watch the TV news, all the news at different times, and all of the current affairs programs too.

    I would consume anything 'news', (not saying that the quality of the news was great back then, but the quality today is $hit, absolutely and completely $hit!!).

    Now I simply don't bother, don't buy and read newspapers (well occasionally glance through a 'free' copy when I'm at a Café, but not in depth), I don't watch the TV news anymore, don't watch all of the crap current affairs programs (especially the ABC and SBS), I hardly even browse the news apps on my iPhone.

    And do you know what??

    My stress levels have decreased, my blood pressure is down too (wonder why?? ha ha!).

    What I 'do do today' is read specialist media reporting, if I want to know about defence matters, I read the specialist defence media (certainly not the F*&king ABC!), if it's something else, I try and read something that is going to produce a reasonably balanced media report.

    There is way way too much 'the sky is falling' reporting today, I simply choose to NOT listen to that crap!

    Cheers,
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
  9. John Newman

    John Newman Well-Known Member

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    I think the simple answer to that is, how many nations are currently (and can afford) to produce TWO distinct classes of submarines concurrently? None I suspect.

    Unless you are one of the very few nuclear powers that are operating both ballistic missile subs and non-ballistic subs, then again I suspect the answer is none.

    Cheers,
     
  10. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    There are a couple of nations which produce concurrent sub classes, Russia, China, India and France come to mind as builders of multiple classes of both conventional and nuclear-powered subs. Germany also produces a number of different diesel-electric subs, though the range of classes IMO has more to do with meeting the needs for different customer-nations, i.e. Type 212 for domestic needs, Type 214 for certain export orders, Type 218/Invincible-class for yet other exports(Singapore), and the Type 800/Dolphin-class for Israel, etc.

    Japan also I believe operates more than one diesel-electric sub class, but as I understand it, this is at least in part due to Japan's submarine build and service life-cycle where Japan will start building a follow-on sub design prior to completely finishing production of the design it is replacing. From a purely cost perspective this might not be the most efficient, it does ensure that there is a steady stream of serviceable submarines while also maintaining a shipyard workforce trained to build subs, as well as likely providing a greater opportunity to incorporate incremental improvements into the sub classes.

    With respect to Australia potentially choosing to operate more than one diesel-electric sub class, the questions I would be asking are, what are the circumstances, and what are the net advantages if any? I personally expect that the RAN will operate two different classes of submarine at the same time, at least for a short while as the Attack-class is being stood up while the Collins-class starts decommissioning.

    I otherwise see no advantage to Australia in deliberately trying to keep two different sub classes in active service concurrently, and there would almost certainly be several different disadvantages in terms of production, training, support and sustainment costs. Also given the reality that small/coastal subs, contrary to common/popular belief, are not automatically harder to detect than larger subs, then there is not a real capability advantage to going with two (or more) classes.
     
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  11. John Newman

    John Newman Well-Known Member

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    Mate, I think you missed the point I was making.

    I'm not saying that other nations don't operate more than one class of submarine (ballistic or non-ballistic).

    I said currently developing two classes concurrently, didn't say operating multiple classes, two different things.

    Is there a nation today that is developing more than one ballistic sub and also developing more than one class of non-ballistic sub concurrently? Again, I don't think so.

    Cheers,
     
  12. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    This might then turn upon the definition of "developing", which to me at least, would also include active build programmes as there is typically at least a little room for some iterative improvements during vessel/boat builds. With that definition in mind, then India, China (PRC) and Russia all have multiple classes of either diesel-electric and/or nuclear non-SSBN subs either in development or already actively under construction or in production. If one were to include nations that were building subs for export markets and not for domestic use, then France and Germany would also make those lists.
     
  13. John Newman

    John Newman Well-Known Member

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    Mate, lets try to not get bogged down in semantics, but developing a new class and developing more than one class concurrently are two different animals, in my opinion.

    Whist France and German shipyards have developed and offered differing classes of submarines for export, both of those nations only operate one class type of submarine, France has one type of SSBN and one type of SSN in service, Germany has only one type of SS in service.

    Russia is a hard one to quantify, there appears to be many submarine/ship classes that have been in stop/start building mode almost since the fall of the USSR, what is old? what is new? what is a rehash of old to new? I don't know!

    Cheers,
     
  14. t68

    t68 Well-Known Member

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    I think you might be onto something here but I might be venturing far from reality here.

    I cant really say its definite but the Murdoch media might have an ulterior motive , with the uptick in offside media reporting against a French firm I cant help wondering if it is a bit of a by product of Brexit and the aggressive media tone between EU/UK which is currently happening overseas. Its no secret about the EU complain about the bias media reporting from the Murdoch media. Could be a way to plant seeds of doubt and payback against the French with an added bonus if Australia kills off the French giving the UK a headstart with Astute if nuclear gets on the table. After all BAE have a large presence in Australia
     
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  15. John Newman

    John Newman Well-Known Member

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    I really don't have a problem with the views of the privately owned media, regardless of it being left or right in its leaning. It's not hard to see which way the wind is blowing from their reporting. As long as one is aware of the leaning of the parent organisation, you can sort out the wheat from the chaff.

    On the other hand, I absolutely hate the fact that the publicly owned media in Australia (ABC and SBS) is so far off centre it's not funny, and let's be even more honest, it is so far off to the left it's even more not funny, balanced reporting is something that they both don't do very well at all.

    If either of the above organisations news rooms disappeared off the earth tomorrow, I certainly wouldn't shed a tear (and I don't think I'd be alone either).
     
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  16. oldsig127

    oldsig127 Active Member

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    I think it's more likely that Murdoch's mates are still ticked off that PM Abbot didn't get his Captain's pick, and they looked stupid to Abe.

    There won't be a change unless WW3 happens, for all the reasons succinctly put by Takao further up the page but given that the chance of a change to nuclear gets on the table is so slim as to be invisible, having News Corp pushing it would certainly strain the fairly bipartisan political outlook since one side of politics can't abide them and would certainly reduce the chance of a UK purchase to less than nothing.

    oldsig
     
  17. StingrayOZ

    StingrayOZ Well-Known Member

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    Putting the nuclear issue aside for 1 second.

    Virginias crew 130. Virginias came out of the seawolf program, which was too expensive for even coldwar America. They can build them cheaply because they are america and building 50 of them. America also builds CVN's most efficently in the world, should we acquire 12 of them? We have no way to crew such a item. Or pay for the overall operating costs. That is ignoring the nuclear question.

    Remember no one ever said the Astutes were cheap (weren't boats 1-3 something of the order of $7 billion each and 58+ months late), they also require 100 crew per sub, so you are doubling the operational costs right there, as one of the most significant costs is crew. Your purchase price is also ~3 times as much.

    Attack is about the same size as the preceding Trafalgar class SSN's the Astutes are replacing.

    Subs are expensive. They can break the backs of superpowers.

    As for local content. Australia doesn't do a lot of global defense commercial competition. Much like the F-35 program there are a few expert things we do, and that would be focused on something like that, but smaller companies just don't have the expertise and the motivation to go bid on defence programs. Theres no medium players that go around and facilitate smaller companies. And if the primes don't do it, no one else will.
     
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  18. swerve

    swerve Super Moderator

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    I think "incremental improvements" is a big part of that. They don't do revolutions. Each class has something new, but no class has too much, so development risk is reduced.

    Haven't they recently been increasing their submarine force without increasing the building rate? They can do that because they're retiring subs which still have life in them: they just delayed retirement. They have to increase operational expenditure, e.g. more crews, but no extra building costs.
     
  19. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    @StingrayOZ .. my understanding is the Seawolf was deemed too expensive once the Cold War ended. Had the Cold War continued, I think more would have been built and follow-on block builds would have been enhanced just like the Virginia class. Enhanced Seawolfs, frigging awesome I would suspect.
     
  20. John Newman

    John Newman Well-Known Member

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    You're correct, they haven't been increasing the build rate.

    What Japan was doing, when the fleet level was set at 16 boats, was that each year a new boat commissioned, the oldest dropped off the bottom 'one in, one out' and that maintained the active fleet of 16.

    With the announcement a couple of years back to increase the active fleet to 22 boats, they started performing life extensions to the oldest of the Oyashio class still in commission. When the latest of the Soryu class commissions next month (March) the total active fleet will increase to 20 (11 Soryu and 9 Oyashio). Over the years ahead they will have to perform life extension to all of the older boats at some stage to allow for that new service life of 22 years.

    What I think is impressive with the Japanese submarine build program is that they have their two yards, MHI and KSC, producing a new boat that commissions in March of every year, each yard has a 2 year drumbeat, but they alternate, one yard is doing odd years, 1, 3, 5, etc, the other even years, 2, 4, 6, etc.

    It's worth having a look back at the various classes, starting with Soryu and see how regular they are at commissioning a new boat every year:

    Sōryū-class submarine - Wikipedia

    Have a click in the link in the side box for the preceded by class, you can do this for each previous class (you can pretty much go back 40 years and regular as clock work a new boat produced, prior to that it wasn't exactly yearly).


    For the RAN and the future Attack class, it will be interesting to see how regular and sustained the construction/commissioning drumbeat will be. If the future HMAS Attack is to be launched in 2030, commission in 2032 and be operational by 2035 and the last boat launched in 2050, then the drumbeat has to be a bit less than 2 years (on average over the construction of the class).

    Cheers,