Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates

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John Newman

The Bunker Group
My guess is the 8 is an educated guess no more.
It’s too early to say, too early to start plucking numbers out of the air at random.

Let’s not forget one important and overriding Government policy, ‘Continuous Naval Shipbuilding’.

Once the 12th Attack class boat was planned to be completed, construction would start on the 13th, eg, the first of the Attack replacement class.

When the nine Hunter class FFGs are completed, replacements will start for the three DDGs, then replacement for the Hunters, and so on and so on.

I can’t see the Government going to all the trouble of establishing an SSN production line, then after eight units shutting it down again.

If the SSNs are going to have a 25-30 year service life (and then be replaced), it’s going to take more than eight boats to keep the production line running and the skilled workers employed too.

Obviously we need for the Government to produce the update for the 2017 Naval Shipbuilding Plan to know for sure.

Cheers,
 

pgclift

Member
One pleasing aspect of this development is how well the cloak of secrecy has been maintained right up until last night on the eve of the joint announcements. I don't know, but I would imagine there have many contacts and communications at the highest levels of defence, foreign affairs and cabinet, not just in Australia but also the equivalents in the UK, USA and New Zealand last night. Not just on the submarine element but also the additional munitions that will be obtained.

Anyone who has ever tried to organise a meeting with just 3 people let alone 3 Heads of State plus their support staff will know how just difficult it can become.

So with very many moving parts leading up to the announcement the fact that no one leaked is a credit to those involved and something that is nice to know that in these days of cyber attacks and media sniffing around for a story that it is possible to keep some things under well and truly wraps.
 

cdxbow

Well-Known Member
Getting the boats in the water quicker seems to have been important, maybe. This from the PM:

'When it comes to the delivery of this program, I indicated that we anticipate being able to commence build this year, and the first of those submarines would be in the water, we believe, before the end of next decade and all partners will be working to ensure that is achieved at a date as soon as is possible to achieve,” he said.

Ambitious start, and I think he means the end of this decade, not the next, for the first boat in the water.
In addition to range/persistence benefits of nuclear boats having much more electrical capacity may be important in the era of the drones. Folks need to temper their enthusiasm a bit because each of the last three PM's have changed course on subs.
 

Anthony_B_78

Active Member
Let’s not forget one important and overriding Government policy, ‘Continuous Naval Shipbuilding’.
Given the announcement they've made, and the clear shift in thinking this represents, along with what is driving it, I wouldn't hold on to continuous naval shipbuilding as an "overriding" government policy. It may well become a casualty of a desire to have a capability faster. Only time will tell, of course.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
It’s too early to say, too early to start plucking numbers out of the air at random.

Let’s not forget one important and overriding Government policy, ‘Continuous Naval Shipbuilding’.

Once the 12th Attack class boat was planned to be completed, construction would start on the 13th, eg, the first of the Attack replacement class.

When the nine Hunter class FFGs are completed, replacements will start for the three DDGs, then replacement for the Hunters, and so on and so on.

I can’t see the Government going to all the trouble of establishing an SSN production line, then after eight units shutting it down again.

If the SSNs are going to have a 25-30 year service life (and then be replaced), it’s going to take more than eight boats to keep the production line running and the skilled workers employed too.

Obviously we need for the Government to produce the update for the 2017 Naval Shipbuilding Plan to know for sure.

Cheers,
The problem with a nuclear boat is that decommissioning them is a hugely expensive option compared to conventionally powered subs. I can't see the government getting anymore than they need and keeping them is service for as long as possible. I can see how the math of a continuous build program would work for conventional ships but those numbers would need to be recrunched for nuclear vessels.
 

Bob53

Active Member
So my take away from all of this info if I can condense...
We are getting UK designed Astute Subs with US Nuclear propulsion and US Weapons system? Why the need to change either ? Can the RN interact with the USN?
I have read these will take an extra 4 years and also above the first will be delivered before the end of this decade. I am unclear on this part.
Heard nothing about actual $ cost. I read this morning a Virginia is $US 3.5Billion and an Astute 1.65 billion GBP. Would that mean the on the lot rate would be around $3-$4Billion $AU per boat plus infrastructure plus $AU Build factors ++++.
We need to recruit somewhere around an extra 4-600 extra submariners over the next 10 years.
We will operate them but not refuel or dispose of the spent fuel and reactors.

Read former PM Paul Keating is saying that buying US subs will mean ADF will be blackmailed into all future US excursions.
 

Geddy

Member
I think we’ll see a decommissioning process in the deal that is signed. So perhaps decommissioning in the location where the reactor was built.
 

cdxbow

Well-Known Member
The problem with a nuclear boat is that decommissioning them is a hugely expensive option compared to conventionally powered subs. I can't see the government getting anymore than they need and keeping them is service for as long as possible. I can see how the math of a continuous build program would work for conventional ships but those numbers would need to be recrunched for nuclear vessels.
Build them in SA, bury them in SA. The circle of life. Great place for a nuclear dump.
 

jack412

Member
Of course there is the remote chance. That we partner with the UK on their next gen sub. Is 2040 too far out?
A new generation of nuclear submarines will be developed to replace the Astute class in the 2040s.
 

old faithful

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
So my take away from all of this info if I can condense...
We are getting UK designed Astute Subs with US Nuclear propulsion and US Weapons system? Why the need to change either ? Can the RN interact with the USN?
I have read these will take an extra 4 years and also above the first will be delivered before the end of this decade. I am unclear on this part.
Heard nothing about actual $ cost. I read this morning a Virginia is $US 3.5Billion and an Astute 1.65 billion GBP. Would that mean the on the lot rate would be around $3-$4Billion $AU per boat plus infrastructure plus $AU Build factors ++++.
We need to recruit somewhere around an extra 4-600 extra submariners over the next 10 years.
We will operate them but not refuel or dispose of the spent fuel and reactors.

Read former PM Paul Keating is saying that buying US subs will mean ADF will be blackmailed into all future US excursions.

The nuclear non proliferation treaty basically means we have to support US adventures anyway, even if it's a token flag waving support.
When we don't spend what we really need to in defence of Australia, and rely on the US, it has terms and conditions.
 

John Newman

The Bunker Group
The problem with a nuclear boat is that decommissioning them is a hugely expensive option compared to conventionally powered subs. I can't see the government getting anymore than they need and keeping them is service for as long as possible. I can see how the math of a continuous build program would work for conventional ships but those numbers would need to be recrunched for nuclear vessels.
I think you are making a few wrong assumptions.

Keeping them in service as long as possible? Except for the fact the reactor is fuelled once and once only, so that’s an approx 30 year service life.

if the service life was extended beyond that, say another 10 years, then you have to refuel, I can’t see that happening, In other words a finite service life.

So the question comes down to, do you run a continuous build program, or shutdown and start up again years later?

Anyway, until there is some update to the Naval Shipbuilding Plan, it’s all speculation.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
And yet the journalists got it right yesterday when they preempted this announcement.
Which makes it a rarity. I would think that they were given some official leaks. My reasoning is that the work on this has obviously been happening for quite a while, maybe a year or two, and the security on it has been very tight. No leaks to the press. The Australian and NZ media are woefully ignorant when it comes to defence and security, and the media in general is biased. It no longer gives an unbiased record of happenings..
 

MARKMILES77

Active Member
We are getting UK designed Astute Subs with US Nuclear propulsion and US Weapons system? Why the need to change either ? Can the RN interact with the USN?
Getting Nuclear Subs wise move.
BUT should have chosen Astutes OR Virginias.
Why the heck would you build a Frankenstein sub, part Astute, part Virginia class.
Subs are complicated enough without choosing to make them even more complicated.
And dont even start with the BS that our requirements are "unique".

Plan should have been to buy two of the shelf, no modifications, made in UK or USA to get them into service ASAP, while preparations were made for Australian production.
 

Anthony_B_78

Active Member
Which makes it a rarity. I would think that they were given some official leaks. My reasoning is that the work on this has obviously been happening for quite a while, maybe a year or two, and the security on it has been very tight. No leaks to the press. The Australian and NZ media are woefully ignorant when it comes to defence and security, and the media in general is biased. It no longer gives an unbiased record of happenings..

You’ll have to forgive me on this issue because as a media professional (can I be a MEPRO?) I just find blanket criticism of the profession to be a little hard to reconcile with what I see from day to day. I am curious though about last statement. If it no longer gives an unbiased record of happenings, when did it do so?

Suck it up Tony. He hates my former professional background even more. Regards, MrC
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
You’ll have to forgive me on this issue because as a media professional (can I be a MEPRO?) I just find blanket criticism of the profession to be a little hard to reconcile with what I see from day to day. I am curious though about last statement. If it no longer gives an unbiased record of happenings, when did it do so?
Probably the 1980s or 1990s here in NZ. Would've been earlier in Australia especially with Murdoch. See I remember the time when the news media was pretty well regarded. Most of the reporting was apolitical and outlets weren't pushing agendas. It was about the quality of the story and its presentation. Facts were checked. Spelling, punctuation, mistakes, grammar were checked before items went to print or were broadcast. Journos took real pride in their craft and it showed.

Not today. I see / hear / watch/ many articles / items that have basic spelling, punctuation, grammar, missing words, incorrect facts etc., that if a first year uni student handed the work in as an assignment they'd be lucky to get a D for and that's probably for spelling their name right. It's lazy, careless, and totally unprofessional. Journalism used to be a craft, but it no longer is. I wouldn't even call it a trade and to make matters worse Australian and NZ journalism has dumbed down the news media. We are Aussies and Kiwis who have a good education. We aren't Americans who need stuff dumbed down for us because of a poor education system.
 
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