Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Don’t know that I’d agree the Greens are irrelevant, they’re entitled to a voice given they have legitimate security and other concerns. I do think they are wrong on nuclear subs, but many of the public will listen to them.

ANZUS is still going to be relevant because we have to have NZ in the fold even if they won’t let our subs dock…. I bet they are secretly happy about the decision however.

As for the French, it’s worth $400m to get out of this, the only ones upset about it will be Adelaide pizza shop owners.
Americans don't eat Pizza?
 

alexsa

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
No. No we don't. Frankly you are either in the boat with us, or out of the boat.

As I watched the three leaders announce it, Australia really spent no time placating anyone specifically. Biden mentioned the French and all the other alliances.

Still interesting ramifications.
It does seem to suggest a UK boat but I do wonder if the Barracuda is still in (it appears this will not be the case)

The opposition must be onboard..... or this would be a dead duck.

Quite a stunning decisions .... but it does mean moving to a proven boat if the Astute is to be the model employed.
 
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John Newman

The Bunker Group
I think we should “give a flying f___” what the greens think. They’re Australian’s with a point of view that is mainstream.
The political reality is that Labor will support this because of the strategic necessity and the Greens probably won’t. That’s fine, we are a democracy.

The more I think about this the more intriguing the choice between the Astute and the Virginia class is. I’d agree that 6-8 subs is most likely. I’ve seen nothing released about a selection timetable but it will have to happen fast. Osborne will be in chaos right now….
I stand by my comment, I don’t give a flying f**k what the Greens think, and yes we do live in a democracy.

But a democracy doesn’t require 100% of people to all agree with each other, that never happens, majority rules, even if its 51/49.
 

Geddy

Member
My money is on the Astute class with a US combat system. Slightly smaller and with a smaller crew than the Virginia class vessels. Also it’s a mature sub with the final 2 examples being built now. Perhaps there is some spare capacity to build reactors..?
 

John Newman

The Bunker Group
It does seem to suggest a UK boat but I do wonder if the Barracuda is still in (it appears this will not be the case)

The opposition must be onboard..... or this would be a dead duck.

Quite a stunning decisions .... but it does mean moving to a proven boat if the Astute is to be the model employed.
I agree, I think Astute will be the design reference boat, especially from a crewing point of view.

From what I understand, Collins is 58 crew, the Attack class was to be 60, according to Wiki, Astute is 98 and Virginia is 135.

Too early to speculate of course, but if I had to make a prediction, the boats will be based on Astute, US reactor tech, US combat and weapons systems.
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
It does seem to suggest a UK boat but I do wonder if the Barracuda is still in (it appears this will not be the case)

The opposition must be onboard
It seems we will all be happier to be parting ways with the french. Its not just about nuclear propulsion, but also about industry and commonality. Australia wasn't using a lot of the same equipment as the French.

There seems to be a bigger deal with AU and UK industry on subs, and AU and US industry on munitions and missiles.
Going with US or UK reactors means highly enriched plutonium being imported as part of the reactor.

Also we can partner with someone who can refit out collins.

I have no doubt Labor and Libs are eye to eye on this. No one wants to inherit a problematic disaster of a defence program. Everyone wants the most capability.
My money is on the Astute class with a US combat system. Slightly smaller and with a smaller crew than the Virginia class vessels. Also it’s a mature sub with the final 2 examples being built now. Perhaps there is some spare capacity to build reactors..?
Astute with US made PWR3 and US combat system. Job done.
PWR2 has "issues" Navy to axe 'Fukushima type' nuclear reactors from submarines

 

Morgo

Member
I agree, I think Astute will be the design reference boat, especially from a crewing point of view.

From what I understand, Collins is 58 crew, the Attack class was to be 60, according to Wiki, Astute is 98 and Virginia is 135.

Too early to speculate of course, but if I had to make a prediction, the boats will be based on Astute, US reactor tech, US combat and weapons systems.
On crewing, presumably the key will be which version of the Virginia is considered. A 50% reduction in transit times vs diesel plus a doubling of weapons load if we were to acquire the Block V Virginia’s with the VPM means we wouldn’t need nearly the same number of hulls to achieve the same effects that were expected from the Attacks.

I would also think that if the US wants to be able to leverage in theatre maintenance capability their preference would be for our workforce to be familiar with their subs rather than the UK’s, which is important given I would be expecting far more USN SSN visits vs RN.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
Very brave decision. Massive in its implications. This obviously been planned for a long time. Surprisingly nothing got leaked.
 

alexsa

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I agree, I think Astute will be the design reference boat, especially from a crewing point of view.

From what I understand, Collins is 58 crew, the Attack class was to be 60, according to Wiki, Astute is 98 and Virginia is 135.

Too early to speculate of course, but if I had to make a prediction, the boats will be based on Astute, US reactor tech, US combat and weapons systems.
I think it will be the Roll Royce Reactor in the Astute but perhaps the PWR3 as suggested above. PWR2 was developed for the Vanguard and I understand this was based on the US design in any case and the US assisted in its development (I stand to be corrected). Certainly PWR3 is supposed to be based on a US design using UK reactor technology (updating myself as I go here). I agree that the fire control will be the BYG-1 selected for the Attack Class noting Lockmart have been handing out contracts recently and the test centre for the fire control system is nearing completion in Osborne.

The sensors for the 'French option' were to be provided by Thales and are essentially the same as the Astute Type 2079 System as far as I can guess (comprising active, passive, towed array, flank array) based on the fact elements of this system being retrofitted to the Collins. This means the integration work between the BYG-1 and the sensors is already being progressed.
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Funding is still an issue, the Sub fleet is budgeted for, irrespective of which design we end up with, the only change will be numbers. There is no funding budgeted for a sqn of B-21s.
There was no funding budgeted for nuclear subs 3 months ago. As we’ve clearly seen today, priorities can change. Only last Estimates Defence were again saying nuclear is not possible. I guess with enough will, most things are possible…
 

TheRealist

New Member
Too early to speculate of course, but if I had to make a prediction, the boats will be based on Astute, US reactor tech, US combat and weapons systems.
I agree with this.
Regarding numbers, I certainly hope it's more than 6. Even being nuclear, these boats will still need to be out of action for maintenance, refitting, crew rotations, etc. 6 will be too small a number for our needs. Obviously 12 would more than likely be out of the question. My guess would be 8 or 9.
 

alexsa

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Somewhat overlooked in the submarine stuff was also an announcement on Tomahawk for the Hobarts and JASSM-ER for the Crabs
I have been looking for the full list of announcements but google is drowning in SSN commentary. Do you have a link.
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
There was no funding budgeted for nuclear subs 3 months ago. As we’ve clearly seen today, priorities can change. Only last Estimates Defence were again saying nuclear is not possible. I guess with enough will, most things are possible…
Even if B-21 are a thing, they won't be flown by the RAN, there isn't an ADF project for that type of capability, and aren't yet in production.

There does seem to be an agreed decoupling de-soloing budget of defence and national security and sovereignty. But it isn't clear exactly how this will work. I imagine part of the argument for the nuclear development is reducing risk, which in one way, reduces potential cost, to free up money.
 

jack412

Member
That is how it is looking to me too. UK subs and power plant. US systems.
"UK-based firms Babcock, BAE and Rolls-Royce are likely to help build the stealth subs."
 
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John Newman

The Bunker Group
I think it will be the Roll Royce Reactor in the Astute but perhaps the PWR3 as suggested above. PWR2 was developed for the Vanguard and I understand this was based on the US design in any case and the US assisted in its development (I stand to be corrected). Certainly PWR3 is supposed to be based on a US design using UK reactor technology (updating myself as I go here). I agree that the fire control will be the BYG-1 selected for the Attack Class noting Lockmart have been handing out contracts recently and the test centre for the fire control system is nearing completion in Osborne.

The sensors for the 'French option' were to be provided by Thales and are essentially the same as the Astute Type 2079 System as far as I can guess (comprising active, passive, towed array, flank array) based on the fact elements of this system being retrofitted to the Collins. This means the integration work between the BYG-1 and the sensors is already being progressed.
Yes I should have been a bit more explicit regarding the reactor tech.

And yes my money will be on PWR3 too.

Which as you say is reported to be a US design, but also UK tech and build.

And yes also to the Thales tech and equipment too.

Cheers,
 

Anthony_B_78

Active Member
I have been looking for the full list of announcements but google is drowning in SSN commentary. Do you have a link.
PM just mentioned it in the media conference currently underway. He said - I think - Chief of Defence - will have more to say about those in a minute. I believe The Australian has been reporting these aspects.
 
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