Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
One other thing....HMS Anson (an Astute Class Sub) was last reported docked at Busan, South Korea a week ago as part of the escort for CSG21, the HMS Queen Elizabeth deployment.

I wouldn't be shocked if she turned up at HMAS Stirling at Garden Island in the near future...wouldn't shock me if she was detached towards the end of the deployment one bit...
If she does, they'll have to chain the crew to the oars to prevent the recruiters making off with the entire crew, if the Astute build were to be true.

I suppose we're early days.
 

Rudeboy

New Member
If she does, they'll have to chain the crew to the oars to prevent the recruiters making off with the entire crew, if the Astute build were to be true.

I suppose we're early days.
There might need to be an agreement reached between the UK and Aus around poaching of crew and engineers if there is a deal....

I mean who in their right mind would swap Barrow in Furness or Faslane for Adelaide or Perth....and more money...?
 

spoz

The Bunker Group
Not Anson, she’s only just been launched. Artful is the boat with the TG I think.
The route home of the TG as a whole hasn’t been released as yet, so it’s quite possible they could come to the west coast; the obvious way from where they are if they do is via Guam and the east coast.
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
As I posted at #29,772 the only sensible names for these vessels are after Melbourne Cup winners HMAS Makybe Diva, HMAS Think Big, HMAS Empire Rose, HMAS Let's Elope, HMAS What A Nuisance and of course HMAS Phar Lap. :D

If not name a champion racehorse to represent each State and Territory. Or starting from this next Melbourne Cup day name the sub after the winner!
Naming them after Melbourne Cup winners is the only way an NZ name will ever appear on a sub so good idea ;)
 

Rudeboy

New Member
Not Anson, she’s only just been launched. Artful is the boat with the TG I think.
The route home of the TG as a whole hasn’t been released as yet, so it’s quite possible they could come to the west coast; the obvious way from where they are if they do is via Guam and the east coast.
Sorry my mistake, right you are.
I guess a lot will depend on COVID regs. I know the crew are getting some shore time at Guam, but the restrictions are pretty heavy, no more than 20% of the crew ashore at one time...they're all double vaxxed as well...pity really, a once in a lifetime deployment with plenty of great runs ashore has been pretty limited to date. Think Augusta in Sicily and now Guam have been the only ones.
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
You'd hope so. Another 20 years is a long time to keep Collins running and relevant in our part of the world. The last of her kind will be positively geriatric by the time they're all divested(!).
I’m reasonably confident that the Collins boats can still be serviceable and relevant over the next 20 years.
the first 15 years of their collective lives saw very little use, months, even years alongside, in refit or undergoing remediation and the GOTD had little incentive to fund them properly.
In summary I reckon their regular service lives only commenced over the last approx 8 years so with regular upgrades and LOTE they should remain fully operational.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
I’m reasonably confident that the Collins boats can still be serviceable and relevant over the next 20 years.
the first 15 years of their collective lives saw very little use, months, even years alongside, in refit or undergoing remediation and the GOTD had little incentive to fund them properly.
In summary I reckon their regular service lives only commenced over the last approx 8 years so with regular upgrades and LOTE they should remain fully operational.
Reminds of the Victoria class, they were in storage/upgrade for much of their lives so they are good out to 2040….can you smell the bovine aroma?:rolleyes:
 

Rudeboy

New Member
Reminds of the Victoria class, they were in storage/upgrade for much of their lives so they are good out to 2040….can you smell the bovine aroma?:rolleyes:
Collins Class are doing fine now, the key thing for subs is how many dives they've done. Managing that over the lifetime will be a challenge.
 

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
There might need to be an agreement reached between the UK and Aus around poaching of crew and engineers if there is a deal....

I mean who in their right mind would swap Barrow in Furness or Faslane for Adelaide or Perth....and more money...?
The only issue is they get here, cop a reduction in rank and seniority then are treated like morons by less qualified, less experienced, less competent ADF members.

If the ADF members see them as a threat it gets even worse, graduating to deliberate, malicious undermining and othering. Not all ADF members do this but enough to guarantee virtually every lateral entry into the ADF, and every non ex ADF civilian experiences it.
 

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Collins Class are doing fine now, the key thing for subs is how many dives they've done. Managing that over the lifetime will be a challenge.
The silver lining to the drawn out maintenance cycles, laying up due to crewing issues and long restriction from operating at deep diving depth, is they still have plenty of structural life left.

Also, their modular design means entire new sections can be fabricated an inserted, replacing original sections, as part of the SLEP. Collins can progressively be entirely rebuilt over an extended period. i.e. Grand father's axe.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
The silver lining to the drawn out maintenance cycles, laying up due to crewing issues and long restriction from operating at deep diving depth, is they still have plenty of structural life left.

Also, their modular design means entire new sections can be fabricated an inserted, replacing original sections, as part of the SLEP. Collins can progressively be entirely rebuilt over an extended period. i.e. Grand father's axe.
Its going to be interesting to see what goes into the LOTE now, as Morrison said in his later Presser on Thursday, the Collins class will be around for decades to come. They are still going to have to be a relevant Combat system in 2040. Another thing about the increased US involvement in our Sub program is, they are the masters of keeping old Subs in service, they still have a couple of dozen 30-40yo LAs and Ohio's in service.
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
*again*

They've been pretty specific about wanting something that's in the water so of the field available, we can rule out the DCNS nuclear option, leaving Virginia and Astute.

Astute may be cheaper to field and run.

But the Virginia is doing really well in terms of production numbers etc
I'm no sub expert, but the image on the recently updated defence web page looks very much like the Asute.


I'd speculate the UK are on board for a reason.

A decade ago worked with an ex RN bloke who spent many years sailing on the old Resolution Class.
He was certainly very enthused about the new Asutes Class and its attributes. Suggest the reason was more than just loyalty to his former service.


What sub do we get.
Time will be a factor, as will limited modifications where practical; so suggest the options are only two- Virginia and Astute.
Bets on the later.



Regards S
 

Geddy

Member
Can anyone think about why the Brits would be involved with this program is it wasn’t for the Astute class vessels?
18 months of work has gone into this and presumably the options have been assessed. So is the next 18 months all about the how to build them aspect and not so much the what to build? I suspect this is the case.
 

Arclighy

Member
Yes the image on the defence web page does look like an Astute class. I don't know how much store we can put in a that though. Both Astute class and Virgina class are excellent subs, no doubt. Astute class may be ahead in affordability stakes , but the latest iteration of the Virginia class has nearly double the weopons loadout of the Astutes. An interesting comparison of the two subs can be found here (Naval Technology). No doubt all the pro's and cons of each design are being examined right now.
 

spoz

The Bunker Group
I can certainly think of a reason; the RAN paradigm for manning a submarine (and a Navy in general) and developing the necessary skills is very similar to the RN’s, and very different to the USN’s. However if it was just that it would make a nonsense of Boris’s frothing on about UK jobs. My money is Astute at the moment, however!
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
Australia generally doesn't buy US ships. The last time were the FFGs but they weren't tier one vessels. The Astutes are cheaper, need less crew, and BAE Systems already have a big presence in Australia.

I am not entirely sure the US would even want to be involved in delivering this capability to Australia. They are working at near full capacity at the moment and managing an overseas build for something as complex as a nuclear submarine sounds like a nightmare task to me. It is also something that Americans probably have little experience with. They would probably be happy to leave it to the poms.
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
The Astutes are:
  • Smaller - not by much, but smaller, The Virginias are larger (~15%), physically, particularly the block V with the launchers, 140m, some 40% longer. While the US can build them quite cheaply, they are building ~30-40 of them and have commonality with their entire sub fleet of 100 subs. The US is like a mass production facility.
  • Smaller crew - ~100 vs ~135 odd. 35% less crewing is huge. For every 3 V boats you can man 4 A boats.
  • More commonality with the sensors/systems we want - Australia basically was specing Astute sensors on the attack program, so all the work on that and integrating that with the combat system is not wasted. Again the UK would operate more like Australia, both as medium power navies. UK companies like BAE already have huge operations in Australia, already building ships, already people experienced on the UK sub building program in Australia in the organisations. US companies like Electric boat have no foot print.
  • We have much more in common with RN training and operation. As Alexsa points out the RAN is much closer in operation and manning to the RN than to the USN. We have kick started our submarine programs off the Brits several times, and there is a significant portion of RN sailors in the RAN submarine force. (AE1 and AE2, the Oberon's, some minor help with Collins class).
  • The timing is such as that as the Astute build program concludes, the UK could send pretty much its entire team to Australia, to assist get things up and running. 50 welders and trades, ~10 managers, ~10 designers, etc. Jigs and machinery could be moved if required. This could effectively hotstart production. Saving years. The first hull build could basically be a joint venture. With Australians in the UK building part, and Britons in Australia building part.
An Astute with the latest PWR3 reactor and the US combat system would be excellent. PWR3 is a further leap ahead in safety and durability ahead of the PWR2. PWR3 is supposed to effectively be an enhanced PWR2 with very similar dimensions. Its entirely feasible to put it into Astute.

While the Virginias have larger weapons load out in block V, in block I-IV the Astutes can carry more weapons (25+12 VLS) vs a theoretical 38. Realistically this isn't going to be an issue. But the Astutes are focused on being submarines while the Virginia's have a significant land attack capability. So unless we are building the mammoth and yet unbuilt Block V, Astute will be fine for what we need.

The US could certainly strike a deal, they might buy or pay for ~4-6 subs to be built in Australia as they are at maximum capacity, which would change the game. Separately, WA could again become a major US sub base. With say 4-6 US subs based there and maintenance facilities for that as well. I think this is unlikely, but its not impossible. However, I don't think this is what is driving the agreement and would seem to cut the UK out of it.

There are already existing papers/studies looking at Australia's SSN options, most of those comeback in favor of Astute. Going forward, I can see Australia and the UK having a peer relationship on the design and construction of future attack subs. Both countries benefit.
 

Takao

The Bunker Group
Can anyone think about why the Brits would be involved with this program is it wasn’t for the Astute class vessels?
18 months of work has gone into this and presumably the options have been assessed. So is the next 18 months all about the how to build them aspect and not so much the what to build? I suspect this is the case.
Firstly, because AUKUS isn't only about SSNs. The Brit's involvement in the other areas is obvious, as is our need to be tied in with their efforts.

Secondly, because they offer the stepping stone between the USN and a smaller Navy. They have a smaller fleet, they produce the best submarine COs and crews in the world and, critically, the US is prohibited from exporting nuclear tech to anyone but the Brit's. So, the US can't sell us a reactor, but the RN can....
 

ADMk2

Just a bloke
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
The Astutes are:
  • Smaller - not by much, but smaller, The Virginias are larger (~15%), physically, particularly the block V with the launchers, 140m, some 40% longer. While the US can build them quite cheaply, they are building ~30-40 of them and have commonality with their entire sub fleet of 100 subs. The US is like a mass production facility.
  • Smaller crew - ~100 vs ~135 odd. 35% less crewing is huge. For every 3 V boats you can man 4 A boats.
  • More commonality with the sensors/systems we want - Australia basically was specing Astute sensors on the attack program, so all the work on that and integrating that with the combat system is not wasted. Again the UK would operate more like Australia, both as medium power navies. UK companies like BAE already have huge operations in Australia, already building ships, already people experienced on the UK sub building program in Australia in the organisations. US companies like Electric boat have no foot print.
  • We have much more in common with RN training and operation. As Alexsa points out the RAN is much closer in operation and manning to the RN than to the USN. We have kick started our submarine programs off the Brits several times, and there is a significant portion of RN sailors in the RAN submarine force. (AE1 and AE2, the Oberon's, some minor help with Collins class).
  • The timing is such as that as the Astute build program concludes, the UK could send pretty much its entire team to Australia, to assist get things up and running. 50 welders and trades, ~10 managers, ~10 designers, etc. Jigs and machinery could be moved if required. This could effectively hotstart production. Saving years. The first hull build could basically be a joint venture. With Australians in the UK building part, and Britons in Australia building part.
An Astute with the latest PWR3 reactor and the US combat system would be excellent. PWR3 is a further leap ahead in safety and durability ahead of the PWR2. PWR3 is supposed to effectively be an enhanced PWR2 with very similar dimensions. Its entirely feasible to put it into Astute.

While the Virginias have larger weapons load out in block V, in block I-IV the Astutes can carry more weapons (25+12 VLS) vs a theoretical 38. Realistically this isn't going to be an issue. But the Astutes are focused on being submarines while the Virginia's have a significant land attack capability. So unless we are building the mammoth and yet unbuilt Block V, Astute will be fine for what we need.

The US could certainly strike a deal, they might buy or pay for ~4-6 subs to be built in Australia as they are at maximum capacity, which would change the game. Separately, WA could again become a major US sub base. With say 4-6 US subs based there and maintenance facilities for that as well. I think this is unlikely, but its not impossible. However, I don't think this is what is driving the agreement and would seem to cut the UK out of it.

There are already existing papers/studies looking at Australia's SSN options, most of those comeback in favor of Astute. Going forward, I can see Australia and the UK having a peer relationship on the design and construction of future attack subs. Both countries benefit.
Yup, and for those who point to land attack capability, we should be reminded that we are considering a maritime based land attack capability on the scale of Australian operations, not US operations...

With a notional fleet of 8 subs, each theoretically carrying 14-16 LACM as it currently stands without envisaging adding VLS modules etc, plus the LACM to be fitted to the Hobarts and Hunters as well obviously as air and land delivered strike options, that is a massive increase in long range strike capability, by any nation’s standards except perhaps the USA and China, and even China will take notice of a few hundred long ranged land attack missiles potentially being parked off it’s coast. It already has in fact and they don’t even exist yet...

It would certainly be the strongest long ranged precision strike capability in the Asia Pacific Region aside from the USA and China, and even just to equip this fleet as it stands with a single salvo of LACM would see us needing to purchase in excess of 300x Tomahawks or whichever missile we choose. Consider that the UK herself is the only other user of Tomahawk besides the US and it’s last purchase of Tomahawks comprised 65x missiles. I think some perspective on the idea that we will be acquiring the capability to launch thousands as the US is, needs to be tempered somewhat…
 
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