Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates

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hauritz

Well-Known Member
To be wise after the event.

Let's hope that in 5 years we're not reading another article about how we botched the nuclear sub program.
 

the concerned

Active Member
Could the RN develop a sub to replace the Astutes but not actually receive the first boat. The RAN Could recieve a batch first then both navies Could accept boats at intervals.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
The last thing we need is another paper boat. The Virginia and Astute are both proven designs that significantly outclass anything the Chinese have. They will do.
 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
Could the RN develop a sub to replace the Astutes but not actually receive the first boat. The RAN Could recieve a batch first then both navies Could accept boats at intervals.
The announcement is very specific in that they want a boat that's in the water, not on the drawing board - no paper boats, no concept art, they want something that they can put seed corn crew on board and have them come home and say "well, it's a pommie boat and they don't f*** shower but we can fix that" (for example)

In both cases, each of the two contenders has just launched a follow on study - and I think it'd be an excellent opportunity to get in at the start for that, but this purchase, it's got to be cleanly executed and result in working boats.
 

JohnJT

Active Member
It may be just speculation, but I think what they're claiming would actually be the path of least resistance, delay and risk. The boats could be near off the shelf designs and with the US having to take the lead on any design problems with their vessels, it would be about as safe a bet as any new SSN program could be. Not to mention the interoperability and operational benefits of having the same class vessel as Australia's largest ally in the Pacific.

Of course, the more customization Aus wants, the more those benefits disappear...
 

Bob53

Active Member
Astute production has a slower drumbeat to keep the yard busy until Dreadnaught ramps up as others have mentioned. Another factor allowing a higher drumbeat in the US, IIRC, is both Newport News and Electric Boat are invoked in sub construction now.
Yes astute starting to make sense purely on construction timetable. Possibly build first one in the Uk by accelerating the current build and tack us onto the end. Then build the rest here
 

Lolcake

Member
Is it likely we will see any sort of easily incorportated Aussie innovations/improvements and/or UK/US improvements (apart from possible PWR3 or Block VI upgrades) acoustically that could improve the performance of the boat?
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
I was intrigued when Dutton and Australia's Finance minister Simon Birmingham both confirmed in separate interviews that Australia would consider leasing submarines until we could build our own.

Given that this has been planned for 18 months it is quite possible that a lot of the detail has already been worked out and just not made public. I doubt Dutton would say something like that unless he was pretty sure that the Americans or British would be willing to provide a submarine. Australia probably couldn't operate a Los Angeles or Trafalgar class and I doubt the UK could spare an Astute so that leaves the Americans.

So I looked back and found this.


Ok so the American's ordered an additional nuke back in March. So conspiracy theory hats on ... this might have been added purely to give the USN a spare submarine that could either be leased, or replace a submarine that could be leased to Australia.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
I was intrigued when Dutton and Australia's Finance minister Simon Birmingham both confirmed in separate interviews that Australia would consider leasing submarines until we could build our own.

Given that this has been planned for 18 months it is quite possible that a lot of the detail has already been worked out and just not made public. I doubt Dutton would say something like that unless he was pretty sure that the Americans or British would be willing to provide a submarine. Australia probably couldn't operate a Los Angeles or Trafalgar class and I doubt the UK could spare an Astute so that leaves the Americans.

So I looked back and found this.


Ok so the American's ordered an additional nuke back in March. So conspiracy theory hats on ... this might have been added purely to give the USN a spare submarine that could either be leased, or replace a submarine that could be leased to Australia.
I might have agreed with you if the US wasn't currently operating 28 Los Angeles class Submarines with an average age of 30+ years. The USN need for new Submarines is as great or even greater then the RANs.
 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
I might have agreed with you if the US wasn't currently operating 28 Los Angeles class Submarines with an average age of 30+ years. The USN need for new Submarines is as great or even greater then the RANs.
The UK is in a similar state - we're running on some T boats which are really tired and maintenance intensive so ideally, Astute builds would have been earlier and quicker.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
The UK is in a similar state - we're running on some T boats which are really tired and maintenance intensive so ideally, Astute builds would have been earlier and quicker.
The problem there though would be your yards then run out of work and you lose the decades of experience in building Subs and are forced to restart to build the Dreadnoughts. 11 subs is probably the bare minimum to maintain a continuous build.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
I might have agreed with you if the US wasn't currently operating 28 Los Angeles class Submarines with an average age of 30+ years. The USN need for new Submarines is as great or even greater then the RANs.
I don't think Dutton would raise the possibility of an overseas buy or lease unless there was some contingency plan.

He was also fairly specific in mentioning that no decision would be made until after an 18 month assessment was made of the ASC. In my mind that raises another possibility and that is that it simply won't be feasible to build a nuclear sub in Australia. That being the case Australia may well end up building modules and providing components in some sort of workshare arrangement similar to the F-35.

This of course would only really work if we went with a US designed sub. This could actually benefit the US since it would effectively give them another shipyard and allow them to accelerate sub production.

Our benefit would be that we would get our boats sooner and probably a lot cheaper.

Win Win really.
 
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Milne Bay

Active Member
I don't think Dutton would raise the possibility of an overseas buy or lease unless there was some contingency plan.

He was also fairly specific in mentioning that no decision would be made until after an 18 month assessment was made of the ASC. In my mind that raises another possibility and that is that it simply won't be feasible to build a nuclear sub in Australia. That being the case Australia may well end up building modules and providing components in some sort of workshare arrangement similar to the F-35.

This of course would only really work if we went with a US designed sub. This could actually benefit the US since it would effectively give them another shipyard and allow them to accelerate sub production.

Our benefit would be that we would get our boats sooner and probably a lot cheaper.

Win Win really.
Which then begs the question..."What is the UK involvement in this whole submarine plan?"
One liner - I know - but that is the 64 million dollar question
MB
 

Julian 82

Member
Which then begs the question..."What is the UK involvement in this whole submarine plan?"
One liner - I know - but that is the 64 million dollar question
MB
Maybe the UK is providing the reactor PWR3? Is the US sensitive about it’s reactors being used by third party countries?
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
I am not sure the US has much experience managing offshore shipbuilding programs let alone something as complex as a nuclear submarine.

Perhaps this link provided by Hoffy is correct and they will need cooperation from BAE Systems to make it all work.

 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Maybe the UK is providing the reactor PWR3? Is the US sensitive about it’s reactors being used by third party countries?
Absolutely the US is sensitive about naval reactors. The UK or Australia can only build US reactors for themselves or each other. However, Australia is likely going to have one of the partners build theirs, less expensive and the builder will be responsible for disposal.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Absolutely the US is sensitive about naval reactors. The UK or Australia can only build US reactors for themselves or each other. However, Australia is likely going to have one of the partners build theirs, less expensive and the builder will be responsible for disposal.
Australia will not be building Reactors here in Australia, my feeling is that the Reactor will be part of an entire Module that will be built in whichever Country is providing the design and shipped to Australia.
 
Trying to piece together everything I have read, particularly from links posted on this board I think possibly we may see a shared crewing scenario with mixed US/Australian crews on RAN commissioned leased boat/s and rotated through US fleet rotations. We get training they don’t loose capability. As far as the type we build, I think maybe a US hull with a UK propulsion system due to the lower level of enrichment used in UK PWR’s. The weapons grade uranium used in the Virginia’s maybe pushing the boundaries of international acceptance. Not sure what impact this would have but there maybe room in $90bn budget to make that change.
 

alexsa

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I think we should wait and see what comes out of the the meeting between the leaders. There is an 18 month process but I suspect that something will come out of the three way meeting this week.

I am not going to rely on the press or assumptions in this case.
 
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