Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates

Status
Not open for further replies.

John Newman

The Bunker Group
From my imperfect memory, Bergman has a history of being quite anti the the Defence efforts re SEA 1000.
He was wined and dined by various suppliers, criticised the choice of Naval Group then applauded it, thought the TKMS a offerings were worthy and now he’s been taken by surprise by the NUC announcement and is peeved.
if some of these were not the case, his article above simply gets some bile from his system.
From my imperfect memory too, I’ve noticed it’s often easy to work out who he is supporting by the full page advertising in his APDR mag.

Funny that?
 

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Is Joh Bjelke-Petersen going too far back ;-)
But seriously it will surely be 6 states + 2 territories = 8?
Forget calling him a Kiwi, I reckon we should dig him up and send him back the Denmark. His Joh for PM campaign was probably the start of brainless populism in Australia, something that has afflicted out political landscape for far too long.
 

KiwiRob

Well-Known Member
Sorry ... how is this true. Russia are certainly a major power and have a coastline in the the Asia Pacific region. They are following their own agenda to support states to give them greater influence. Not os pervasive as China in the Indo-Pacific at the moment but not an insignificant influence.

If we look at history then should we consider the Crimea and Ukraine as an indication of intent. This is as intrusive as any US intervention (actually I would say more so) so I fail to see how you judge them differently.

The subject of fishing crew are interesting. Are these folk being cared for in accordance with ILO norms. If not your argument appear to be supporting sub par treatment of fisher men to support an industry.

I normally avoid the impassioned political views but I find some of your comments in regards to fishermen potentially inconsistent with ILO and IUU requirements and would be pleased if you could explain this position to me.
If you can point to any indication that Russia poses a military or economic threat to NZ I'd like to hear it, I'm all ears. Crimea from my perspective wasn't really that big an issue, the vast majority of people living in Crimea are ethnic Russians, most of whom also had Russian citizenship. As my a customer of mine said to me some year back, he went to sleep a Russian citizen of the USSR and woke up the next day as a Ukrainian. He was never asked if he wanted to be a Ukrainian, from all the people I've spoken to they are more than happy with what happened, everything has improved for them, they now have 24/7 power, clean drinking water, better pensions, improved infrastructure.

NZ fishing companies hire Russian or Ukrainian crews because they can't get kiwis to crew the trawlers. It's got nothing to do with pay or living conditions on board the vessels, pay is exceptionally good and most of our trawlers are ex Norwegian vessels which were built to very high living standards.
 

KiwiRob

Well-Known Member
Hmm. Perhaps the Greens are going to form government in your world, given that Labor has signed off on the deal? Now that would make life interesting.
That's fine but between now and first boat in the water is at least a decade, a lot can change in a decade. Btw how many PM's has Australia had in the last 10 years?
 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
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.
That actually happened in fact, caused by a very long pause in building post T boat and that cost money in maintenance for the T boats, plus keeping the yards ticking over doing effectively training.

In the end, the opportunity to buy an 8th astute would have been about as expensive as leaving the yard doing nothing but being propped up.

I'm suggesting that if, instead of running on the deterrent boats for 30 plus years and ditto the T boats, run them for a shorter time, and make sure we're always building replacements instead of extending old boats in service.
 

SD67

Member
That actually happened in fact, caused by a very long pause in building post T boat and that cost money in maintenance for the T boats, plus keeping the yards ticking over doing effectively training.

In the end, the opportunity to buy an 8th astute would have been about as expensive as leaving the yard doing nothing but being propped up.

I'm suggesting that if, instead of running on the deterrent boats for 30 plus years and ditto the T boats, run them for a shorter time, and make sure we're always building replacements instead of extending old boats in service.
That's all true and lessons have been learned. It was historically a unique occurrence though - the last T-class launched about a year after the Berlin Wall came down. Europe was in full on Kumbaya mode.
But the point is the 8th Astute was not technically possible without threatening Successor, because of reactor production capacity. Even as it is they're pushing it, there will be no prototype of PWR3 - straight into Dreadnought boat one.
 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
That's all true and lessons have been learned. It was historically a unique occurrence though - the last T-class launched about a year after the Berlin Wall came down. Europe was in full on Kumbaya mode.
But the point is the 8th Astute was not technically possible without threatening Successor, because of reactor production capacity. Even as it is they're pushing it, there will be no prototype of PWR3 - straight into Dreadnought boat one.

Correction on the PWR3 noted - in that case, if I were the Australians, I'd be "PWR2 please.." -even if it'd be a straight fit.

So, if RR are so stretched, where does that put finding eight reactors for the Austute class? (see what I did there?)
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
I'm actually intrigued as to whether an evolved Astute could be designed with VPMs.
I don't know what sub will be built. But I am almost certain the Americans will be building the power unit and supplying the nuclear material. The Americans would also handle the disposal. There is just no other way for any other possibility IMO.

We won't be getting PWR2, there are issues, in terms of performance, longevity, safety. UK will live with it, but that is why PWR3 is the go for the future. PWR3 is designed to be used in the next gen of SSN and is based off US know how and experience. The UK won't be giving us the HEU material. VPM seems awfully tempting..
  • The UK has no plans to enrich HEU.
  • Around half of its total HEU stockpile is from the US. (weapons and subs)
  • The UK has HEU stockpile that it intends to use for naval propulsion, while enough for the UK, it was never designed to support multiple states
  • UK has its own issues regarding working with HEU and their new facility needs to be finished (Project Pegasus at AWE Aldermaston: nuclear information group claim it is delayed). Typically UK facilities aren't built any larger than they need to be. Putting together another 8 reactors would be a big ask.
  • UK has well documented issues with recycling with a significant backlog (never fully recycled a boat).
While the Astutes have smaller crews and probably fit in with RAN concepts more the Americans offer:
  • A turn key sub design with the combat system, reactor, weapons we want. Drive it out of the dealership ready.
  • A direct match for the subs that most frequently operate in our region.
  • An active sub program. Astute is phasing down, long lead items have already been ordered and produced. Virginias are literally open production lines still taking orders.
  • A much bigger program. Ten times the size. The scale is phenomenal. Training, mixing crews, upgrades, maintenance. This could also possibly include a maintenance contract for US subs based out of Australia.
  • Virginia is an optimized for production.
  • A production capability that might be able to squeeze out significant portions of a sub for local assembly here in Australia. Advancing the programs years.
  • Virginias are a very sorted boat. RAN would not be disappointed. Roaming around with a USN signature wouldn't hurt either. But crew comfort, space, operational costs etc, all very good.
But 30% less subs via 30% less crewing is pretty big. Six doesn't sound nearly as big as Nine.
 
Last edited:

alexsa

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
If you can point to any indication that Russia poses a military or economic threat to NZ I'd like to hear it, I'm all ears. Crimea from my perspective wasn't really that big an issue, the vast majority of people living in Crimea are ethnic Russians, most of whom also had Russian citizenship. As my a customer of mine said to me some year back, he went to sleep a Russian citizen of the USSR and woke up the next day as a Ukrainian. He was never asked if he wanted to be a Ukrainian, from all the people I've spoken to they are more than happy with what happened, everything has improved for them, they now have 24/7 power, clean drinking water, better pensions, improved infrastructure.

NZ fishing companies hire Russian or Ukrainian crews because they can't get kiwis to crew the trawlers. It's got nothing to do with pay or living conditions on board the vessels, pay is exceptionally good and most of our trawlers are ex Norwegian vessels which were built to very high living standards.
Russia are aiming to be a world power and are exerting influence both economically, militarily and politically. This includes the Pacific and their relationship with China and the Indian subcontinent and their relationships with the 'stans' and India/Pakistan. All states with an eye to being a world power will impact the economy and peace and certainly Russia and China have been willing to act more aggressively that the west. An uncertain world will impact us all.

On the subject of Ukraine ..... a lot of those folk never wanted to be Russian either. Certainly history gives them a reason to treat Russia with distrust. I doubt all in Ukraine and teh West would agree with your rosy view of Russian involvement. As an example, lets not forget how this impacted MH17. I would suggest painting Russia as a saviour of citizens in Ukraine is a stretch.

On the subject of fishing boats, yes they are getting paid but only because NZ changes the rules a number of years ago.

Foreign vessels to be reflagged as NZ boats | RNZ News
Crackdown on slave fishing crews: foreign charter vessels must reflag to New Zealand | Stuff.co.nz

Exercising control of whether the wages are actually being paid is pretty difficult noting it is up to individual states to set requirements as the relevant ILO convention is not mandatory. The MLC is mandatory for cargo vessels and passenger vessels that there are still issues on how crew are treated. Lets be honest, its all about money. Not every one agrees that the Kiwi's don't want the work.

Fishing companies accused of favouring foreign crews over qualified New Zealanders | Newshub
 
Last edited:

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Correction on the PWR3 noted - in that case, if I were the Australians, I'd be "PWR2 please.." -even if it'd be a straight fit.

So, if RR are so stretched, where does that put finding eight reactors for the Austute class? (see what I did there?)
But the only reason the RAN Nucs are possible is PWR3.
The Opposition Labor Party would never agree to a reactor that needed refuelling on doctrinaire lines and without a local industry it would not be possible anyway.
Our PM has categorically stated that there will be no nuclear industry although this surely is a pragmatic approach delivering what is possible not what’s needed.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
The only way that would conceivably work would be if the US also provided the submariners to man them because I am pretty sure we couldn't.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member

Lolcake

New Member
The problem with that article is, it is written very much from a US perspective with little to no knowledge of Australia's Sub program and all the issues that Australia would have with manning a LA in that timeframe.
Could that be resolved with co-manning until we get sailors trained up?
 

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Let modify that idea a bit. How about the other orphan USN SSN class instead of LAs, the three Seawolfs ;)

Then instead of supplying the Collins to Taiwan without upgrades, we upgrade and life extend them at Taiwan's cost.

We expand the Collins Life extension by using newly fabricated sections, supply Taiwan with the IP to produce the other, less sensitive sections, and basically supply them with the means to build Collins MkII.

China will complain, threaten, berate, carry on etc. but let's be honest, they do anyway.
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
Let modify that idea a bit. How about the other orphan USN SSN class instead of LAs, the three Seawolfs ;)

Then instead of supplying the Collins to Taiwan without upgrades, we upgrade and life extend them at Taiwan's cost.

We expand the Collins Life extension by using newly fabricated sections, supply Taiwan with the IP to produce the other, less sensitive sections, and basically supply them with the means to build Collins MkII.

China will complain, threaten, berate, carry on etc. but let's be honest, they do anyway.
Maybe a third way re propulsion.


Maybe a pre wound fuel module that we swap in and out prior to deployment.

Just thinking outside the box. :rolleyes:



Regards S
 

Lolcake

New Member
Let modify that idea a bit. How about the other orphan USN SSN class instead of LAs, the three Seawolfs ;)

Then instead of supplying the Collins to Taiwan without upgrades, we upgrade and life extend them at Taiwan's cost.

We expand the Collins Life extension by using newly fabricated sections, supply Taiwan with the IP to produce the other, less sensitive sections, and basically supply them with the means to build Collins MkII.

China will complain, threaten, berate, carry on etc. but let's be honest, they do anyway.
Love this idea. An upgraded Collins based in Taiwan would be a massive and pose a huge threat to the PRC Navy. They would likely spit the dummy on a level not seen before. Maybe they ban lobsters twice? :)

The improved LA class is still a very formidable boat, honestly love the idea of leasing them and training our lads up before they move on to the Virginia's (potentially). The LE refuel of the 5-6 boats built in the mid 90s will allow them to run into the mid 2030s that would be perfect timing.
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
But the only reason the RAN Nucs are possible is PWR3.
The Opposition Labor Party would never agree to a reactor that needed refuelling on doctrinaire lines and without a local industry it would not be possible anyway.
Our PM has categorically stated that there will be no nuclear industry although this surely is a pragmatic approach delivering what is possible not what’s needed.
PWR2 is fueled for life - we hope.
There has been some refueling, but that was unintentional.

While the UK subs are great subs, they aren't the proven, time tested, refined, quantity that the Americans have.
The problem with that article is, it is written very much from a US perspective with little to no knowledge of Australia's Sub program and all the issues that Australia would have with manning a LA in that timeframe.
Its an interesting idea.

The Americans have enough submarines they could give us 6 old LA class, stick a new reactor in them and pass them over.
Not sure how the Australian public will take to getting 6 x 40+ year old boats, with a basic design as old as Oberon. Then these six boats will sit uncrewed as it would take a long while to train up, get ready, one crew. No build jobs in Osborne. No shiney new subs.

There might be some value in one training sub while we work up to tempo.

Part of this is working out a plan where Australia fits in a new global order.

While there is talk about no nuclear industry domestically, they are very keen to separate that issue from the subs. In the future it may make sense to look at that again. One giant earth changing decision at a time.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top