Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates

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Stampede

Well-Known Member
Thank you all who contributed answers to my production question. I get it now. Different countries, different manufactures, different demand for essential equipment like reactors etc. I am happy it just manufacturing techniques and nothing more.

My reason for asking is the naval continuous ship build plan. The last sub should be in the water around 2055. I realise the number has dropped from 12 to 8 but complexity has gone up. My concern in this deteriorating enviroment, we need to start to speed things up. I have read posts and agree crew training, infrastructure and submarines will not appear overnight. Hopefully it starts sooner not later. Hopefully before the end of the 18 month scoping study we can start putting programs in place to accelerate it.
View attachment 48523
Speaking of deteriorating enviroment, take a look at Stan Grants interview with Victor Goa.

Victor threatens conflict and nuclear war against Australia. This is very worrying stuff

Regards
DD
Quote " What Victor says is logic "

I'm still schools out on the recent sub decision, however that doesn't diminish my concern for the military build up and rhetoric coming from that part of the world.

The challenge is how to combat Victors logic and the time frame of perceived threat.

Still doing my homework on the part subs play in the answer.

Regards S
 

Geddy

Member
I lived in China for over 20 years and one thing is for sure in my mind. They are very poor at understanding the thought processes of people from other cultures. Where we can all put ourselves in others shoes and consider another point of view, I found they had little capacity for it. Particularly with a person from non collectivist society. It’s funny because they don’t really care about anything outside their family too.

So when I hear these belligerent Chinese commentators I hear a comment that is directed at people who think like they do. The “wolf” comments are inept attempts to intimidate that don’t work with outsiders, very often. They would work in China however.

I’m not too concerned about the Chinese getting upset about nuclear subs, because all they are doing is trying to scare you to change your mind. They are intimidated by the west because they feel inferior to it. And the last thing single child families will accept is their only son dying in a war. They don’t seem too serious about their objections to it TBH.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
The one child family may be pretty significant in shaping China's thinking going forward. China's demographics are already almost upside down because of the one child policy. They may not really be in a position to fight a war which may cost them a large hunk of the youngest, fittest segment of their population.
 

Systems Adict

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
The indecision is appalling at this stage of the game. They possibly do know what they'll be building but it's not inspiring confidence at all. I had a conversation on Twitter with a French defence guy, he feels the Hunter class is taking far too long as well considering how far along the UK are...
As others have stated - what do the French know about the Hunter programme ?

Firstly, HUNTER will be DIFFERENT from Type 26.

Yes, Hunter is based on Type 26, but different equipment / weapons systems / mast / mast configuration / sensors means it is not like comparing apples with apples.

Secondly, Type 26 had 1st steel cut back in 2015/16, we're 5 years on & some of the design aspects are likely still being ironed out as they go into the minutiae of detail (a common thing as the military changes it's mind / adapts to different global threats / the need to remove systems from the design / update equipment to reflect budgets). Add this to UK govt delays in the design / construction progress of at least 12 months, will also likely mean that Hunter is a good 4 years away from being where Type 26 is, noting that Type 26 hull consolidation / mast & structure integration should be complete by the end of 2021 (Hell, I personally posted a pic of the foremast/ structure being lifted on a few weeks ago in the UK Royal navy thread).

Thirdly, Hunter needs a lot of local input / support from supplier / industry & only a few of the major contracts for equipment have been negotiated / signed / made public. These contracts & the production / supply of materials in this current climate, will likely add time onto Hunter's manufacturing timeline.

Large shipbuilding programmes are expensive behemoths, that take time to get up & running, need a couple of years of planning / a finalised design & the materials / workforce geared up to start the drum beat production line that can be up & running for circa 10 - 15 years.

Trying to undertake this activity, while running other large military procurement & construction programmes, needs a unified management ideology from Government, as well as underlying funding & the support of the population. The decisions made over the last few weeks around AUKUS, will have taken considerable time / negotiation, as such a step change in doctrine / CONOPS, needs to be fully understood.

Overall, I do believe it will be a good thing, but petty rivalry & the bitter taste of procurement decisions / programmes, will rumble on for a good few years.

SA
 

aricho87

New Member
I lived in China for over 20 years and one thing is for sure in my mind. They are very poor at understanding the thought processes of people from other cultures. Where we can all put ourselves in others shoes and consider another point of view, I found they had little capacity for it. Particularly with a person from non collectivist society. It’s funny because they don’t really care about anything outside their family too.

So when I hear these belligerent Chinese commentators I hear a comment that is directed at people who think like they do. The “wolf” comments are inept attempts to intimidate that don’t work with outsiders, very often. They would work in China however.

I’m not too concerned about the Chinese getting upset about nuclear subs, because all they are doing is trying to scare you to change your mind. They are intimidated by the west because they feel inferior to it. And the last thing single child families will accept is their only son dying in a war. They don’t seem too serious about their objections to it TBH.
I echo your thoughts and analysis of that interview. I think you only have to listen and read what they say and take it into prospective of their hierarchical culture. You never question or disobey your elders (that’s how the CCP frame themselves as the elder family member) and using Sun Tsu philosophy of winning without fighting, the wolf warrior philosophy is intended to make their job easier. You notice in Asia, that only Japan stands up for themselves, while everyone else bites their tongue and only looks to appease the CCP, it’s because the Japanese can’t tolerate the CCP being in a position of power after the crimes of WW2.

Despite what they say, you only stick up to bullies one way, that’s by not backing down. The only thing is, I don’t think we needed a new alliance treaty to do it, only gives the opposition more ammunition as it’s more a technology transfer than any new real alliance system, like really how much can the UK contribute?
 

tonyget

Member
The one child family may be pretty significant in shaping China's thinking going forward. China's demographics are already almost upside down because of the one child policy. They may not really be in a position to fight a war which may cost them a large hunk of the youngest, fittest segment of their population.
Countries like Japan Korea Taiwan have even worse demographic issue than China.

I don't know if you have noticed or not, the future warfare is moving towards unmanned/less men direction. It's the new weapon development trend worldwide. As technology progressing, weapons getting more sophisticated, training soldiers to operate these weapons becoming more expensive and time consuming. So the trend is to have less soldiers with more smart/autonomous weapons, we can see that in the US military already, China is also moving towards this direction.

I don't think population will be a determining factor in future warfare. I believe with the advancement of AI and robotic technology,the missing workforce and soldiers can be replaced by machines in those aging countries.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
Countries like Japan Korea Taiwan have even worse demographic issue than China.

I don't know if you have noticed or not, the future warfare is moving towards unmanned/less men direction. It's the new weapon development trend worldwide. As technology progressing, weapons getting more sophisticated, training soldiers to operate these weapons becoming more expensive and time consuming. So the trend is to have less soldiers with more smart/autonomous weapons, we can see that in the US military already, China is also moving towards this direction.

I don't think population will be a determining factor in future warfare. I believe with the advancement of AI and robotic technology,the missing workforce and soldiers can be replaced by machines in those aging countries.
Maybe in the future but at the moment you have flesh and blood sailors, airman and soldiers. I can't imagine a bloodier form of combat than an Amphibious Assault against highly motivated defenders that will have had months to prepare for your attack.
 

hairyman

Active Member
Would the time line of an Astute build be better than a Virginian build? In other words, which will give us 8 submarines the quickest?
 

aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Would the time line of an Astute build be better than a Virginian build? In other words, which will give us 8 submarines the quickest?
6 of one, half the other.

If we are building all in Australia I would say the Virginia's have the build time edge, they already have everything we want, weapons, weapons systems, combat systems, comms etc etc as part of the fully proven design across many more platforms, so EB have the systems, many more builds and procedures and processes behind them.

The Astute's will need changes, weapons, weapon systems, combat system, comms etc etc all need to be integrated, it is not as simple as cut and paste, many calculations on weight distribution blah blah blah, so a lot to change there. UK also has limited industrial capacity to over deliver on PWR's, which means a possible US supplied PWR3/S9G and all that will go with that.

The Astute's are shorter in length but a larger beam, although that won't make a massive difference overall, the processes and therefore method of construction can have big on flow affects onto the program for equipment, training, staff and of course the actual build time.

Also how each country reports milestones is different so looking at timelines for when a boat was laid down, launched, commissioned does not tell the real story. They are also different submarines, they do things differently and they have, like all things, pro's and con's. So the background question is what is it that we have determined is the capability set that we want, need, would like to have etc for our anticipated CONOPS ?

This is a massive change in force structure and footing for not just the RAN but the ADF as a whole, there will be lost capability moving to a nuclear submarine fleet that will need to be covered somewhere else by adjusting or acquiring new "gear". But this is not just about construction time either, we need a big increase in personnel, the national effort that will be needed for training, civil oversight and so so many other things just to have the people to operate these things is going to be one of the biggest challenges we face.

But enough of my rant, if I was a betting man, and I am not :) I would say the Virginia's have the overall edge and probably the better platform for us, and I don't advocate for the Block V with the VPM, rather Block IV with the VPT. I also think we would/could have a lower manning requirement for the Virginia's under Australian operation as we, like the UK, have different manning philosophies to the US.

Cheers
 

Reptilia

Member
If we are leasing subs, Id love to see us take our time and build the astute successor And not the astute
The first astute in late 2030s built in Osborne or the ssnr around 2045…
by then, the uk will already have 4 dreadnoughts and 2 ssnr in the water would they not?
 

aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
If we are leasing subs, Id love to see us take our time and build the astute successor And not the astute
The first astute in late 2030s built in Osborne or the ssnr around 2045…
by then, the uk will already have 4 dreadnoughts and 2 ssnr in the water would they not?
The UK, let alone the US, literally do not have a submarine to spare, every single boat they have is needed for their own requirements, especially the US who have fallen behind their run rate for replacements and are ramping up their build to play catch ups.

The overall limiting factor again is crew, this is not just a go to the UK or US and do a 3 month conversion course, this is a long process, people do not realise how complicated this process will be ! Every submariner get's their dolphins after being qualified on a specific boat, they don't just move into a new platform, they need to requal for the new one, you need rank structure, which means knowledge base within the sub community.

Edit: I will just add to that, all the above on training, that is just for general crew, when you start talking about the people who actually are involved in the nuclear side of things, you are talking 10 years to qualify as a nuclear engineer, you are talking CO's having Masters Degree's. This is a massive undertaking, will the other countries be able to help us with those people ? I am not convinced with both countries commenting over many years that they find it hard to have enough qualified to do the job, time will tell.
 

Reptilia

Member
The UK, let alone the US, literally do not have a submarine to spare, every single boat they have is needed for their own requirements, especially the US who have fallen behind their run rate for replacements and are ramping up their build to play catch ups.

The overall limiting factor again is crew, this is not just a go to the UK or US and do a 3 month conversion course, this is a long process, people do not realise how complicated this process will be ! Every submariner get's their dolphins after being qualified on a specific boat, they don't just move into a new platform, they need to requal for the new one, you need rank structure, which means knowledge base within the sub community.

Edit: I will just add to that, all the above on training, that is just for general crew, when you start talking about the people who actually are involved in the nuclear side of things, you are talking 10 years to qualify as a nuclear engineer, you are talking CO's having Masters Degree's. This is a massive undertaking, will the other countries be able to help us with those people ? I am not convinced with both countries commenting over many years that they find it hard to have enough qualified to do the job, time will tell.
us or uk subs stationed in australia with mixed crews?
 

aricho87

New Member
6 of one, half the other.

If we are building all in Australia I would say the Virginia's have the build time edge, they already have everything we want, weapons, weapons systems, combat systems, comms etc etc as part of the fully proven design across many more platforms, so EB have the systems, many more builds and procedures and processes behind them.

The Astute's will need changes, weapons, weapon systems, combat system, comms etc etc all need to be integrated, it is not as simple as cut and paste, many calculations on weight distribution blah blah blah, so a lot to change there. UK also has limited industrial capacity to over deliver on PWR's, which means a possible US supplied PWR3/S9G and all that will go with that.

The Astute's are shorter in length but a larger beam, although that won't make a massive difference overall, the processes and therefore method of construction can have big on flow affects onto the program for equipment, training, staff and of course the actual build time.

Also how each country reports milestones is different so looking at timelines for when a boat was laid down, launched, commissioned does not tell the real story. They are also different submarines, they do things differently and they have, like all things, pro's and con's. So the background question is what is it that we have determined is the capability set that we want, need, would like to have etc for our anticipated CONOPS ?

This is a massive change in force structure and footing for not just the RAN but the ADF as a whole, there will be lost capability moving to a nuclear submarine fleet that will need to be covered somewhere else by adjusting or acquiring new "gear". But this is not just about construction time either, we need a big increase in personnel, the national effort that will be needed for training, civil oversight and so so many other things just to have the people to operate these things is going to be one of the biggest challenges we face.

But enough of my rant, if I was a betting man, and I am not :) I would say the Virginia's have the overall edge and probably the better platform for us, and I don't advocate for the Block V with the VPM, rather Block IV with the VPT. I also think we would/could have a lower manning requirement for the Virginia's under Australian operation as we, like the UK, have different manning philosophies to the US.

Cheers
Agree with most of your points, Virginia block IV offers the greater interoperability with our requirements and timeline. As I understand it at the moment, the US is producing 2 subs per year, the navy wants 3 as they have capacity to increase slightly but not the funds. Additionally, the yards in the US have struggled to keep their fleet of atttack subs in the water, USS boise was scheduled for major maintenance in 2013, it sat peerside from 2015 until 2020 when space was finally provided for its maintenance. I think any SSN program in Australia might want to offer US reciprocal maintenance facilities as I believe they still have a backlog of 3 years+.

Was having a look around Osborne from satellites and we have one shed circa 154m long (presumably long enough) for Virginia’s but the dock facilities are inadequate for both astutes and Virginia’s.

Photo provided:
1st line = length of Collins
2nd line = length of Astute
3rd line = length of Virginia block
4th line = length of Virginia’s block V

46086498-E8DD-47AD-8146-C819C106688A.jpeg
“We gonna need a bigger boat”
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Agree with most of your points, Virginia block IV offers the greater interoperability with our requirements and timeline. As I understand it at the moment, the US is producing 2 subs per year, the navy wants 3 as they have capacity to increase slightly but not the funds. Additionally, the yards in the US have struggled to keep their fleet of atttack subs in the water, USS boise was scheduled for major maintenance in 2013, it sat peerside from 2015 until 2020 when space was finally provided for its maintenance. I think any SSN program in Australia might want to offer US reciprocal maintenance facilities as I believe they still have a backlog of 3 years+.

Was having a look around Osborne from satellites and we have one shed circa 154m long (presumably long enough) for Virginia’s but the dock facilities are inadequate for both astutes and Virginia’s.

Photo provided:
1st line = length of Collins
2nd line = length of Astute
3rd line = length of Virginia block
4th line = length of Virginia’s block V

View attachment 48531
“We gonna need a bigger boat”
The plan that had been in place for the last 5 years was to build Attacks which though somewhat skinnier then the Astutes were to be of similar length. So length wise Astutes should not be a drama. Either way they knew the next Submarine was going to be substantially bigger.
 

spoz

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
There is another ship lift south of the one shown which has a capacity of about 150 metres and 10000 tons where the DDG were, the Arufuras are, and the Hunters will be, built, and it is designed to be extended if necessary. It is separated from that yard by a fence which it has always been intended will be removed; so the launching limitation would not apply. The alongside wharf space would, however, be insufficient but that is not difficult to fix; although it would require considerable dredging as alongside depth is something like 8 metres below datum at present. Channel depth is 14m, IIRC.

To the north of the current facilities the majority of the new submarine construction facility is presently under construction.
 

oldsig127

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Was having a look around Osborne from satellites and we have one shed circa 154m long (presumably long enough) for Virginia’s but the dock facilities are inadequate for both astutes and Virginia’s.
I wouldn't place much store on those photos, and certainlynot on shed size. The new submarine yard is just bare dirt and initial foundation works in that photo.


oldsig
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
I wouldn't place much store on those photos, and certainlynot on shed size. The new submarine yard is just bare dirt and initial foundation works in that photo.


oldsig
The only major change i can see happening at Osborn from current planning is a ramp up of security, the Yanks will demand some very tough security measures implemented.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
The Australian is reporting that Morrison is in discussion with the US and UK on options to get nuclear subs in our region 6 to 8 years earlier than expected. Don't get excited though, he seems to be mostly in discussion to have USN and RN navies base submarines in Australia until our own nuclear subs are delivered around the late thirties and forties.

It doesn't mention other options but I guess that would be leasing old LA or Trafalgar class subs.

To be honest neither or those options excite me greatly. In all likelihood the Americans and perhaps British were planning on basing submarines out here anyway and the prospect of leasing some clapped out nukes fills me more with trepidation than excitement.

I wonder how much life remains in the Collins class.
 
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