Australian Financial Review 27/10/2021 Hybrid nuclear submarine ‘unlikely’, navy chiefs say
Some interesting remarks by various characters in Senate estimates.
Vice-Admiral Jonathan Mead, head of the nuclear submarine task force said that "that Defence wanted to have at least one nuclear submarine before 2040 in a worst-case scenario and was looking to accelerate deliveries." also "Vice-Admiral Mead, who is heading up an 18-month process on embracing a nuclear fleet, told the hearing Australia wanted a “mature design” and did not plan to modify it once selected." “It is our intention that when we start the build program, the design will be mature and there will be a production run already in existence,” he said.
Then it would seem that the idea tossed around of leasing a few boats appears unlikely as does the idea of a Australian Franken-boat (apologies could not help it with the whole Halloween vibe. "Defence Department secretary Greg Moriarty poured cold water on speculation Australia could lease a nuclear submarine from the US or UK in the interim." he added "Mr Moriarty said the focus was on boosting the military’s non-submarine capability, such as long-range weapons, hosting US and UK submarines at Australian bases, and having Australian naval personnel co-crew on US and UK submarines. "
It seems that we might have to get our skates on as far as replacements go with "Navy chief Mike Noonan conceded “hull fatigue” could jeopardise attempts to extend the lives of the Collins class submarines a second time beyond an initial 10 years, saying it might see limits placed on their operations such as diving depths." I suspect one word might be useful with that comment. Yikes!