As part of the AUKUS agreement, Australian submariners are now attending Royal Navy nuclear propulsion training courses.

The information came to light after the following written exchange by members the House of Lords.

Lord West of Spithead asked:

“To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 4 July (HL1126), whether there are existing arrangements in place to train foreign officers in operating Royal Navy submarine nuclear power plants.”

Baroness Goldie, Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, responded:

“The Royal Navy (RN) routinely provides training to foreign Nationals through International Defence Training arrangements. Under the AUKUS arrangements, this now includes the attendance of Australian personnel on RN Nuclear Propulsion training courses. The operation of RN nuclear submarine propulsion plants by Australian personnel remains subject to further enabling work.”

What is AUKUS?

A trilateral security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, announced in September 2021. Under the pact, the US and the UK will help Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarines.

Additionally, the pact also includes cooperation on advanced cyber, artificial intelligence and autonomy, quantum technologies, undersea capabilities, hypersonic and counter-hypersonic, electronic warfare, innovation and information sharing.

The pact will focus on military capability, separating it from the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance that also includes New Zealand and Canada.

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
264 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
OldSchool
OldSchool
22 days ago

At least they won’t have to learn French!

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
22 days ago
Reply to  OldSchool

Wee

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
22 days ago

As much as I’d like to think this means that the RAN will buy UK SSN’s I suspect this has more to do with building the knowledge base with the RAN and Australian DoD to bring them up to ‘smart customer’. Not surprisingly, there has been little information as to which way the RAN will go for its proposed SSN capability and given that the UK and, reportedly, the US nuclear submarine building yards are at full capacity for the foreseeable future I am not sure how they intend to maintain their submarine force in the short to medium term… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
22 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Hi CR, Hopefully this will lead to the RAN choosing the Astute or a derivative. I’d even like to see the RN get an additional boat to bolster its numbers.
The Aussies are a resourceful bunch, they’ll make things happen with the Collins and any issues with T26 delays.
Talking of resourceful, sounds like a bit of a wake up call for the supply chain for artillery shells needs to happen!

andy reeves
andy reeves
22 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Astute is unpopular with the crew’s,it’s overpriced, overhyped, too slow to build the RN Won’t be getting another so we should all accept what we have and just get on with it

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
22 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

I really don’t agree with your assessment. Compared to price the Astute is more than price competitive with the US navy attack submarines. It’s not too slow as it meets the Royal Navy requirements (not sure what overhyped means). I would add it wiped the floor with the latest US navy attack submarines as well in terms of its sonar.

dan
dan
22 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

Wiped the floor with the block IV Virginias? Please provided facts to back up this claim and not just rumors.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
21 days ago
Reply to  dan

It was widely reported in 2018. Astute went to East coast of USA and was pitted against 2 Virginia class SSNs defending and screening a US carrier battle group. Astute approach. Got a targetting lock on both Virginia class without being detected. They both would have been killed. Then closed the carrier group. Targetting lock without being detected vs the screening Arleigh burke and Vincennes class cruiser. Both would have been sunk. That would have stripped away the carrier battle groups defences and the Astute could have closed and made the Nimitz class day very much a bad day. Was… Read more »

David
David
21 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Hi Mr. Bell.

I think it’s worth adding to your comments that the RN boat crews are perhaps the best trained in the world.

Crew training – be it RN/RAF/Army – often gets overlooked and I think we have some of the finest men and women in uniform anywhere! We as a nation, should be proud of them!

andy reeves
andy reeves
8 days ago
Reply to  David

I know I am but I’d like to see a higher profile given to the men women and animals that serve us so well

Esteban
Esteban
16 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

T this is imaginary UK fanboy stuff. Source please. But it sounds good on the internet.

Chris
Chris
21 days ago
Reply to  dan

Nothing much in the public domain for obvious reasons but US Admiral Johnathan Greenert was quoted as saying he was “astounded” and “taken aback” at the range an Astute could track one of the earlier Virginia’s, USS New Mexico, following trials at AUTEC in the Bahamas.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  dan

Well it was reported by an American serviceman who served aboard the astute back when it happened it has been reported on variously over the years and I read it again a few momths back in an American publication that made no attempt to discredit the reports. If you are expecting proof you aren’t going to get it the name of said officer will not be released for obvious reasons and no way will either UK or US navies or other authorities, release any information on the matter (for about 50 years anyway) as it’s clearly sensitive top secret information… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
20 days ago
Reply to  dan

Presume he is referring to circa 2012 trial/demo where HMS Astute held a sonar lock on the New Mexico. Embarrassed and annoyed naval staff. Would bet this spurred significant investment by USN! 🤔😁

andy reeves
andy reeves
21 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

where did you get wiped the floor? this? my son is on ambush and tells me a lot of his crewmates(who like all submariners) are superstitious an think the class is jinxed are not impressed that so much money was spent on these boats that the crew wouldn’t be expected to use the cheapest plastic plug sockets and that cheap short cuts can be found everywhere internal pipework is already showing internal rusting the ambush is yet to reach the expected maximum speed predicted in the design. they ARE a awaste of money the R.N could have had double the… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

You always get stories like this I’m afraid sometimes meaningful often baseless especially in an oppressive environment like a submarine so unless I hear many stories of this type I personally cannot judge their veracity I have just read an article in the Telegraph by an ex military bod claiming we should replace all F-35b’s because they are ‘useless’ and all Typhoons because they are too expensive to operate and replace both with ‘Hornets’ because they are ‘good enough’ ( after adding cats and traps) oh and cancel Tempest and simply buy American because Bae doesn’t employ as many as… Read more »

Last edited 20 days ago by Spyinthesky
Andy Poulton
Andy Poulton
20 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky
andy reeves
andy reeves
8 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Many stats to modern conversational boats are surprisingly good, although the issue of speed will always be an issue

andy a
andy a
19 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

Conventional boats that are useless for fighting top end nuclear boats or travelling round the world or keeping up with carrier groups? fine for home defence but not much use in peer war

Andy Poulton
Andy Poulton
20 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

When AR said “too slow” he wasn’t referring to maximum velocity but build speed. However, the build speed has to be slow. That way we maintain a skilled workforce ready to move on to the next project.

andy reevesandy262@gmail.com
14 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

Rwiped the floor??? Where did you get that from? I remember the saga of the 100,000swedish krona that wiped the whole Ronald Reagan Cartier group and was so effective, the Americans rented it so that they were able to find it on the net there is a short video of how cheap little submarine sank the American navy.

Tams
Tams
22 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

First I’ve heard of that.

And I’m not sure I trust the word of someone who doesn’t even know how apostrophes and spaces work, nor how to not write out their pure thoughts rather than doing some basic editing.

Meirion X
Meirion X
21 days ago
Reply to  Tams

I certainly agree with your assessment!

andy reeves
andy reeves
10 days ago
Reply to  Tams

Are you calling me a liar?

Tams
Tams
9 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

Well, you have provided any evidence. We haven’t even finished the Astute Class.

I also appear to be living rent free in your head.

andy reeves
andy reeves
9 days ago
Reply to  Tams

And you are a prat.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
22 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

Its intentionally slowly built to stretch out production to ensure there is always work to maintain the shipyards skills. If they built it as fast as they could they would finish the work and we would have construction skills atrophying again. The issue is with less than a dozen SSN/SSBN submarines if you built them as fast as you could (one hitting the water around 2 years) but only replace them every 30-35 years then your going to have gaps in production.

GRIZZLER
GRIZZLER
21 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

They could always order a few more and replace them sooner 🙂

Bob
Bob
21 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

I wonder if, with a suitable re-jigging of the budgets, it would be possible to fit another boat in the timeline? Either for the RN or RAN.

Steve
Steve
21 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

Why unpopular with its crews?

Crew don’t care about the price or build rate as it’s got nothing to do with them. The slow build is more to do with delaying capital expenditure than actually build rate.

andy reeves
andy reeves
10 days ago
Reply to  Steve

When you have to exist in every way aboard a submarine, the last thing you want to do is believe that nobody cares about you to. Operate in an environment which shows how far down the line you arewhen everything around you says that I are at the bottom of the pile morale on a boat is more important than on a surface vessel

James
James
20 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

I guess u don’t know your Subs? Astute class for starters is a stealth. There is only 2 classes of Subs above it. You’ll find they cost a lot more money. The Asute has very long range radar and. Emits sound to the equivalent to a baby dolphin.

andy reevesandy262@gmail.com
14 days ago
Reply to  James

Itit was also claimed that the type 45destriyer was to be the best on the planet but we found out that the BAE catalogue had forgotten to consider what it would perform like on a sunny day

andy reevesandy262@gmail.com
14 days ago
Reply to  James

Says BAE

andy reevesandy262@gmail.com
14 days ago
Reply to  James

Actually I do know my submarines, 8 served in One hm.s Otis an. Oberon class very cramped, very slow, buT deadly. got a bit smelly as well. She, like many of her sisters, was retired too earl. Those sold to other navy’s gave many more years service

andy reeves
andy reeves
10 days ago
Reply to  James

So you call me a liar? Don’t think, you, or most of the other ‘admirals on her have ever been in the NAVY and instead spout their. Nonsense from a hobby book 📚

andy a
andy a
19 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

The speed of build is political not the astute’s fault. Can I ask for a source for your statement of the crews dislike?
Its meant to be sonar and hunter killer wise the most capable in the world, you want cutting edge capabilities that even surprised the yanks in exercises then that doesnt come cheap.
I have followed the astute since design and I have never heard anything like your commenting on except maybe the RN lack of teeth as per usual.

andy reeves
andy reeves
8 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

Overhyped with claims made of able to do this and able to do that, but it’s all in hope and until the real thing happens, it’s all a finger’s crossed situation

dan
dan
22 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I think the Aussie’s want a sub with more land attack capability and the Astute lacks much of a punch in that regard. Also the Block V Virginia has more space, ect for SoF people on board among other things.

eclipse
eclipse
22 days ago
Reply to  dan

Not only is the block V Virginia too expensive for the Aussies, it is far too large. They struggle to crew six Collins boats with 60 crew each and are looking for options that require as little crew as possible; not the largest attack subs the west has to offer. It is impossible to demand evidence or statistics or the like because they are not freely accessible, but it is widely accepted that the Astute is the better hunter-killer and the Virginia, particularly the Block V, is better for land attack and fleet support with its higher firepower. The deciding… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

You are absolutely correct there and in my view as finding Chinese subs and defending against their warships is by far more important to them than land attack against a nuclear power when you aren’t, the Astute or something similar is by far more suited to them and their immediate needs. HOWEVER, from what I read last week the proposal to buy US subs in Parliamentary records, was pretty much decided months ago by the pre ious Govt because it’s reckoned they could supply the first as early as 2030, one presumes by passing over a few of their own… Read more »

David
David
8 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

By all accounts, Chinese boats aren’t too hard to find as they are supposed to very noisy. Apparently during CGI 21 last year in the South China Sea, our Type 23s found two Chinese boats that were tailing the carrier group in a matter of minutes and a third was found by our attached Astute boat. All three Chinese boats would have had an invitation to the Bottoms Up Club, if it had been a shooting war. My only contention with this is the fact the Chinese have the numbers and we simply don’t. They can afford to loose a… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
21 days ago
Reply to  dan

Hi Dan, I did mention an Astute derivative maybe a Astute v2 with vls. The Astute load out of 38 torpedo/TLAMs is pretty hefty as it is. Maybe the SSN(R) can be brought forward a tad or a Astute-hybrid be developed? Just be nice for the UK to have some sub build success on top of the T26/A140s.

Steve
Steve
21 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Could Australia actually afford the missiles? We only have a handful of tomahawks. If official numbers are correct then we couldn’t even fill out the 7 astute let alone extra silo for bigger subs.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Yeah isn’t going to happen even the US on their next gen attack subs are debating due to costs amongst other factors, whether to create something more compact (sound familiar) and losing the vertical launch tubes though I can’t see that actually happening in the end the flexibility is too important to them but a lot will be dictated by whatever missile development they go for too and the launch preferences/requirements but one presumes that vertical likely is the preference in that regard but I am no expert there.

andy a
andy a
19 days ago
Reply to  Steve

no australia would be bankrupt just filling the vls

Robbo
Robbo
21 days ago
Reply to  dan

I would suggest that the RAN should be opting for a hunter killer SSN. The aim should be to neutralise the PLA(N) 50+ Future SSNs. The later Blocks of Virginia’s are very much Land Attack SSNs. Quite rightly but USN/RAN/RN need a balanced force of SSNs. The Hunter killers will enable the LA SSNs to achieve their task. The nearest SSN the USN have to Astute are the three Seawolfs. Suggest the RN should be offering one Astute to RAN following intensive RN training and extensive exchange posts. Then joint UK/Aus design and development of SSN(R) in UK with two… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  Robbo

That I think would be best for Australia all things being equal like us they need a specialist sub the US rightly needs an allrounder but that inherits compromises that wont give Oz any advantages against China but will add cost in manpower and detectability when they will be operating in a very hostile environment potentially. If they are charged at defending their homeland at distance I know what platform I would prefer to do the job but sadly I think circumstances will dictate otherwise though I expect some uk content esp in sonar. I do think that the training… Read more »

andy a
andy a
19 days ago
Reply to  dan

except Australia cant afford the new virginia class and even if they could they would bankrupt the country just trying to fill all the missle tubes!

Chris
Chris
14 days ago
Reply to  andy a

These are silly response you keep leaving. Australia has a significantly larger capital equipment spend than the UK, both in the past and future. And when Australia commits to spending, it follows through with it, unlike the UK

Andy A
Andy A
13 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Don’t be ridiculous Australian defence spending has never really been higher than $40billion US you think you can run say 10 attack subs with roughly 40 tubes each. That’s 400 tomahawks plus reloads call it 600 which is conservative with 1/4 of subs disarmed in dock. That’s 300 at see with 1 reload in stock. 600 tomahawks which will be roughly $1 billion. Plus 10 nuclear subs at roughly $2 billion each again conservative as Oz has no experience of building them. So that’s $1 billion missles $20 billion subs A crew of 100 per sub so 1000 crew that’s… Read more »

Chris
Chris
12 days ago
Reply to  Andy A

Nice rant. It seems you like hearing your own voice. You clearly don’t realise that the annual defence budget is entirely different to that of defence procurement budget. Australia’s procurement budget for the last 10 years has been significantly higher than the UK and current procurement is set to have over $300 billion spent on current projects, $90 billion of that for the subs. So yes, your assertion that Australia can’t afford missiles, let alone the submarines, is utterly ridiculous. The UK, though is not in the same boat. How are those 138 F-35 coming along? Yea that’s right, the… Read more »

Andy A
Andy A
12 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Your points are irrelevant. You doubted what i said about Australian spending yet it’s fact. You claim Australia can afford to buy Virginia class at present and fill 40 missle tubes and all expenses yet ex members of Australian defence staff made the points. None of the points have anything to do with the uk

Chris
Chris
12 days ago
Reply to  Andy A

How are they irrelevant? I Lou Ted out the facts on Australian defence procurement spending which shows your assertion Australia “can’t afford missile” is simply ridiculous.

Also, FYI, defence staff don’t make procurement decisions or handle the budget, so it is your point that is irrelevant.

It is a simple fact that $90 billion has been budgeted for submarine spend. That more than covers what is required.

Andy A
Andy A
12 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Because your childish comments comparing countries are irrelevant. Try some research or wider reading, no one in their right mind thinks Australia can afford 8-10 current Virginia class, reactors, staff, servicing and then filling 40 tubes plus stocks of missles

Chris
Chris
12 days ago
Reply to  Andy A

And yet it is fully budgeted for 🤷🏼‍♂️

Andy A
Andy A
12 days ago
Reply to  Chris

How can it be when they haven’t even decided which of 4 or 5 options they are going for. What they have is a line in a budget. The difference between the possible options range from $0.8 billion per sub to $5 billion. No one has any idea how much building a nuclear industry from scratch will cost, crew 60 to 130 crew, missles 0 to 40. The cost ranges are ludicrous. Read some expert opinion.

Chris
Chris
12 days ago
Reply to  Andy A

It’s called forecasting dude.

I suggest you read the Australian Defence Capability update to understand how it’s already budgeted.

Andy A
Andy A
12 days ago
Reply to  Chris

I already know and most experts think it was announced way too early due to political situation and they are gunna get real shock at long term hidden costs of creating nuclear industry from scratch, reactors, experience, industry before even look at subs and weapons. Not for no reason are there very few countries that build nuclear subs.

David Flandry
David Flandry
20 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

The UK will not get another boat, they may even lose one. Thats the MoD for you.  :wpds_cry: 

andy reevesandy262@gmail.com
14 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

It’s doubtful that the Australians can afford to be able to afford the astute

Chris
Chris
12 days ago

The is absolutely no issue with budget. Australia can easily afford whatever option is taken up

simon alexander
simon alexander
22 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

CR don’t you just think the leaders got carried away about AUKUS sub deal, it was delicious at the time to see egg on the French? reality is, it is highly ambitious to implement a nuclear sub fleet from just diesel base. at the time i thought ok, the Americans would almost give them a life time service deal on the nuclear reactors but as you say, even they are at full stretch.

John N
John N
22 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Couple of points to be made (I’m an Aussie and I follow this pretty closely, for obvious reasons). When AUKUS was announced, it was also announce that the study into the ‘who, what, why’ of the chosen SSN design will take 18mths, we are about half way through, the announcement is due March 2023, about nine months away. In regard to the Collins class, the six boats are all in very good material state. The first boat will enter a 24mth LOTE in 2026, complete the LOTE in 2028 and be good for another 10 years operational service and retire… Read more »

Martin
Martin
22 days ago
Reply to  John N

The issue is we don’t make PWR 2 anymore so can’t build more Astutes, the would need to wait for successor SSN and they may end up having to build it before we do. That being said it sounds much the same for Virginia. They can’t have block IV and block V is very big and also nearing the end of its production run. If the Aussies use Virginia eventually they will be stuck with an old fleet with no support as the US retires them.

John N
John N
22 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Mate, yes aware that PWR2 is out of production, which brings up the question, could PWR3 fit? Or fit the US S9G reactor? Those are big redesign questions/issues, plus Astute doesn’t use the RAN ‘preferred’ US combat system and weapons either (which are operational on Collins and was planned for the Attack class). As for Virginia class, I think the production run still has time to run. I wouldn’t be surprised at delays in the replacement SSN(X), and US politicians like adding to existing production runs. Timing is difficult for the RAN. We could see production of one class before… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
22 days ago
Reply to  John N

Hi John, the RN PWR3 is based on the US S9G with UK tech, make what you will with that meaning! We have moved on from Astutes (last 3 are fitting out)and are now into Dreadnought build. I doubt v much we will go back to an Astute design if AU’s choose the UK as a build partner. Far more likely it would be our SSN(R) design if the timings work. If not then it’s from the US.

John N
John N
22 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Timing is the big issue.

And I say that for both SSN(R) and SSN(X).

I think the Government here would be a bit nervous about signing up for one or the other new design without the RN or the USN not having commissioned and operated the ‘first of class’ boats for a while.

Comes down to risk, how much risk?

Which is why they’ve talk primarily about existing designs.

Anyway, we should know the answer by March 2023.

Cheers,

Jim
Jim
22 days ago
Reply to  John N

John and any/or knowledgeable people out there. Could someone list a glossary of sub terms as my head is spinning! SSN SSNX SSNR…..What do all these terms mean? I’m guessing ssn is sub surface nuclear? 🤔 the rest baffles me !

John N
John N
21 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Jim, this should help:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._Navy_acronyms

Here’s a few submarine acronyms:

SS – Submarine, conventional
SSG – Submarine, guided missile, conventional
SSN – Submarine, nuclear powered
SSBN – Submarine, ballistic missile, nuclear powered
SSGN – Submarine, guided missile, nuclear powered

So what is SSN(R) and SSN(X)?

SSN(R) is the acronym being used by the UK for their next SSN, the (R) is the ‘Replacement’ for the Astute class.

SSN(X) is the acronym being used by the USA for their next SSN, (X) is the replacement for the Virginia class.

Lots of military acronyms, you can also Google them too, ok?

Cheers,

andy reevesandy262@gmail.com
14 days ago
Reply to  John N

SHIP EQUALS TARGET IS A REGULAR ONE

John
John
21 days ago
Reply to  John N

To be perfectly honest I think the Aussies need to realise that a nuclear submarine is not something you pick up from Tesco being used as they are to “off the shelf”. A thousand rare and high tech things need to align to build one as well as rare and highly skilled workers. They can likely get some, but they need to get with the programme and not muck about.

John N
John N
20 days ago
Reply to  John

What an odd post? We need to get with the program? Seriously?

The decision to dump the conventional Attack class was only 9mths ago, a decision will be announced in about 9mths, eg, March 2023.

That is an 18mth project to deal with the issues, examine the options, select a design, start again on completing the submarine build facilities, etc, etc.

Eighteen months is very very quick for a major Defence project.

How much more ‘getting with the program’ do we need to do??

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  John N

Agreed you are going at lightning speed compared to our projects and criticisms seem a little patronising, I’m sure as far as possible decision makers have taken all issues with going nuclear into consideration though of course as here or in the US there will be problems but the decision is undeniably the correct one and they have to make it work. Timing is unfortunate would have been better at the time of the original submarine deal when it was considered but circumstances have changed enormously since then and what on balance probably right then is completely wrong today so… Read more »

John N
John N
20 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Hi mate, Yes that comment he made was a little patronising, almost a smart arse comment. I don’t think 18mths is slow, it’s pretty bloody quick. Here’s a bit of info that may not have been reported outside of Oz, the day after the announcement, it was reported by the ABC (our version of the BBC), that the Prime Minister had instructed the Defence Minister to start some informal ‘what if’ discussions with the UK and US about 18mths before the formal announcement. https://amp.abc.net.au/article/100466150 Those informal discussions were not top level political discussions, but rather our Defence officials talking to… Read more »

Robbo
Robbo
21 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Concur; SSN(R) with PWR3 with joint uk/Aus design team at Barrow.Accept that Combat System may be an issue but RN sonar sounds a winner. I think Nuclear issues will over-ride those of CS.

Deep32
Deep32
21 days ago
Reply to  Robbo

Can’t see the choice of CS being an issue, they take their feeds from whatever source they are connected too. Ok, might need a bit of manipulation to get what they want, but small fry compared with building a RC, shipping it half way round the world and joining it to the front end – indeed if that’s going to be the plan!

John N
John N
20 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Mate, Actually I think the Combat System and Weapons are a big issue. You’ve got to remember that in our part of the world, Indo-Pacific, our major Defence partner is the US, has been for decades, will be for decades into the future too. In a future coalition operation, or dare I say ‘conflict’ we will be operating very closely alongside the US. For sustainment and resupply alone, it will be important to have as much commonality as possible. Whilst the RAN might operate different ‘platforms’, the weapons are the same. The RAAF for example, uses either USAF or USN… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
20 days ago
Reply to  John N

Hi John, sorry, it’s probably my poor phrasing in my post.
What I mean is if AUS chose a UK designed SM, then putting in the CS and weapons of your choice-a US system for example, shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Certainly there will be some integration work required, but that’s a minor problem with how they might intend to build the SMs themselves. Hope that clarifies things.

John N
John N
20 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

No problem mate.

I misunderstood your comment regarding the CS, all good.

The Collins boats currently operate the same CS as the Virginia class, and it was also mandated to be fitted to the Attack class too.

And I’m sure it will be mandated again if we go with a UK SSN design.

Cheers,

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  John N

Absolutely right I think that factor is only proved by Australia selecting US missiles for its type 26 while Canada has selected SeaCeptor for its T-26 despite its usual reliance on US kit. Australia is totally committed to US kit and will be for its subs other than sonar very possibly u less as I mused on in a previous post the UK has indeed passed on sonar expertise to the US in exchange for reactor expertise. If so by the time these subs are delivered even that may not be needed it might be more a political/strategic decision to… Read more »

dan
dan
22 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Why can’t they have the Block V or whatever is in production at the time? To big? Not sure what that means. If they are only going to buy a few SSNs they want the most capable version. That is the Block V right now. Carries more weapons that earlier blocks and much more than an Astute.

Jon
Jon
21 days ago
Reply to  dan

They can but the downside is cost. Not just buying/building, gaining the infrastructure to build/maintain follow on boats will take longer (Aus is in a hurry), operating and training costs will be bigger. Everything is bigger, even without the VPM module. I think it’s 140m long compared to the Astute’s 97m. However I suspect SSN(R) will be pretty big too compared to the Astutes. Perhaps an important difference for the Australians is SSN(R) will need fewer submariners that the US equivalent. There’s no point in it carrying more weapons if that’s not what Australia wants the subs for. The extras… Read more »

Robbo
Robbo
21 days ago
Reply to  Jon

The issue for a hunter/killer is to maximise manoeuvrability. The length of the Virginia Block 5 with VPN makes it sub optimal for that purpose. Agree with Jon re reduced crew numbers for SSN(R) against numbers required for SSN(X). Perhaps a sustainment issue here as well as cost.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Indeed if I were Australian I would prefer NOT to have a significant land attack capability it won’t change the balance in the Pacific much if at all but sets Australia up as a massive target especially as China will argue that those vertical launched missiles are ‘nuclear capable’ and make a strike on the mainland far more likely. A supreme defensive platform with some land attack is far more what they need in reality. Less is more in reality for them and a good bit safer and more effective for their requirements.

Martin
Martin
21 days ago
Reply to  dan

Too big, too expensive and it needs to much crew. Adding additional production of it to be built over the next few decades will be difficult as well. By the time the Aussies start a build it will be long out of production and the US will move on to SSN X

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
21 days ago
Reply to  dan

Depends what you want the sub for. Land attack and long range strike get virginia V. If you can afford it and its larger crew and larger running costs.
If you want a hunter killer get Astute. It is the best in the world at hunting and killing enemy subs and surface ships.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
21 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Realistically the AUSN isn’t going to mount offensive operations against mainland anywhere. They never have had an expeditionary force?

The purpose of it is to deter invasion fleet and to take them out of necessary as well as asserting territorial integrity.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago

Exactly as I have mention in this thread a few times. Using that capability not only isn’t needed ( beyond what an Astute can provide) it would very possibly be signing a death warrant. You don’t even want to put yourself in the position of having a Trump like President on insisting you fire land attack missiles at Chinese forces let alone Mainland. Fact is they need a dub to best take out Chinese subs and surface vessels if they try to strangle Australia and surrounds while the US is thus freed to operate further north. Even at a distance… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  dan

Yes but it depends on what role they will be playing, it’s always nice to have as many options as possible in one package but if you can’t/daren’t use them then the trade offs and disadvantages of their existence is actually disadvantageous to your submarine and strategy. Who would they risk firing land attack missiles at? If they did so along with the US then you can bet who the Chinese ( the only real target) would launch a nuclear attack on can’t you. Rather like under Obama if the Russians used a battlefield nuke in the Baltics it was… Read more »

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
22 days ago
Reply to  John N

The logical solution would be for Australia to join the UK Astute replacement program as partners, the UK subs require substantially less crew and are cheaper. The US block V subs are way overkill and very expensive. The Astute replacement program would also fit in with the Collins timeline and allow plenty of time for personnel and boat building workups

DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan
22 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

The Virginia subs are “overkill’? Any sane person would rather go to war in a boat that’s “overkill” for the enemy he’s facing rather than a boat that is maybe just good enough.

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
22 days ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

Unfortunately that’s not how it works in the real world of warfare, you don’t just order the biggest box of candies in the candy store.

Martin
Martin
21 days ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

It’s over kill in its ability to launch land attack weapons which is not necessarily what the Aussies are looking for. It’s very large for traditional SSN missions.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

Sorry I am not going to repeat the reasoning again but you can read my various refuting of this argument in posts above. Will only add it’s the Virginias that are only ‘good enough’ at the very job the Australians as with the Brits (unlike the US) need their subs for, there are big trade offs.

Tom E
Tom E
22 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Australia in the Astute replacement program, could be particularly beneficial if it could be used in some way to set up a more consistent build schedule to hopefully reduce costs.

Perhaps even a shared pool of workers to keep skills sharp might be possible, either moving between sites every six months or few years or do a whole production run for a decade or so and then move everything to the other country, depending on what is more feasible from a manufacturing and worker happiness perspective.

andy reeves
andy reeves
21 days ago
Reply to  Tom E

maybe the new frigate hall could accodate submarine construction

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  Tom E

This would actually be the best solution for the Australians and great for us but I fear that it would only be feasible if the US provided them a few subs for a spell in the mean time. With two more 😂Astutes I dare say we could have done a deal too esp as we will be basing one there on and off anyway it seems. Sadly I can’t see the yanks being that generous can you and thus timing would be a serious problem in making that happen.

dan
dan
22 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Not sure the Aussie’s would take a risk to join a future British SSN program giving the state of the British defense funding, ect.

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
22 days ago
Reply to  dan

Typical nonsensical reply, so what exactly is the “state” of British defence spending, apart from rising, apart from being one of the largest in the world, apart from being one of the few to be above NATO 2%. Do try to engage the brain and not repeat brainless mimes, with all due respect.

John Clark
John Clark
22 days ago
Reply to  dan

An ideal solution might be for a combined US/UK/AU design.

That’s perfectly doable, all three looking towards the next generation. BAE systems has got back into its boat design and build stride again and they could design something really special together.

The additional numbers built would reduce the unit cost all round, especially if the RN and RAN order 12 each.

12 should be the minimum number for a truly viable fleet, with 8 fully operational at any one time.

Perhaps sections built in each country, if that’s viable??

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

I was thinking about something of this nature after reading Tom E above. It would on paper be the best solution other Countries could even join in or buy when you think Canada once planed a nuclear fleet. The only way this could work I guess or alternative if they wanted to join the UK or US specific program is if the uk and US made a big commitment to operate present subs out of Australia for a long period. What’s the date for results.from these programs circa 2050 or so I don’t know off hand so no way Australia… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
19 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Exactly the point I was trying to make w/ my posts (imperfectly). All fleets may require expansion to contain ChiComs. However, the term Block 4 software update, w/ delivery anticipated circa 2100 A.D., had better never arise. 😁

Martin
Martin
21 days ago
Reply to  dan

If they did just like any international program funding would be almost guaranteed by the UK.

Terence Patrick Hewett
Terence Patrick Hewett
22 days ago
Reply to  John N

As a professional engineer, I would go for a new design, drawing on expertise from both the US and the UK. Both countries have different approaches to design and US/UK hybrids have resulted in some great classic machines. Oz has a great opportunity here: and I have every confidence they will rise to the challenge.

John N
John N
21 days ago

New design? Problem is a new design equals risk, possibly a lot of risk. We’ve been bitten a few times in the past by being a launch customer or near enough to a launch customer (there is a longish list). Personally, I think an existing design will be chosen, but it will be an evolved existing design. A big question is timing, the first Collins will retire, after its LOTE, in 2038, subsequent boats retire every two years until 2048. Unless the UK and US can speed up development and delivery of their respective ‘next gen’ boats, then I still… Read more »

terence patrick hewett
terence patrick hewett
21 days ago
Reply to  John N

Oh, sure: it was simply a reflection of my professional outlook. I enjoy the risk of solving difficult design problems in unusual ways.

Robbo
Robbo
21 days ago

But the customer picks up the tab.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  John N

I agree it’s a shame but timing is likely to dictate it and circumstances dictate a US boat I think even if there are sops to uk industry.

BigH1979
BigH1979
21 days ago

Agreed. Sometimes you just have to throw a remit to the Engineers and say ‘Solve it’. As long as the cash and the will is there.

Martin
Martin
21 days ago

The Aussies don’t want to be stuck operating a small fleet of unique submarines. This was an issue with Collins.

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
22 days ago
Reply to  John N

I strongly suspect that Australia will opt for the SSN(R) boat from BAE systems/Rolls-Royce. It makes sense form a variety of different reasons including the close integration and foot print of BAE systems in Australia already and also Rolls-Royce as well. I’m willing to stake £1 million that it will be the BAE systems SSN(R) attack submarine. I suspect that SSNR will be accelerated in the UK and that Australia will be first to use the design before the UK uses it i.e. first of class would be in Australia. This makes sense for many good reasons in that Australia… Read more »

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
22 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

I highly suspect that if Australia chose SSN(R) the British ones would be given vertical tubes as well to standardize construction (likely throwing in a common missile compartment with quadpack) despite the RN’s distaste for the approach. I agree SSN(R) would likely be accelerated.

Another factor is the US hasnt even begun design of the SSN(X) Virginia successor yet, its been squeezed out by the budget demands of the Columbia class Ohio replacement and carrier fighter recapitalization.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Interesting I didn’t know that but makes sense the US do like to almost endlessly update their existing or old designs as we see with their surface fleet, esp now that financial factors are growing as they try to compete with China.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

They would certainly have to get it first but if it sped up the process by 3 to 5 years as a result it would be a good solution if covering any gap could be arranged. As I said above if only we had 8 Astutes just maybe that sort of deal just might be feasible but now ( likely even then) the US would need to help defend too and what’s in it for them? Maybe if Aus got a boat off them probably long term lease circa early thirties may be it would have an outside chance but… Read more »

David
David
21 days ago
Reply to  John N

Hi John,

What impact on the Australian defence budget will the new boats have do you think? Will the Defence Forces have to ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’ and give up capability to pay for the new boats – as we are SO accustomed to doing here – or will these be funded through a defence budget increase?

Just curious as I believe you guys have your act together much more than we do when it comes to defence procurement!

Robbo
Robbo
21 days ago
Reply to  David

The ADF appears to be stepping up to the plate in other areas; replacement of Eurocopter Tiger with Apache and early replacement of Taipan with UH-60s and MH60Rs. Aus appears to understand the Chinese threat better than UK government. Liz Truss may change that. I doubt Suni will.

David
David
21 days ago
Reply to  Robbo

Suni has zero interest in defence and will be no friend to the Armed Forces. His defence manifesto vaguely states that the 2% of GDP is a floor, not a ceiling. What does that mean?

At least Truss has clearly stated she will increase defence spending to 3% albeit by 2030. I think we who genuinely do have an interest in defence issues could live with that. Let’s see!

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  David

Fuelled by the growth she promises despite the fact decent growth has rarely been part of my long lived life so not clear how that can magically be turned around post covid, Brexit and Ukraine War personally. For me the whole structure of the ZuK economy and investment by a risk averse City simply does not allow for the sort of growth she will be relying upon. Worse still the debt will be pushed down the road (after 12 years of being told bringing it down was vital) because she is convinced we have time because Covid was a once… Read more »

John N
John N
20 days ago
Reply to  David

Hi David, That is a bit of a ‘how long is a piece of string’ question, but I don’t see that funding will be a problem. As it stands today, the current new Government has committed to maintaining the spending levels of the previous Government. This financial year, 2022-23, it is $48.6b, or 2.11% of GDP, it will increase in 2029-30 to $73.6b. See the funding model from 2020-30 below: https://www.defence.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-11/Factsheet_Budget.pdf Defence spending has been ‘unlinked’ from GDP, fixed dollar amounts each year avoids GDP fluctuations. The important thing to remember is that this is a many decades long project,… Read more »

Martin
Martin
22 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I am not sure, apparently the price for Virginia successor is over $5 billion each and the USN does not want to give up any production slots as their own SSN numbers a dropping. Also even with AUKUS tech sharing with the US is a nightmare. I can’t see General Dynamics be able to set an industry up in Australia where as BAE has a lot of history in it. Apparently the UK is now looking to base subs in Perth with Aussies in the crew.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
22 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Using Perth as a base sounds attractive given the UK ’tilt’ to the east but I wonder how well set up to support SSN’s the base is. Ok, I know that they don’t need refueling (assuming they are not extended in service) but a nuclear powered sub still requires specialist support and maintenance to keep everything safe and sound. So I would expect the boats to be rotated relatively quickly to enable any reactor maintenance that requires dockyard support to be carried out back in the UK on schedule. I have no idea of the maintenance schedule so there are… Read more »

John N
John N
22 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

This might answer your basing question:

https://www.minister.defence.gov.au/minister/peter-dutton/media-releases/australia-build-additional-submarine-base

The Government plans to build a new East Coast submarine base for the future SSN fleet and also upgrade the West Coast base for SSNs too.

The budget allowance is $10 billion, or could end up more.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
22 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Perth is probably the better choice for an SSN base rather than an east coast base- just due to the fact that with the Solomon island / China joint security treaty there is likely to be PLAN units based in the Solomon islands soon- any SSN transiting an east coast base (as well as the base itself) will be likely within range of Chinese strategic air assets and MPA’s. Perth has a deep sea channel just off Rottness islands for an SSN to transit down before raising to lower depth and surfacing to enter base- so good access for an… Read more »

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
22 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

The Australian shipyards in Osborne near Adelaide on the South Coast, they really need a closer west coast base than sailing back and forth to Perth, thats why two sub bases makes more operational sense. Also remember to factor in the large distances involved and response/transit times. To circumnavigate Australia is 34,000 KM, thats twice the max unrefueled range of most warships.

Martin
Martin
21 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

The Aussies want a second sub base on the East Coast but it’s controversial.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Fingers crossed but the Solomon’s has claimed there will not be a base there which seems to have been ratified by nearby neighbours who were not happy and rejected Chinese advances. Which was a blow to China. Of course longer term who knows esp if it ties itself into unsustainable financial projects which we know China exploits when they go wrong by using land leases as collateral.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
21 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Hi CR, I’d like by see Australia utilise Darwin, Townsville and or Brisbane more for their subs too. Long transits are tine and fuel consuming especially for the diesel Collin’s subs. Obvious safety and handling issues with nuclear boats need to be thoroughly considered and some “locals” here don’t like the ideas of their town becoming a potential military target!

Hi John, greetings from Sydney. Does the RAN use any other ports or can it, for its Collin’s subs?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
21 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

*by…to

Martin
Martin
21 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

The Aussies I believe have already agreed to upgrade the port to handle US and UK SSN’s as part of AUKUS I believe. This would be part of that. We already keep an SSN permanently deployed in the IO so basing 2 in Perth with mixed crews may save us as we get rid of transit times etc. that leaves 5 boats to cover the Atlantic.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I did read last year that there is talk of RR opening a reactor maintenance facility in Australia though no idea if this has moved on or remotely firm or even has any link to uk boats operating there. I would expect that if they did some sort of RR facility would be required just to provide expert back up, routine maintenance and safety checking et al being so far from home. But they are also pushing their non military lightweight reactor design and ostensibly Australia would be a natural market for such technology so who knows it might have… Read more »

Stc
Stc
22 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I would add the basics of war, why do we not have a strategic reserve of LNG, petrol, grain. 6 months to a year reserve based on an estimate for all out war ? On politicians plan on the basis there will always be peace. What about these nuclear power stations, I bet they are not putting those reactors deep in the ground, water tight, for both safety and protection. I bet Russia would not have to nuke us it would just to use big conventional missiles to create huge ” dirty” bombs by hitting those reactors.

Rfn_Weston
Rfn_Weston
22 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I do agree with your overarching point but I think that the idea would be to avoid getting into an artillery slanging match. For NATO the doctrine would surely be SEAD followed up with a massive air superiority campaign. A single Typhoon bristling with Brimstone is capable of removing an entire position of enemy arty.

Rob N
Rob N
22 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I think it is likely the RAN will get an Astute boat – why else would the UK be a part of the AUKUS sub deal… the Virginia class is too big, too expensive and too manpower demanding for RAN needs. Astute is ideal for RAN. The boats will be built in Australia with assistance from the US/UK. The only surprise I have is that they are training on a UK reactor. Given the problems with RR PWR2 I would have thought any RAN SSN would have a US reactor. I suspect the RAN SSN will be an Astute with… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
22 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

PWR2 issues were all solved by the end of the run? It is one of the rumoured reasons for the delay in the B2 Astutes. If you had to you could make more PWR2 as the tooling hasn’t been thrown away. They don’t, however, meet UK safety case any more. PWR3 is a lot bigger than PWR2 so probably won’t fit in Astute. Creating a hybrid (Astute hull with YS reactor) means that a new type is entering service: with all attendant risks and costs. As with all these complex programs copy #1 holds most of the debugging costs and… Read more »

andy reeves
andy reeves
22 days ago

We’ve got so many rotting ssn’s at Devon port and rosyth we can afford to give a few of them to the kiwis and the Aussies at least save the cost of maintaining them in mothballs

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
22 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

How does that help?

None of them are serviceable?

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

NZ doesn’t even allow nuclear boats in its waters let alone afford them.

JohnH
JohnH
22 days ago

I’d have thought that a case could be made to make and use pwr2 reactors regardless of the “safety case” status, they will be in use for the next 30 years after all. As far as capacity is concerned, I was under the impression that there is physical space for building more boats, but that the personnel level sports just one at a time to ensure there isn’t a feast and famine situation again, where you build your fleet then there is no more business, so you lose capability for the next time you want to build boats. If so… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
22 days ago
Reply to  JohnH

That depends on AUS attitudes to the ‘safety case’?

I agree that PWR2 is IRL perfectly safe. I think a large part of the change is containment but also dismantlement at EoL.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago

Geez even the present reactor was shoe horned in if PW3 is bigger then no chance I would say, must also mean surely the Astute replacement will be bigger too for good or bad.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
22 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

There will be lots of value from the nuclear training regardless of reactor type.
I don’t know what happened to the production facilities for the PWR2.
PWR3 production facilities won’t be ready until 2026.
It’s a tough call for the Aussies to make. Astute successor would be good and if needed could be ready for 2035-40.
Anything is possible when needed and money is found. Barrow could make the back end of boats (reactor compartment) and Australia makes the front end for final assembly in Australia.
Roll on 9 months. Exciting times a head.

Meirion X
Meirion X
21 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

The first Dreadnought is in build right now, about 20% built. The reactor will need to be built before 2026 to be inserted into a Hull module.

andy reeves
andy reeves
22 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I’d be happy to see the next retiring Trafalgar transferred to them in exchange with the Collins boats coming our way

Blessed
Blessed
22 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

The T boats have reached the end of their lives, why would the RAN want them?

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  Blessed

The fact that the most recent was decommissioned despite the present threats, yes it hardly suggests they are fit for further service indeed weren’t two decommissioned within a couple months of each other the first I believe later than originally planned.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
22 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

That’s an awful idea. The boats are retired when they are knackered. The reactor would need a costly refit, the hull has had 30+ years of stress on it, the equipment inside is totally alien to the Australians, they use an American combat system. They don’t use the same torpedoes as the U.K or tomahawks.
If there was life left in the boats the Royal Navy would keep them going.
These submarines are the most complex machines every made. Everything has to work 100% of the time or people die.

Andy Poulton
Andy Poulton
20 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I reckon that that the final solution may well be a “stretched” Colins class, built in Australia with reactors from RR (hence the UK training), combat management systems from either UK or US and torpedoes from the US.

That way you get the desired indigenous build, the use of world leading systems AND you get them built far faster than the UK or US could manage

Andy P
Andy P
22 days ago

With Aussies onboard, the casing barbies should be a lot better anyway. 😀

Marked
Marked
22 days ago

With the time taken to build subs, it’s unlikely many of these crew will still be serving by the time the Australians have a sub of their own!

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
21 days ago
Reply to  Marked

How else do you build up trained group of submariners?

If it was easy everyone would do it?

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago

Yup as in Ukraine the trained with experience train the next generation.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
20 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Quite.

It is the only real way of gaining deep experience.

Paul42
Paul42
22 days ago

The only way in which the Aussies are going to get a nuclear boat anytime soon is via leasing of second hand US LA Class provided a boat, or boats were actually to became available…..

Last edited 22 days ago by Paul42
John N
John N
22 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

The problem with LA class boats is they would most likely require a refuel and a major refit too, expensive, and is it worth it? The Opposition here in Oz (who were the Government until very recently), is throwing up the suggestion to receive two new built Virginia boats around the 2030 time period (at the same time the Australian build process ramps up for local delivery in the latter 2030s). Could it happen? Possibly, but the USN would have to give up two production slots (has happened with other Australian/US procurement, obviously not with subs). The more likely thing… Read more »

Martin
Martin
22 days ago
Reply to  John N

Looks like the UK is offering a couple of Astutes based in Perth now with mixed crews.

Deep32
Deep32
22 days ago
Reply to  Martin

I doubt very much that we could spare two boats to be fwd based if indeed it does go ahead. I would think that one would be all we could really manage. The mixed crewing would happen slowly.

Simon
Simon
22 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Darwin would be better than Perth, easy access to China and also a well established deep water berth for submarines and warships. Established from before the second world War.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
21 days ago
Reply to  Simon

Only just read yours, with you on this.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
22 days ago
Reply to  John N

The elephant in the room with the USN Virginia class programme is what is China’s production capacity for advanced SSN’s? Currently the USN enjoys a huge quantitative and qualitative advantage over the PLAN in SSN’s. Likely a war winning advantage. If China starts mass producing advanced SSNs than the USN will require all possible production slots for Virginian class to keep some form of superiority. The Pentagon are watching China closely and probably would agree to 2-3 Virginia class being built for Australia just as long as China’s industrial shipbuilding capacity isn’t switched to huge numbers of ASW escorts and… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

I can only imagine the US basing a couple subs in Oz, training their crews up next 8 years might just allow a couple subs to be transferred to them end of decade knowing that they would do effectively the same job that US subs themselves would be doing at that time in similar locations. Can’t see any other likely scenario tbh and could help them in manning considerations I guess.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  John N

Agreed

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
22 days ago

Does this mean they’re in Gosport? Poor diggers, wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy!

Andy P
Andy P
22 days ago

Nothing wrong the with establishment formerly known as HMS Dolphin and that equally fine establishment known as Emwah’s (Emma’s).

Last edited 22 days ago by Andy P
Deep32
Deep32
22 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

It’s still up and running mate!!! Give me a shout if ur down this way and we will go!!!!

Andy P
Andy P
22 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

I’m hoping your talking about getting our dancing bats on, I’ve got zero interest in donning my steaming bats again…. 😎

Deep32
Deep32
22 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

DBs always at 15 mins notice…

Andy P
Andy P
22 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Good man, if I’m down your neck of the woods I’ll have my people talk to your people. 😀

andy reevesandy262@gmail.com
14 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

Still got mine in the loft with my pussers grip!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
22 days ago

You mean Sultan?

Deep32
Deep32
22 days ago

Spot on mate, it’s about trg Nuc engineers. Believe the RN ‘Nuc long course’ which our engineers go through is 2 years long. Then they go to a SM to qualify before they are allowed to watchkeep on said systems. It’s a long old time in the trg pipeline, probably closer to 2 1\2 years from start to finish.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
22 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Part of the “nuclear Division” of DA Shrivenham now I believe.

Not much left of Dolphin, but am I
correct In thinking Fort Blockhouse is on the same site?

Deep32
Deep32
22 days ago

Hi Daniele, Fort Blockhouse and Dolphin are/were essentially the same place. The Fort bit is all the buildings closest to the waterfront at the entrance to Pompey Harbour -Gosport side. They eventually built some new accommodation blocks and other facilities closer to what was Haslar. It was all called HMS Dolphin when under the RN, believe it’s now being used by one of the army medical Regiments these days, until mid 20’s at any rate. Believe it might be slated for closure around then!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
22 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Correct. It’s actually one of the Field Hospitals, either 22 or 33 don’t recall.

Yes it’s on the chopping block.

That’s what I understood regards the site, thanks for the confirmation. I’ve only driven past towards Alverstoke.

Deep32
Deep32
22 days ago

Ah yes, INM territory as well as Fort Monkton (very serious place that). I go past at least twice a week.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
22 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Oh, you’re local?

Ha. When I drove past I was indeed visiting Fort Monkton.

Not officially of course!!!

We walked the perimeter, because we can.

It’s MoD, but it’s well known what’s in there.

andy reevesandy262@gmail.com
14 days ago

Fine establishment loved the old story of some driving a flatbed lorry in to Newcomen hangar and making off with a million pounds worth of diesel generator andyreeves(PomEM) D168336x1977 in the age of steam.

DC647
DC647
22 days ago

Lets think they won’t buy the Astute which in my opinion would be the better of the two we don’t have the capacity to build more it takes for every for one to be built. We’re as the Americans have a number of sites which build theirs alot quicker. Plus if we build Astutes for the Australians will this lead to delays of the dreadnought subs. Please note I mentioned this first.

Martin
Martin
22 days ago
Reply to  DC647

The US has two sites to our one but they are just as stacked as we are and desperate for more numbers. In the end the Aussies want a domestic build rather that a foreign lease. BAE is better positioned to do that.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
22 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Most random thought of the evening is as part of a deal if they pick U.K. boats the uk offer them 2 astutes say 2030 or when crews are ready or 2 joint boats or whatever. When decision is made U.K. speeds up SSN replacement and gets first in the water. So 2023-2027 getting design done, staff hired/trained, capacity at shipyard etc. Same for Australia. 2027-2032 first boat build and start testing etc. 2034-5 Australia finishes its first boat and benefits sea trials already done. Reactor compartment built in U.K. and sent down for fitting. I’m not a submarine builder… Read more »

Last edited 22 days ago by Monkey spanker
FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
20 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

In any event, an incredible amount of tax dollars is available to incentivize respective military-industrial complexes. Private industry will find a way to vacuum up the funds. Trust me. 😁

Rob Young
Rob Young
22 days ago

Is it likely this would be extended so that RAN personnel will be seconded for operational experience aboard UK subs on patrol?

Martin
Martin
22 days ago

I get the distinct impression Australia is increasingly keen on seeing its own foreign policy through a CANZUK lense with US security guarantees. A UK sub deals with two Astutes with mixed crews forward based in Perth may well suit them in the interim. Australia did first approach the UK about the deal and it was the UK that brought the US in because it can’t share reactor tech without US approval. The fantasy of being able to pick up some Virginia slots was appealing but ultimately there are too many in the US against it as it means a… Read more »

DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan
22 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Canada’s armed forces are pass their shelf date, obsolete and underfunded. And there is no appetite to fix the problem. There is this myth in the UK that somehow Canada is a robust military power and would make a formidable ally. That’s WW2 thinking. Review the history of Canada’s procurement of replacing its CF-18s to fulfill its NORAD treaty obligations to understand Canada’s defense program. It’s been going on for decades with no end in sight. Canada finally committed to buying the F-35 but has dragged its feet on signing an actual contract and I doubt one will be signed… Read more »

John N
John N
22 days ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

I agree, CANZUK is a lot of hot air.

And it’s not only the Canucks that underfund defence, the Kiwis do a pretty good job of underfunding too.

Both of them tend to rely on their big neighbours (eg, Australia and the US).

A new CANZUK treaty is a bit pointless for Australia, we have AUKUS, ANZUS (NZ is partially suspended), The Quad, plus all of our regional bilateral relationships too.

Anyway, never going to happen.

Terence Patrick Hewett
Terence Patrick Hewett
22 days ago
Reply to  John N

If CANZUK happens, it will happen because it has to happen or we will all end up in deep doo-doo. Never say never.

John Clark
John Clark
22 days ago
Reply to  John N

I can understand the annoyance of the Australian Armed forces, who would in time of war, have to effectively protect NZ as it’s effectively disarmed since it’s Vietnam involvement 50 years ago.

After all, why spend tax money on defence when your close friends will do it for you!

Stu
Stu
21 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

If there is no threat at your border, easy to justify defence cuts. There are plenty of others that do the same. NZ, Canada, Ireland, Portugal, heck, a lot of NATO members decided ‘why spend on defence when the USA will do it for us’.

Stu
Stu
21 days ago
Reply to  John N

If we define ‘CANZUK ‘as “a new “nation” it is quite the stretch. Getting all 4 to agree to proceed in that direction would be near impossible I imagine.
But the idea of CANZUK being “closer ties” (which would be the initial steps toward a new nation) is far from hot air.
We’re already on the road to Free Trade, Free movement & Foreign policy cooperation. Mutual recognition of standards, qualifications etc. is all being done now with Aus being quite pro. Aus & NZ naturally keep getting closer anyway.

Terence Patrick Hewett
Terence Patrick Hewett
21 days ago
Reply to  Stu

Yes, that seems to be the way it is going: it seems to be a long term process unless something drastic happens.

Stu
Stu
21 days ago

Well, as a massive asde & little to do with submarines: but you hit on a fine point that I’ve been mulling for some time when you said “If CANZUK happens, it will happen because it has to happen or we will all end up in deep doo-doo.”. Drastic events created by an external threat have historically been the catalyst for the creation of nations. Unification of Germany thanks to France, Spain in Reconquista, Russia thanks to Mongols etc. etc. etc. I’d be quite happy for closer ties to take a long time than be a result of something drastic… Read more »

Martin
Martin
21 days ago
Reply to  Stu

The two major factors likely to drive it are a rising China and an increasingly erratic USA. Our greatest ally just had an attempted coup and has elected three populist presidents in a row, two of them have been outright hostile to the UK (Biden and Obama) well one was outright hostile to Canada (Trump) China has gone out of its way to directly threaten Canada and Australia and broken an international treaty with the UK. The EU remains at best aloof and hostile on many fronts especially on trade. The word could do with another big player and a… Read more »

Stu
Stu
20 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Agree with most of what you say – I’d add the EU (which you do mention) to the list as a third ‘major factor.’ Not militarily aggresive but certainly hostile.
I’d disagree with the “attempted coup” characterisation of Jan 6th.

Martin
Martin
20 days ago
Reply to  Stu

What would you call it when a defeated president sends an armed mob to parliament to stop the certification of an election? If it happened in Venezuela or Turkey it would be described as an attempted coup.

Stu
Stu
20 days ago
Reply to  Martin

https://youtu.be/25w2vlfg88M “Peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard” Didn’t ‘send an armed mob’. He asked supporters to demonstrate & was making the argument that some electors from the College weren’t not lawfully appointed. We may not agree with the reasons but people should (and do in the USA) have the right to protest. Republicans tend to be the 2nd amendment guys. 400M guns, 9B rounds in USA. But in an ‘attempted coup’ they don’t shoot anyone? The only person shot was shot by a cop… they going to overthrow the government by stealing a podium? There are other things that… Read more »

Martin
Martin
20 days ago
Reply to  Stu

Did you watch the evidence given to the jan 6 committee and his insistence to allow armed protesters to approach the capital? Or do you know better than congress? Do you have some evidence perhaps over looked by the investigation?

Stu
Stu
20 days ago
Reply to  Martin

From Cassidy Hutchinson? If so, I don’t believe a word of it. Secret Service and others already poo pooed her testimony. Most of it was hearsay & wouldn’t be permitted in a real court (here or in the US). You’re watching a show ‘trial’ buddy. Even Americans aren’t paying it much attention. I believe evidence of my own eyes and ears and applying my own reasoning. Have you watched the videos? Have you considered what an actual armed coup would look like? In the US where guns are pretty normal… They even walked within the velvet ropes for tourists… bunch… Read more »

Martin
Martin
20 days ago
Reply to  Stu

Yeah that’s what I thought, you clearly know better than the official investigation, congress, the White House chief console, capital police department of justice and everyone else. well done mate not much point in me arguing the toss with you as you clearly have insight not available to us regular types from your YouTube clips.

Stu
Stu
20 days ago
Reply to  Martin

I appear to have upset or offended you. For that I sincerely apologise. I was only expressing my opinion. Hutchinson is a liar. We know this as the people she ‘quoted’ (or should I say said “something to the effect of”) called BS. You want to believe Congress, politicians… ok. 7 of the 9 on the committee are the opposing party. 1 of which (Thompson) voted against certifying the 2016 results. Chief Counsol, Biden appointee. Police and DOJ, no sedition charges? No agenda for any decision makers there? This (IMO) doesn’t look like a coup. Looks like a protest, that… Read more »

Martin
Martin
19 days ago
Reply to  Stu

Hi stu sorry if I came across upset, I am not. I just don’t see much point in arguing when two people look at the same evidence and come up with completely opposing views. I have an inability to believe that republicans who worked for trump right up to Jan 6 suddenly flip on the guy and we have all seen mountains of evidence that he was actively trying to steel an election. It’s semantics if you call an attempted stolen election a coup or not but there is a clear conspiracy on the part of trump to over turn… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
20 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Believe a majority of US population would willingly vote for an Eisenhower, Kennedy, Reagan or Geo. H. W. Bush. Unfortunately, all are currently unavailable to serve. 🤔🙄

Geneticengineer
Geneticengineer
19 days ago
Reply to  Martin

I don’t think it’s fair to say Biden and Obama are hostile to the UK. Grandad “I’m Irish” Biden is just a stereotypical white american desperate to cling on to some heritage – try finding a white american that won’t bore you to tears about how they’re German/Irish/Italian/English etc. despite never even being there or knowing the language. I also don’t agree Grandad Joe is populist, he was essentially forced on us by internal corruption in the Democratic party. During the primary, nobody wanted him, then suddenly he was the only option. Also a bit unfair to say it was… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
20 days ago
Reply to  Stu

Perhaps when the ChiComs decide to annex Taiwan? Wonder whether the Aussies, Japanese and/or South Koreans would start crash nuclear armament programs, despite being signatories to Nuclear Disarmament Treaty? 🤔 Really should contact Vegas to see if a bet can be placed, whether or not anyone is around to collect.

Martin
Martin
21 days ago
Reply to  Stu

To a certain extent CANZUK already exists atleast informally. The four nations are already more closely aligned in many way than an EU countries with common laws, systems of government and even a head of state. A simple CANZUK treaty on trade and free movement as well as defence and foreign policy cooperation is all that’s really needed. In essence it’s exits already it just needs to be codified and joined up. It really does not need anything as drastic as EU integration of the commission.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
22 days ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

They wont buy nuclear agree Daniel- however their ex Upholder class SSKs have all had low mileage service careers and are in good material state. All are undergoing major refit with new sonar and combat management systems as well as weapons upgrades which should see them retained in service as pretty decent SSKs until the mid 2030s.
There are however only 4 of them.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
22 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

What they do after those boats will be interesting.
I wouldn’t write of Canada completely. Perhaps all the oil money will change defence spending there.
There is lots of other stuff to spend on. They Have a massive country without a massive population to get large income from.
Tough call for them. Maybe a Chinese sub popping up now and then by the coast will focus the minds.

Stu
Stu
21 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I think they’d need change of government before that happens. If Chinese subs pop up off their coast, it’ll likely be because they were invited…

Last edited 21 days ago by Stu
Martin
Martin
21 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Or the Russian subs under the ice, Canada knows it needs nuclear subs and was prepared to go their in the 80’s. Three years ago there was no chance Australia would get SSN even though it was clearly needed and things changed almost over night. Canada is increasingly worried its being kept behind. Trudeau might be happy with that but many are not. Canada is very close to Russia after all.

Deep32
Deep32
20 days ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

Daniel, Canada did try to join the Nuc programme sometime back in the late 80’s I believe. Had the backing of the UK, but it was the US government of the day that stopped that dead in its tracks. Not entirely sure why, but suspect it had something to do with technology transfer WRT to RC systems!

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
19 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Deep32,

Thanks, very interesting info, don’t remember reading anything at that time re potential Canadian participation. Amazing how the passage of time, and especially revised threat assessments, change perspectives.

Deep32
Deep32
19 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

No worries,
Both Canada and AUS have very similar issues WRT threats, hence similar defence requirements. Small populations in respect to large land masses, very long coastlines to police.
Both require systems that can operate at range with persistence and provide mass.
Although Canada’s threat is somewhat closer, it has the advantage of having a big well equipped neighbour to assist.
AUS have come to the conclusion that in the maritime domain they need nuclear power, I would imagine that Canada if given the choice/chance/will would also follow that line. Time and perspective will no doubt tell.

Jon
Jon
22 days ago

Would a cut down Dreadnought (successor) body be feasible for Australia? It would be PWR3, which RR can deliver, based on an existing hull design, but without the overheads of the ballistic missile submarine?

Just Me
Just Me
22 days ago
Reply to  Jon

SSNR is effectively a cut down Dreadnought.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
22 days ago
Reply to  Just Me

Agree Australia and the UK need SSNR to enter production in the 2030s and in service around 2032-2033 build concurrently with final 1-2 boats of the Dreadnought class. UK can allow Australia first 2 boats of SSNR and then get stuck into its own production- unless of course we have a requirement at that time for more than 7 SSNs- its all a bit tight with SSN programmes for Australia, US and UK- concurrent production of SSNR and Dreadnought class could be done- just need Barrow expanded and production ramped up.

Jon
Jon
22 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

That’s not easy. It’d be a huge task. There’s no extra space in the yard, so it would have to be done through extended working hours, which would increase pa costs and reduce efficiency. I wouldn’t have thought it impossible though. Maybe bring Aussie boatbuilders over here for a couple of years, then when we are ready to ramp down we can return the favour and send some UK builders over there for a bit.

Lots and lots of time lost to training, I’d imagine.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
21 days ago
Reply to  Jon

They could extend hours by working a full Friday. If you want to see the truth of that, use the Mk1 public eyeball, have a look at the car park on Mon -Thursday at 15:00 and then have a look at Friday on 15:00….quite a difference. You could do a lot to speed things up without stressing anyone out. More the issue is all the long lead components like motors and reactors and how long they take to make and can production rates of those bits be scaled. As someone who organises complex construction for a living, these days, the… Read more »

Martin
Martin
21 days ago
Reply to  Jon

They could expand module production at other yards such as Cammell Laird, Ali believe they have some experience in work being done at Harland and Wolff before. The US has sped up production by making different modules at each of its two facilities allowing for greater specialisation. They are now able to concurrently build Virginia and Columbia submarines at the same facility. At an extreme the Aussie yard could even build modules. It’s a bit of a mission for transport but not impossible and might help the Aussie industrial base ramp up before full builds commence. Anything is doable with… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
22 days ago
Reply to  Just Me

It does seem to be the starting point for SSNR and it makes perfect sense really.

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
22 days ago

We also have the RAN potentially training on USN courses. https://news.usni.org/2022/06/15/new-aukus-caucus-bill-calls-for-u-s-australia-sub-training-pipeline

From what I understand the RN & USN nuclear submarine career paths/courses are quite different (at least for officers) & I can’t imagine that they would want to end up with differently trained crew working together?

Cj
Cj
22 days ago

Hi everyone, just wondering if we could go splits with Australia to extend barrow and find out if we could have half workforce from both countries then when the Aussies are ready work goes over there and we have a bigger hall that I think we might need the way the Chinese are going?

Stu
Stu
21 days ago
Reply to  Cj

Can’t see Aus paying to improve UK facilities directly. If/when they spend cash to build facilities, it’ll be in Aus. Reality is we could build faster than we do at Barrow with the facilities already in place. Work was/is deliberately slowed to retain skills – had they gone flat out on the Astutes, we’d have finished building them in 2010ish & all those skilled workers would have been made redundant/move on to other jobs before we cut steel on Dreadnought in 2016. The idea of a joint workforce is (I believe) a good option & quite possible – Aus engineers/builders… Read more »

Cj
Cj
21 days ago
Reply to  Stu

Hi stu thanks for that was wondering why it couldn’t happen and was looking for answers.👍

Martin
Martin
21 days ago
Reply to  Stu

The process of works transferring between the UK and Australia is way easier than with the US. The IRS would make these peoples lives a miss art for decades. It’s a big plus in the UK favour sane goes for embedded armed forces personnel.

Stu
Stu
21 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Ha! True

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
22 days ago

Hypothetical, dark horse scenario–merged requirements, modular design (by committee). Hybrid combat systems and weapons. Don”t necessarily forecast it, w/ F-111 and especially, F-35 program history, but willing to believe concept explored during this ore-decisuin period..

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
22 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Errata…pre-decision… 🙄

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
22 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Actually, this text may require further explanation; meant to convey common, modular hull form, propulsion, weapons fit, combat management system, etc., would be a national selection.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
22 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Errata…hull form. Propulsion, weapons fit…

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
22 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

There could be. So it would be like a us/U.K./oz common sub with mission bay sized to requirements.
Would nations give up the share of design work, production of some bits etc to gain in making more of certain bits.
It may be to radical for nations to sign up to.
The tech in the boats is way over my knowledge to know how this would/could work

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
21 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Exactly. Interesting hypothetical scenario. 🤔 A mere nine mos.to reveal.

Martin
Martin
21 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

This is effectively what the Type 26 is however it’s much more difficult with a sub. Much less choice on Sonar vs Radar and weapons fit is limited. Basically you either choose a US combat management system and torpedos or a UK one. Land attack missiles will be standard but that’s about it.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
21 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Would definitely entail transnational industrial teaming arrangements w/ parties, usually in competition, either as co-leads or in subcontract role. Sporting proposition to implement from an industrial/legal perspective, except w/ mandate from sovereign governments. This could become a very large, well resourced program. 🤔

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
18 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Read a Breaking Defense article which stated design and engineering contacts awarded to HII and GD Bath Iron Works for DDG(X), w/ projected first vessel circa FY 30. Additionally, draft of SASC budget guidance expressed preference for teaming arrangements. Hmmm… Perhaps intuitively obvious to suggest that it may be an opportune moment for a proactive MoD to propose some form of joint development program between Type 83 and DDG(X). Simply a casual observation…

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
6 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

A possible alternative plan would entail a two phase RAN purchase/build of a small number (2 or 3) of either a modified Astute (Batch 2+) class or a Virginia (Block X) class of SSNs. This would facilitate maturation of RAN experience w/ SSNs. This could be followed by full RAN participation in design/build process for either SSN(R) or SSN(X), If indeed those programs remain separate, for remainder of RAN fleet. All parties fully cognizant this would be nothing less than a royal pain in the ass from a cost, logistics, training, maintenance, etc., perspective, but could yield time saving path… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
21 days ago

Believe the Canadians and even (New Zealanders?) aka Kiwis, are missing a beat by not proposing, and, if feasible, joining some form of an expanded “AUKUS lite.” (May require change of government in both cases–ubfamiliar w/ local politics.) Essentially, participation in all the listed areas of R&D, w/ the exception of the nuke attack subs. Mutually advantageous for all parties, if for no other reason than to provoke Mad Vlad and the ChiComs into foaming violently at the mouth w/ pseudo-righteous indignation and disapproval! Would pay handsome amount to see that. 😁

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
21 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

…unfamiliar…

Martin
Martin
21 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

There is strong talk in Canada on the right and even alarm in Canada that they are not in AUKUS. The major if not only obstacle is the Trudeau government, if Canada elects another conservative government then AUKUS will be on the table possibly along with a CANZUK treaty of some description. New Zealand sees itself as largely irrelevant in AUKUS as it has virtually no military and certainly no military industry to speak of. The Government of Arden does not want to be seen to cosy up to right wing political parties in the UK and Australia for domestic… Read more »

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst
21 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Exactly. Spot on.

Stu
Stu
21 days ago
Reply to  Martin

As Albert said – spot on.

Matt
Matt
21 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Hmmm. But Australia is now run by Labour, is it not?

In Oz are they left, centre or right?

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
21 days ago
Reply to  Matt

Various articles have indicated that a majority of Aussies, of all political stripes, have formed the opinion that ChiComs cannot be trusted, especially post COVID. Always thought the Aussies were an intelligent nation. 😁

Martin
Martin
21 days ago
Reply to  Matt

AUKUS was agreed by all parties in Australia including labour.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  Matt

Depends if the pub is open

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
21 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Clearly out of my depth in the political realm. Would presume a pacifistic/neutralist NZ would create tension w/ the other partners in the 5 Eyes Intelligence alliance/network. Are there degrees of participation/sharing? For that matter, are any of the countries obligated by treaty to provide aid, if the ChiComs decide to evict the current inhabitants of NZ?

Martin
Martin
21 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

This is already the case and NZ is increasingly removed from 5 eyes. Canadas alarm is in becoming NZ. Canada has been willing to tow the line on China however but NZ labour government is not.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
19 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Ah, Realpolitik, NZ style. Wonder what their grandparents and great-grandparents would think of this? If I remember my history correctly, believe Kiwis fought honorably in both WW I & WW Ii.

Martin
Martin
19 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Per capita NZ deployed more troops in WW1 and WW2 than anyone else. It all stoped in the 70’s when they fell out with the USA over nukes on ships.

Mickey
Mickey
8 days ago
Reply to  Martin

There are a large number of Canadians that are living in the ‘land of the lotus eaters’ when it comes to collective western defence. A lot of Canadians have a very naïve military approach that they are ‘Peacekeepers’ in the world. Peacekeeping is fine and all but not the basis for your country’s entire military doctrine and certainly not the way to support allied collective defence. Any talk of increasing defence spending pisses off a fair amount of the Canadian electorate, although the invasion of Ukraine has many of those Canadians changing their minds. Being excluded from AUKUS shocked the… Read more »

Martin
Martin
21 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

In Canada it’s known as the three eyes problem.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Read that the Canadians were being punished for their approach to Huawei don’t know if that was true, may be other issues. That said it’s convenient for the US to resist it to Oz and uk, it pretty much cements the former further into their mutual defence gives the uk a pr fillip and creates a ‘bloc’ that doesn’t seem too threatening to China at this stage not that you would know it. I can see Canada becoming a member when convenient, it’s going to be a gradual build up and will be interesting to see if further invites will… Read more »

Bob
Bob
21 days ago

I wonder what has happened to our resident Russki, not seen him on for a while?
Counting trees?

Martin
Martin
21 days ago
Reply to  Bob

He got drafted for the “special operation” 😀

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  Bob

John? Returned to Milton Keynes perhaps,

Chris
Chris
21 days ago

https://breakingdefense.com/2022/07/south-korea-offers-aussies-new-subs-in-7-years-to-close-collins-gap/ a possible stop gap for the Australians and also an option for Canada’s needs.

Martin
Martin
21 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Wow the South Koreans make it sound like they are doing Australia a favour offering to sell them subs while attempting to humiliate their government over a stop gap. Like there are not 10 other countries with more proven tech desperate to sell to Australia subs.

Maybe need to work on their sales pitch.

Chris
Chris
21 days ago
Reply to  Martin

I’m glad I’m not the only one who read it like that, I could understand if there was a huge delay in bringing their nuclear subs into service but why pitch it just after the deal with France very publicly imploded.

John N
John N
20 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Never going to happen. Yes we are happy enough to procure SPH and possibly IFV from the Koreans, but subs? No. The other thing about the article is that saying the Collins class will sail safely ‘until 2030 or so’ is completely inaccurate. The first boat enters a 24mth LOTE in 2026, re enter service in 2028, and retire 10 years later in 2038, each subsequent boat follows at 24mth intervals, the last Collins retires in 2048. Will there be a capability gap? Well possibly, but I’m sure the Government will be aiming for the first SSN to enter service… Read more »

Chris
Chris
20 days ago

It seems appropriate to provide at this time a handy guide for the Brits to translate the inevitable Aussie slang words that they will hear during the training cycle. Ive put the Aussie first and then the translation:

1. Cobber = Mate
2. Mate = Cobber
3. Strewth = FFS
4. Crikey = FFS
5. Blimey = FFS
6. Poms = English Cricket Team Member
7. Sheila = Wife of RN Officer
8. Bloody Oath = Yes

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
20 days ago
Reply to  Chris

They just need a quick refresh course on Married at First Sight Australia (any of series of 9) that will soon update anyone on the slang… and particularly the expletives.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
20 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Ok, it’s now time for a Yank to jump down the rabbit hole of Aussie slang. Since Strewth, Crikey and Blimey are all translated by rhe term FFS, are there any nuances to correctly selecting the most appropriate word in a given instance? 😆 Remember, our frame of reference is the dialogue from the “Crocodile Dundee” movie series. BTW, a tour of OZ and NZ is on my bucket list. 😁

Stephen Van looy
Stephen Van looy
20 days ago

Most Australians think a ‘ Proton ‘ is a Malaysian car. There is a massive learning curve ahead, but it’s not impossible.

Scott
Scott
16 days ago

Further to this story Admiral Tony Radikin confirmed in an Australian interview that UK Astutes will regularly visit Perth to give RAN sub crews and maintenance workers experience operating and maintaining SSNs. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-07-30/british-defence-chief-tony-radakin-russia-china-aukus/101282744 The RAN is also sending officers to the USN naval nuclear propulsion course but that could be explained by wanting to have people trained to USN standards to maintain USN SSNs should they be based in Perth. The RAN does not appear to be training entire crews in USN SSN practice. I understand the caution and obviously there is no decision till March 2023 but I think… Read more »

andy reeves
andy reeves
8 days ago

??

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
4 minutes ago

Recently read an article describing a hypothetical hybrid sub(marine)-( aircraft) carrier. Normally would dismiss this as the fevered imagination of those watching syndicated reruns of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, but several compatible drones/UAS have already been trialed: Sea Robin, Backwing and Ninox (Israeli). Imagine an SSN/SSGN w/ an organic airwing. This would be a nightmare scenario for Mad Vlad and the ChiComs! 😁