BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce will undertake concept and design work for new Royal Navy nuclear submarines.

Two contracts worth £85 million each have been awarded to BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce to deliver design and concept work for a future Class of Royal Navy submarine.

Over the next three years and supporting 350 jobs in the process, the contracts will deliver design work to inform a future decision which will help define the replacement approach for the Astute Class submarines – the nuclear powered fleet of submarines (SSNs) currently in service with the Royal Navy.

Ben Wallace, the Secretary of State for Defence, said:

“Marking the start of a new journey in submarine development, British designers and engineers will lead the way in building submarines for our Royal Navy. This multi-million pound investment ensures that this vital capability will be ready to replace our Astute class submarines as they come out of service, whilst supporting high-skilled jobs across the Midlands and North West of England.”

Ian Booth, Submarine Delivery Agency CEO, said:

“Although it is too early to determine what the capability solution will be, designing and building submarines is one of the most complex and challenging feats of engineering that the maritime industry undertakes. Such work relies on some of the nation’s most experienced defence nuclear experts from the very beginning of the design phase.”

Steve Timms, Managing Director of BAE Systems’ Submarines business, said:

“We’re very proud of our role in the delivery of the nation’s submarine fleet and this contract further builds on our rich heritage. In what is the 150th anniversary year of our Barrow shipyard, we now have the opportunity to further strengthen our partnership with the Royal Navy long in to the future. We’re looking forward to working with our partners and helping to deliver another strategically important and critical national defence programme.”

The contract was awarded following approval of a three-year Programme, Definition and Design phase for a capability solution for the MOD’s ‘Maritime Underwater Future Capability’ programme.

BAE Systems will work alongside the Submarine Delivery Agency, Rolls-Royce, Babcock and partners on a new class of nuclear powered attack submarines for the UK Royal Navy to replace the Astute class – currently referred to as SSN-Replacement (SSNR).

BAE Systems is also a member of the Dreadnought Alliance and, working alongside the Submarine Delivery Agency and Rolls-Royce, is leading the design and build of a replacement for the Vanguard class. Build of the first two of the four new Dreadnought class submarines is well underway in Barrow.

The Defence Command Paper, titled ‘Defence in a Competitive Age’, briefly described the now started Astute replacement programme back in March:

“We commit to funding for the next generation of nuclear submarines (SSNs) to guarantee our security well into the second half of the century.”

The Astute-class submarines are the largest, most advanced and most powerful attack submarines ever operated by the Royal Navy, combining world-leading sensors, design and weaponry in a versatile vessel. The Royal Navy also say that the class sets a new standard for the Royal Navy in terms of weapons load, communication facilities and stealth.

The Astute class was the replacement for the Trafalgar-class fleet submarines in Royal Navy service. We know very little about their replacements however.

There is a bit of information floating around, though. Pun intended. Respected naval commentator H. I. Sutton wrote in an article for Forbes that on November the 23rd 2019, BAE Systems advertised a job in Barrow-in-Furness.

“The advert is now closed, but the information contained is of great interest because of just one word: SSNR. The role description included ‘to work different stakeholders across the Astute, Dreadnought and SSNR programmes’. Defence watchers will recognize the first two projects. The Astute Class is the Royal Navy’s current attack submarine, and the Dreadnought is the new Trident missile boat.”

You can read more about SSN(R) here.

 

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TwinTiger
TwinTiger
1 month ago

A prime candidate for the RAN then also, following this week’s announcement.

DRS
DRS
1 month ago
Reply to  TwinTiger

For RAN I think you start with an existing design (astute/Virginia class) then this is a follow on in a Few years time as a class evolution

JR
JR
1 month ago
Reply to  DRS

I would imagine this is the preliminary design work required to establish the technology required to replace the Astute class boats. The intent being a significant decrease in crew, and further increase in offsensive capability and more importantly a major further effort into decreasing detectablity. As all the time, the RNs potential enemies are making rapid progress in thier own indigenous naval warfighting capability.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  DRS

Indeed the RAN boats are supposed to be entering service within the decade (that’s earlier than their Attack Class would have) this new design won’t be meeting that timescale as won’t the new US design so whatever the RAN get will be based on a current design with at most some intermediate or u inquest updates.

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
1 month ago
Reply to  TwinTiger

The Astute class submarine is very likely to be the one the Australian’s select as there is simply no way the American’s will allow the Virginia class submarine to be used. Addition the Astute is roughly half the cost of the Virginia class submarine so another good reason to select the Astute class submarine.The replacement for Astute is too far away for the Australian’s to use. If they play their cards right and make maximum use of the US and UK they could be up and running by 2030 at the earliest for RAN nuclear submarine. Much better than the… Read more »

Tony
Tony
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

What are the US getting that makes a Virginia class twice as much as an Astute?! Especially with their economies of scale. I know the block Vs will be much bigger, but blocks I-IV? Also they have inferior Mk48s compared to Spearfish.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Tony

Not an Submarine expert (and frankly I think anyone who claims to be is a bit suspect these days), but giving it a quick read: All Virginia’s have either 12 VLS tubes or from Block III onwards the VPM, plus their torpedo launchers, while the Astute’s only have their torpedo launchers (not that it makes a huge difference I suspect since Tomahawk and Harpoon both can be launched from Astute’s torpedo launchers), so that probably drives the cost up. But I suspect there’s some cherry picking of numbers going on too, and forgetting conversion rates. The numbers I’ve seen for… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Just checked this out as it’s new to me. The VPM seems to add up to $500m to the sub, even the Americans are struggling with that extra cost it seems especially as it seems indeed as a result too they will in reality be limited to Tomahawks which defeats their original object of increased flexibility. Ironically the VPM is built by Bae.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

I wonder if that 500m usd figure is for the two VPM tubes fitted to the block III’s or the extra hull section with multiple VPM’s fitted to the block V’s. But yes, unless the Americans actually put a ballistic missile in them, I don’t see how it makes sense just for a different way to launch Tomahawk.

Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Sub Harpoon was binned on UK boats a long while back Dern.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy P

True, but the point I was making was that the US VLS farm didn’t actually give them access to any weapons the RN can’t fire from it’s torpedo tubes. ie there’s nothing that a Virginia can’t intrinsically fire that an Astute couldn’t if that makes sense?

Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Gotcha now, I think the big advantage of the VLS is the ease of loading compared to bringing them all in through the Weapons Embarkation Hatch and all the rigging of rails etc.

Would be good if we could get some kind of ‘son of Sub harpoon’, when operating with MPA’s you could lob them quite far in theory. Was onboard for a hulkex when we ploughed one into the hanger of HMS Brave and it was quite spectacular.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy P

In a sense the torpedo tubes can be loaded with whatever is in the racks behind as many times as they need to be until the munitions are expended. I don’t know if Astute has some kind of cassette autoloader? It would seem big enough. VLS is one shot and that is that. It cannot be reloaded at sea. So VLS is not a panacea. The main advantage of VLS is that you can shoot off a lot of munitions very quickly, dive, sprint and then run quiet to get out of harms way. It depends what you are using… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago

No cassette autoloader on the A boats mate. I agree that VLS is no panacea, it does mean you can have ‘stuff’ in tubes that you can sort of forget about and either use the bomb shop for a full weapons load of torpedoes (and anti ship missiles if we ever get them again or mines) or more likely, leave space for extra racks (beds) for trainees/requals/sea riders. While VLS is a ‘one shot’ as opposed to the tubes, getting the weapons down into the boat is quite a process and while I’ve never done (or seen) it done on… Read more »

Rob N
Rob N
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy P

The VLS has the advantage of not taking up room internally that is used for other weapons. In UK subs Tomahawks take up room that could be used for extra Spearfish. I am not a fan of anti-surface missiles fired from subs it just shows their location.

Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob N

If you’re parked 5 miles away and fire an anti ship missile, sure but if you’re the best part of a hundred miles away and are getting guidance from an MPA then you’re not that likely to be seen. Its another string to the submarines bow.

Rob N
Rob N
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy P

In the coming decades space and areal monitoring will become well established – a VLS shot would not go undetected. It is best to put surface to surface weapons on planes, land or ships.

Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob N

It will depend on who you’re up against Rob, also how far you are away from a viable (at least known) threat. I don’t disagree that submarines aren’t the best platform to launch either anti ship or cruise missiles but its still an option and sometimes that covert ability or even threat of it can be useful.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob N

Shame the missiles arent ejected and then loiter in the water for a certain period of time allowing the sub to head off in whatever direction it wants.

Obviously if the target was time sensitive thats impossible but could have been handy in certain scenarios.

Rob N
Rob N
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Yes I had a similar thought but the technical difficulties would be considerable. You would have to build an ejectable pod that would sit upright underwater able to launch a weapon after a delay. The weapon would need to update its targeting after launch perhaps by space or areal assets.This would not be a easy option.

Netking
Netking
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Actually the Virginia blk 5 are being modified with space to carry at least 65 tlam size weapons and also to carry a sub launched version of the USN hypersonic weapon that’s currently in development. It’s also more than likely some USN subs (seawolf class?) are armed with a still classified anti ship missile that budget documents and congressional testimony has long hinted at.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Netking

Yes, that’s the VPM.

Netking
Netking
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

I was responding to the point you made earlier that there is nothing that the virginia’s can shoot that the astute’s can’t. That is very likely not the case now and will be even more so in the coming years.

David Hodder
David Hodder
1 month ago
Reply to  Netking

Australia in the lst instant should be urgently looking at leasing either Mothballed USN and or RN boats ,before doing same embedd crews in either USN or RN boats ,the boat chosen could be made up of composite crews, for decades Australia USA and UK have had exchange defence personnel and posting and policies ,Australia is the Canary in the coalmine regarding the coercive intimidatory belligerence tactics of the CCP, time wasting is a luxury we don’t have

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy P

Mainly because of the two way data link issue to comply with rules of engagement. That was the only way that positive target ID could be done at that point in time.

It hardly needs to be said that a two way link would give away the subs position even more than firing the Harpoon in the first place…..

Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago

Again mate, depending on who it is you’re up against. Not every country has the satellites to cover everywhere and there are ways to be covert about it in certain circumstances (sorry for being mysterious but I’m not going to say the ones I know have been used). You can also fire subsurface launched missiles and ‘blow and go’ and while there could be a known position for a submarine at ‘minute zero’, by minute 10 or minute 60 its an ever increasing search area and if all that’s tracking you is a paraffin parrot then its very much on… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy P

However you **might** handoff the weapon, once launched, to an MPA or other asset to guide in wether by LINK or SATLINK.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

Yes $70b for 12 non nuclear compared to $10b for 6 nuclear versions for France and the French have the cheek to through their toys out. Especially so when you consider their own Behaviour particularly to Britain on various projects to. Indeed stealing away two of our partner nations to do a fighter and leaving us and the Italians out in the cold is hardly being loyal to allies is it esp considering that they jumped ship on those same partners all those years back. Then there is the drone project where after a couple years supposedly sharing with us… Read more »

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Totally agree the French are hypocrites. The Aussies realised this was a crappy deal and quite rightly dumped it. What I really hate is lots of middle class Brits sticking up for France on TV – just whose side are these Brits on? Maybe those Brits that feel France is hard done by should up sticks and move to France. Don’t forget that France is shipping the migrant crisis to our shores in a totally illegal way. This is caused by the Shengen zone and the EUs porous borders. So do I feel bad they lost the submarine deal –… Read more »

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

Well said Andrew, , the BBC seems too be encouraging sympathy towards the French and as you put it Middle class Brits sticking up for the French Shane they didn’t give their Addresses I’d help them pack and for a cheap journey across the Channel they can reuse those Dinghies that are probably issued by the Gerndammes

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

Orwell said there were particular types of upper middle class and middle clas Bris that hate their country and side with both France and Russia. I wish they would all pack their bags and go personally if they hate the UK so much. We all know that the French submarines were massively overpriced, poor quality technically and the workshare for the Aussies was minimal – in addition the French missed mjor design deadlines. Fortunately the Aussies killed the crap projecr. The French are not our allies at all.

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

And the good old Aussies always return to the Scene of the Crime bless them they’ve stood by us they even went into Vietnam for the yanks They are Anglo not Gealic

Rob N
Rob N
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

The BBC is left wing and very pro EU it upholds metropolitan Champagne socialism. So it is not a shock they take the French side. The truth is that the French sub was unsuited for Australia. It was old technology even by todays standards – no AIP, old battery tech etc. By the rime it actually got into service it would have been a relic of old technology. It would be facing Chinese SSNs…. France is just mad because someone spotted the Emperor is not clothed! In other works they throw our a crap French offering. Also the French/EU plan… Read more »

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob N

I just hope the Chinese supply enough Cotton for their white flags

Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago
Reply to  TwinTiger

You really have to appreciate that the Australian navy can not wait for a new design, nor a hybrid, nor an Australianised version of an Astute… The lead Collins boat, was launched in 1993 and by all measures should have been looking at decommissioning in a few years time…now it’s looking like an extra 15 years she’ll have to serve till replace under current timelines.. Australia has been under a sustained economic and cyber attack from China, for a couple of years now. China has also been caught trying to financially compromise Australian members of Parliament. Living in Australia, I… Read more »

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew

and also here in NZ Andrew! Well at least some of us. I respect the position Morrison has taken on China , takes character and courage to do the right thing!

I do hope the USUKAU alliance is the start of a bigger agreement akin to Nato. I’d like to see Japan, Korea and India sign up. That will give the Chinese something to think about!

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Hi Klonkie, from across the ditch in Sydney, is NZ looking at getting any diesel subs or even an extra frigate? And any drones to work with the P8s? I’ve always wondered if your Anzac frigates are FFBNW ASMs with the recent updates or just not fitted out with ASMs at all?

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

New Zealand does need to step up. It currently relies on Australia for its defence after it effectively disarmed over the last 40 years.

It’s looked at Chinese increasingly aggressive posture over the last 20 years …… And done sod all.

The NZ prime minister stating that Australian SSN’s ‘not being welcome’, would raise a very serious eyebrow if I was Australian!!!!

I would love to see NZ taking its regional responsibilities alongside it’s Australian closest partner seriously again and set about rebuilding its armed forces to ‘at least’ a minimally capable footing, to back up Australia.

Jaralodo
Jaralodo
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Enough OPV’s to patrol their own EEZ would be a start. They are also responsible for for Niue, Tokelau and the Cook Islands. The NZ navy places heavy emphasis on HADR and fisheries protection, so just having a presence and ability to reach other islands in the South Pacific would be an improvement. A realistic scenario could be a Cyclone or Tsunami impacting multiple islands in the South Pacific and the would be one of the first nations to respond based purely off geography.

Marius
Marius
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Well said! However, as long as that odious Ardern is PM the almost zero value of NZ military capability will continue.

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  Marius

Welcome to my world!

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

It’s ashame that the NZ prineminster doesn’t go for a Sunday morning swim History repeating itself Mr Holt 1967 OK he was Australian but he had supposed links to China

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

John -As a Kiwi, I totally agree with your commentary. No one sits on the fence as well as our current government does – shameful

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Morning Quentin- no such joy on subs. I think UAVs are a real possibility, as four p8 are not going to cut it. I can’t see the government funding a type 26 frigate project to replace the anzacs. My money would be on an Arrowhead 140/ Type 31 frigate- a total of two ships.

NZ need’s to invest more on defence. When Clark scrapped the Air Combat wing in 1999, thy should have directed the funds into other air/naval assets.

Damo
Damo
1 month ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Agree bar India. Not to be trusted yet

Pete
Pete
1 month ago
Reply to  Damo

Agree current political establishment in India has a very murky agenda.

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  Damo

you may well be correct. Geo politically though it would put the wind right up the Chinese ! It may prove useful if India cam on bard with projects like Tempests too, be useful in sharing the dev costs.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Klonkie

I believe Japan has already expressed an interest. I do think this will grow talk of a Pacific NATO has been around for a while though I suspect the aim will be to avoid such comparisons as much as possible. I think initially strengthening Australian capabilities is vital to the US which is effectively split as in WW2 on two major fronts Atlantic/Pacific which with Chinese expansion will mean that they will be out numbered in that theatre while Russia is upgrading in the Atlantic. That is a potential nightmare scenario and a strong southern flank in Australia would help… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Well said, the Chinese have already made serious inroads into destabilising the whole region. They already have Pakistan, Burma, Cambodia and Laos in their pockets. Thailand and Philippines are under significant Chinese influence, leaving Indonesia somewhat on the fence. Indonesia powerful country and it’s being courted by both sides. Taiwan is a special case and obviously the first flashpoint in any regional conflict. A mutual defence pact between India, Australia, NZ, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam, underwritten and guaranteed by the US and the UK, ( I would hope by France too, once they have stopped sulking) is what’s needed. The… Read more »

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Plus now Afghanistan, not that its exactly an international military force to deal with at this stage but will certainly be supply China with resources it needs and no doubt at rock bottom brown envelope prices.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  James

A good add James, of course there are also many African states in China’s pocket.

Could China be the power that tames wild Afghanistan …. Good luck with that!

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

I doubt they would even attempt to tame Afghanistan, not much point if they get the minerals they want at cheap prices they wouldnt need to bother. However they are probably one of the few countries with the physical manpower to do it but goodness knows the mess they would cause in the process.

Indeed Africa, Syria, South American plus various island nations and have all signed up to deals with China on its Debt trap diplomacy sadly.

Tams
Tams
1 month ago
Reply to  Klonkie

NZ are not looking good, or at least your government aren’t.

Some good domestic policies for sure, but your closeness to China and almost complete lack of military investment are very concerning.

You can’t even be convinced to buy a few light frigates, while the ships you do have are having more issues than a type 45!

NZ, for now, cannot be counted on.

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  Tams

Tell me about it! Border line bad joke if it wasn’t; so serious.

Bluemoonday
Bluemoonday
1 month ago
Reply to  Tams

I could be mistaken, but when has NZ asked the Chinese to help them build a nuclear power plant?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew

I’d like to see the RAN look at getting a medium sized carrier, some F35Bs, an extra Hobart and Tanker….if we can afford it.

Jaralodo
Jaralodo
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

There is a video on YouTube that I think does a great job going over the pros as well as some of the cons with operating F35B’s from the Canberra class. Channel name is hypohistoricalhistory

https://youtu.be/0QIA4bn4Pvc

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Jaralodo

I think Australia should go for a medium carrier, like the ones proposed by Korea, as thd Canberra’s are two small, too slow, and will need a lot of rework to handle jet aircraft operations and maybe don’t even have enough space for a decent load. But I do think the Canberra’s can be adapted for drone operations as Turkey is doing with their LPHDs similar to the Canberra’s.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

A carrier like the proposed South Korean light carrier circa 40000 tons would be a great step forward + Arleigh Burkes or 3 more Hobart class. Totally agree. Between USA Australia, New Zealand (if they wake up to Chinese threat) Japan and South Korea we should be able to contain and ultimately defeat Chinese aggression. Add in Indonesia (recent type 31 purchase) and Singapore and it looks like a viable alliance.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

The worry is how much is China willing to put into it, even with all the other countries upping fleets and air forces China certainly has the man power and now thanks to the world using it as a workshop the manufacturing capability to out build everyone else.

Even if a number of countries went onto a war footing production wise I dont think they could combined out produce China in most areas.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew

People generally need to wake up to what China are doing it’s good Australians are seeing it wish our population did. The Collins are going to get a big refit it seems to carry them through.

out of interest I hadn’t realised that two US class of ships were of Austal design the Independence and Spearhead so one presumes there is some admiration for Australian expertise in navy ship design.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew

I think Australia 100% did the right thing in abolishing a shody submarine deal with France. France were definitely creaming it in. I am worried however that the UK will gift 2 of our Astute builds to Australia eg boats 6 and 7 as a sweetener on the deal leaving the uk perilously and dangerously under equipped with nuclear attack submarines. Our current plan for 7 Astute class is already far too few as the minimum number required for operational cover, refit, training is 12. Get ready for an announcement on the sale of a few Astute class to Australia… Read more »

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew

Andrew our Aussie friends did the right thing in dumping the French submarines. They were overpriced, underspec and with a poor workshare as well. The French have missed major design deadlines which they were warned about by the Australian defence secretary so the French can hardly claim they weren’t warned. It’s better for Australia to team with the rest of the Anglosphere. I would hope that our Kiwi friends do the same and also Canada. Blood is thicker than water and the French would have screwed Australian if they need arises. I would be keen for the UK to help… Read more »

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew

Australia like Afghanistan is a country rich in mineral wealth China has just offered money too the Taliban and Covid vaccinations I wonder why ?

Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub
1 month ago
Reply to  TwinTiger

It’s odd that the proposed French designed sub was itself a diesel electric version of the French Navy SSN. If the Australians needed an SSN, why didn’t they buy the French SSN to start with?

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago

The Australian Def Sec was asked a similar question in Washington and his reply was that the French SSN ‘was not superior’ Read into that what you will !

Ron
Ron
1 month ago

The reason that the French SSN design was not approved is that the French need to refuel the reactor every ten years. The RN and USN have reactors for the life time of the sub. Australia does not have the infrastructure to refuel a reactor.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron

But since they’ve decided to go for homebuilt SSN’s they’ll need that ability anyway.

Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

David, if I was a betting man, I’d say the Astute design should win, purely and simply on its much reduced crew complement compared to a Virginia…. Australia couldn’t even man up it’s Collins submarines for a while…

i Reckon that Barrow will end up producing the reactor/power sections of the subs and they’ll be taken to Australia for future mating with the rest of the sub being built there…. So with the rolls Royce reactors, they are fuelled for the life of the boat…

Tams
Tams
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

They very likely are only going to use them until the reactor is spent, as is the plan with the Astutes.

Hell, it seems that they are going to be getting Astutes and all the better for it!

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron

Though it’s been said that RR has offered to build such a facility for them. No idea if it’s accurate.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron

While I am sure the new generation of French SSN’s are capable, they aren’t in the same league as UK / US boats. They are substantially larger and able to carry a significant warload. If Australia went for an Astute derivative, or perhaps a cutdown Virginia Class, they would be hugely capable. Take a single Astute, heading off to deal with a Chinese Navy incursion, with 38 Spearfish on board, it would be capable of inflicting enormous damage, all by itself. If Australia bought 12 and had 8 operational at any one time, plus I would imagine a few co-based… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by John Clark
Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago

They considered it in 2016 but decided against it but rightfully seen that events have changed the environment a lot since then like it or not they have been brought into China’s hostile spree of interest like it or not. However good the French boats are they cannot possibly be to the standard of the combined efforts of US/UK long running collaboration in this technology. However had these subs not got ridiculously expensive and running increasingly over schedule they may well have done. But things were looking bleak I think the French over promised and the US/UK became the safer… Read more »

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Totally agree with you. The US and UK have much better nuclear technology and the sonar for the UK boats are second to none. The french broke their contract deal into of having the final design ready this year and also for the amount of work share. I would be very surprised if contractually the french have a leg to stand on.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

Its a shame we are not able to get a refund from GD and walk away from the Ajax shambles.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 month ago

Probably because of cost. Australia had ear marked £70 billion to purchase subs. For that sum of money youd hope to get more than 12 Barracuda class subs. I think France were taking Australia to the cleaners. Contract abolished now its got to be an astute class build. Hopefully hulls built in Australia but sonar, weapons, power plant built in uk and shipped over to Aus for integration. The biggest threat to the UK is if the RN is asked to donate any of our Astute class to Australia. That would be absolute madness when we are facing a resurgent… Read more »

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

I totally agree with your assessment France were taking Australia to the cleaners on the contract. They apparently missed major design deadlines and were warned by the Australian defence secretary early this year about the project delays. I stronly suspect that the Australians have excellent grounds to cancel the project on those delays as well. I shed no tears for the French as they have screwed Britain over since Brexit. I concur with your assessment on the Astute class submarine.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Totally agree the French must have been hoping for the most profitable/p*ss take defence contract they have ever had it was a complete joke.

I very much doubt despite the tech transfer to build the boats all of the existing secret stuff will just be handed over on a plate to Australia with regards to systems etc inside.

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Quality verses quantity The French plan was Quantity not quality that’s why they lost out plus the fact all their manuals were in French Aussies speak dingo slang ,more colourful than English but English all the same

julian1
julian1
1 month ago
Reply to  TwinTiger

I dont think so, RAN requirement is needed soon, no time to start from scratch

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  TwinTiger

As others have pointed out the timescales don’t work. If AUS wants production timescales and cost certainties they need to use an OTS design. The thing that I find slight odd about Macron and his ministers throwing their toys out of the pram and describing UK as the 5th wheel is the UK & USA actively collaborate on sub development. So some of the R&D that is used in US subs will be UK IP. As nobody every envisaged US or UK sub technology being shared with a 3rd party the UK’s active sign off is required to share the… Read more »

Dylan Evans
Dylan Evans
1 month ago

Given the hopefully long service life for the Astutes- it would be nice if this was a fleet expansion of complementary assets rather than a one-for-one replacement program.

Perhaps Astutes and these new ones working in tandem? With the big advances in automation you could perhaps cut crew sizes in future subs and increase hull numbers ?

eclipse
eclipse
1 month ago
Reply to  Dylan Evans

Australia wants 8, so maybe with the costs that will be driven down by working together (because of the timing I’m assuming so) we might get 12-14.

BB85
BB85
1 month ago
Reply to  eclipse

There is no chance we will get more than 8, unless Russia doubles the number of subs they can deploy, although hopefully 8 is achievable.
7 Astute where down to delays and the treasury being complete idiots with long lead times where we got 7 for the price of 7.99 over the same time period it would have taken to build 8 at a sensible pace.

eclipse
eclipse
1 month ago
Reply to  BB85

I don’t see why not. The reason we got so few in destroyers and subs this time was because we were building the carriers. Next time we won’t have to be building those so we will be able to afford more other things.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
1 month ago
Reply to  eclipse

Sorry, it doesn’t work like that. The reason Astute and T45 took so long, is because we left it to long to build replacements for the T42, and empty submarine yards after the completion of the Vanguard class boats. Skills and experience were lost, so it was like starting from scratch again. Plus the requirements for T45 and Astute were very very high. It had nothing to do with building the carrier’s.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 month ago
Reply to  eclipse

Thats simply not true. We ended up with 6 type 45s because of procurement mismanagement and ditto just 7 astute class

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  eclipse

Carriers were assembled in Rosyth all RN Subs are built in Barrow. The delays were political decisions not Naval.

eclipse
eclipse
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

I didn’t say they took up the space, I said they were expensive and took up a large chunk of the overall budget.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  eclipse

Maybe more but 12 would be optimistic.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

I would say with a Pacific shift, the UK needs 12 boats ( 8 guaranteed operational at any one time) for its NATO tasking and having two in the Indian / Pacific Ocean.

Perhaps with a co- basing arrangement in Australia along with the a US SSN deployment.

It’s what’s now needed…..

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Agree the defence select committee already has stipulated that the “required” numbers of nuclear attack submarines is 12. Why the hell we have been allowed to go down to just 7 is just crazy and dangerously incompetent.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

The question seems to be could they built and do we have the cash. On cash if Type31 is an export success it’s reasonable to assume Type32 will be cheaper than 31. Economies of scale. So big question seems to be could Barrow build more.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
1 month ago
Reply to  eclipse

12-14 of what? The RN won’t be buying these subs. The RN will buy an Astute replacement, which will be a totally new design. Australia has never built a nuclear sub, and it’s a huge undertaking. Using UK and US tech transfer and knowledge will help them along. But it’s a big gamble.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
1 month ago
Reply to  Dylan Evans

You won’t see any Astute replacements for at least 15-20 years. Such is the complexity of designing and building nuclear submarines. They are by some margin the most complex machines built by mankind.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Unless that is there is an Astute Block III? Times are changing rapidly and there is a lot of coffee inhalation going on. The realisation may come about that containing China is not something that can be pushed off for 15-20 years. Making #8 when you have made #1 -> #7 is a totally different proposition to making #1. Expanding an existing workforce that is already familiar with the process and has experience and success is much more possible. Astute and the Boomers are made in different halls at Barrow so there is physical space there. And the workforce is… Read more »

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

Timing interesting. Could this be the start of a new UK / Australia next generation SSN?

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

Differing timescales, Royal Navy want to spend three years defining concept and capability requirements before it even enters design stage. Australia are planning an 18 month review to define their capability requirement with an eye to as much off the shelf Anglo/US components that can be license built in Australia the better. The Australian timescale requirement is so compressed that after the 18 month review they might put in motion hull construction (which will require levelling up Australian industrial and Shipyard capabilities) before even choosing the rest of the fit out. I have wondered about whether an interim joint procurement… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Watcherzero
Chris
Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

The more I read about the Aussie boat program, the more it sounds like it will be an absolute sh*tshow.

They want a unique boat with the latest tech, built in a country with zero nuke boat infrastructure or experience. Their dockyards couldn’t even build the Canberra class LHD hulls.

BB85
BB85
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris

I wouldn’t put it past the MOD to lease the RAN the final 2 Astute subs for crew training and running joint patrols in the pacific. They then sign a joint contract to develop 16 future attack subs to be delivered in the 2030’s with a lot of US input from combat management system, common missile silo for TLAM, future heavy weight torpedo’s etc.

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  BB85

If we can’t get by on 7 (widely accepted that it’s not enough), how do you envisage the RN getting by on 5 SSNs?

BB85
BB85
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

Sure the French can patrol the North Atlantic for us 😂 i do actually agree with you. I’m pretty sure we have 1 sub patrol the South Atlantic 1 in the med, 1 for the carrier, 1 to protect the ssbn, that doesn’t leave anything for the North Atlantic if 2 subs are in maintenance. 8 really was the min for the UK.

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  BB85

Im afraid it doesn’t quite work like that. We currently only have 6 SSNs, 2 are the last T boats and some 30 yo having had a expensive refit to get another 3-4 years out of them to allow for the late delivery of the last 3 Astute hulls. Our SSNs don’t routinely patrol anywhere, and don’t protect the on patrol SSBN either! Our SSNs are tasked on missions, conduct exercises and support trials (is Spearfish firings). Of the 6 we have, on a v good day we will have 3 available, currently one is supporting the CSG out East,… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  BB85

Wondered the same myself. Could work well for both even if it hits UK sub availability for a bit.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 month ago
Reply to  BB85

Im very worried about this. I can see the MOD and BoJos shitshow government doing just that. Deeply worried we are about to go down to just 5 nuclear attack submarines or stay at 7 by keeping on the ginal 2 or 3 Trafalgar class. If Barrow could be expanded so sequentisl build of dreadnoughts and batch 2 astute class that would help. But such a scheme takes determination and political will. Never of which are hallmarks of BoJos government. More accurate description is walking nlindly into a dusaster and then piss poor decision making on how to resolve a… Read more »

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris

Which is why they have come to the UK and USA for assistance.

Ian
Ian
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris

Not true, their dockyards couldn’t compete financially with the Spanish quote to build. They went for the cheapest option that had an existing track record. Try and get it right.

Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

I agreee with you…. A joint interim procurement project for a new batch of Astutes to me makes sense…. Australia is desperate to get these in service ASAP…. A former prime minister here is already calling for the Royal Australian Navy to abandon any Australianisation of the subs and just literally go with the specs of what’s currently in production…

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew

i imagine the Collins class must be close to reaching their end. Another 5- 10 years maybe? I’m liking the idea of the Astute option, No don’t their will be a requirement to build in Aus ship yards?

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Klonkie

I wonder if they would accept a few built here with their input gaining expertise for their personnel and time to build up facilities there in exchange for later boats built there and design input on the next new SSNs as joint projects.. Would make a lot of sense if there is capacity.

Tams
Tams
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Considering Aussie shipyards can’t build these yet and will take some time to get up to scratch, that may well be what happens.

It’s a compromise, but I think it would give benefits for both sides.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew

Why do they need to Australianize an Astute. It works. Very well by all accounts. And is already the most deadly and effective SSN in the world. Yes superior to Virginia class. Dont believe me. Read articles in Warships IFR. Back in 2018 Astute participated in exercises off Atlantic US coastline. Tracked and engaged 2 Virginia class guarding a nimitz battle group. Could have easily sunk both. Then had targetting solutions from +20 miles on a cruiser, tanker and 2 Arleigh burkes. In essence Astute could have peeled back the Carriers defence screen and then proceeded to sink the carrier.… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Once Astute hull 6 & 7 are completed, we won’t be building any more SSN until at least 2036/7 at the earliest. We don’t have that many yards that build them, just one at Barrow. So, like the US, we are at capacity for the next 20-30 years.
Any SSNs for Aus will be built there, the reactor and it’s fuelling are a different issue which also needs solving.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

The existing facilities could build three Astutes at a time and a new assembly hall has been built for Dreadnought.

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Yes you can put 3 Astutes in DDH, but it’s a bit cramped. It’s not exactly a new assembly hall, but a extension to DDH to allow more space to build the SMs. The Dreadnoughts aren’t actually that much bigger then the V boats they are replacing. To build more boats more quickly, you need more skilled workers, which you don’t just get from school/college or the job centre. The final two Astutes are under construction, Bae have made a start on Dreadnought hull 1. They take time to build, we are at capacity. If you want to build more… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

Especially with the current state of the V boats. We really do need to get their replacements out ASAP.

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy P

Absolutely, this is what people arent aware of, they have been run hard and are getting on towards 30 yo (Vanguard anyway) its a long time in our world, Dreadnought wont be ready intil late 20’s at earliest, hence Vanguard refuelling….

Pete
Pete
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

My understanding talking to people in Adelaide this morning is that the Australian Submarine Company ASCO who are managing all the construction and maintenance infrastructure etc are immediately looking to ramp up further to re focus on SSN infrastructure. They will be built in Adelaide

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Pete

I believe they will be built in Aus too, although the building of the Reactor compartment and it’s subsequent fuelling are clearly an issue to be sorted.
It’s a massive undertaking, so good luck to you all, I hope that you succeed it will be good for a 4th Western nation to field SSNs, should make the PRC pause two marching paces before it throws its weight around even more.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

Agree but this Australian SSN programme needs to move at pace and deliver. I would love to see UK submarine production ramped up. If we could get a 2nd batch of 5 more astute class to face down a resurgent Russia and PRC that would be great. Im very worried our current 7 nuclear attack submarines are already far too few.

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

We would all like more Astutes, but, unfortunately we missed that boat 20 years ago. Then HMG allowed SSN production to slow/stop during the construction of the V boats. We lost a lot of highly skilled expertise during this period. This caused Astutes long slow build, which required a significant amount of help from the US to correct. It was also a factor in the delay to Astute hull 4, as this was the first opportunity to incorporate much needed changes internally.. If we had continued to build SSNs at a steady pace instead of slowing things down, timewise we… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Great point that certainly would make sense considering Astute work will be winding down otherwise. Not sure how this fits into building Dreadnoughts mind in terms of space does anyone know what capacity might be available?

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

I suspect all three will collaborate as both UK and US are presently in initial design process for new SSNs even if they are a long way off. Ideal indeed for Australia to slip their needs into the process too but that would be for the one after whatever comes out of their present needs.

JJ Smallpiece
JJ Smallpiece
1 month ago

Nobody dies of hard work at Bae Barrow. The lads down DDH love it.

Peter S
Peter S
1 month ago

Why when we are likely to build no more than 7 is a brand new design needed? Why not build more Astutes which are widely described as superior to the US Virginia class. The only way to bring down unit costs is either to buy a lot quickly or a few over a long production run.
What Britain could do with is an increase in overall numbers.

Rfn_Weston
Rfn_Weston
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

Agree completely… Astute Block 3 – Apparently the hull design etc is cutting edge as we speak so why not build on that? Trial new and break through technology on Boat 8 (First of the new batch) and then roll in to the next 2/3 boats – Decade or so later trial new & breakthrough technology on Boat 11/12 and then roll into remaining hulls 12 & 13… maybe even additional hulls at 14 & 15 etc… Could easily get to a point based on that model were we have 9 active boats as Block 3 come online prior to… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Rfn_Weston

Our next priority is replacement of the Vanguard class, which construction of has started. There is no capacity to build more SSNs until the Dreadnoughts are completed, so no new SSNs for at least 15 years after Astute hull 7!

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

Deep32. Im sure capacity can be increased if there is a will and national drive to do so. Yes Barrow is currently at capacity. So. How do we increase capacity and get back to 12 Astute class subs whilat still building Dreadnought class?

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Unfortunately we don’t, because we can’t do both. Barrow is full, so, no room there. We would probably have to open a second yard elsewhere in the country to accommodate what you are asking. That would involve reproducing the nuclear infrastructure that exists at Barrow. Then you would need an entire new highly skilled workforce to man it – where would they come from, they don’t currently exist? This is one of the problems Aus will face if they proceed with home build.Never mind the cost. Nuclear SMs are probably one of the most difficult building projects to get right,… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

Well Barrow can assemble three boats at a time, but can build sections at the same time.

So, subject to funding, a successor SSN could begin construction when the first Dreadnought is rolled out and move to final assembly when the second Dreadnought class is rolled out the doors.

I would certainly hope Barrow can avoid the mess the Astute programme fell into, they have a good workforce in place now and their design team should be well up to the job, with the combined previous experience to get it right, on time and budget…

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Technically they can mate, they have got 3 in there now, A hull 6&7 and the start of D hull1. Dreadnought bare an entirely new class, so hull 1 will be a slower build to ensure things go correctly, hull 2 onwards should see build time come down as they become more proficient with the class. SSN(R) won’t start to be built for at least another 10 years, I would hazard a guess and say 2035ish to be in the water just before 2040, my guess only. Again a new class so build will initially be slow. If you want… Read more »

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

Because technology marches on. How many might have said why bother with Astute and build a batch 3 Trafalgar class? Astute is world class, but work on replacements needs to start now so we don’t have huge gaps in submarine building after Astute 6 & 7 and the Dreadnought class. We had huge delays and cost overruns with Astute because we left it to long after the completion of the Vanguard class. Lessons have been learned, the hard way. Experience lost, not enough apprentices taken on ect. Contracts like this show the Lessons are being learnt.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

I think they would want to move to a larger displacement hull (using PWR 3 developed for Dreadnought) to accomodate expanded unmanned, special forces and strike capability. Something along the displacement of the Virginia Block 4 (circa 2000 tonnes more displacement).
A modernised astute serving as a testbed for the latest components for the next SSN class/Dreadnought and a prototype/construction training for Australia would make sense however. Could also permanently base it out of Australia for training Australian sailors and for supply chain commonality.

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Yes, PWR3 meets the new safety standards. I do not want future SSNs to get even bigger, but they may have to, if PWR3 cannot be scaled down to an Astute size hull.

Peter S
Peter S
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

I understand but still think we are spending scarce resources poorly. PWR 2 already has a whole life core. Using it led to an increase in Astutes size. We have no plans to incorporate a cruise missile silo so increased size to accommodate the even larger PWR3 has little value.
Getting costs down so we can increase hull numbers seems far more sensible to me.

Steven B
Steven B
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

You may want to read the 2009 Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator’s report on the PWR2, where they question it’s safety and maintenance costs. Looking at the HMS Vangard refit, the latter point has proved correct. PWR3 is meant to be safer, last longer with an ease and cost of maintenance improvement. We nor Australia should be considering any more PWR2s

Last edited 1 month ago by Steven B
Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

I think if they want something of the displacement of the Virginia Class (esp if launch tubes are desirable) they will go for the. VIrginia class. They may want a more all-round sub while the Astutes are more specialist hunter killers (and may indeed eat a Virginia for lunch if reported experiences from circa 2013 is still the norm) but changing them to be more Virginia like would surely wipe out its cost advantage.

northco
northco
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

With each block of the US boats, they are improving them, with Block III and onwards, they have a ne redesigned sonar. Might eat the earlier block subs, but maybe not so much in the newer of the class.
nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/why-us-navys-virginia-class-submarines-keep-getting-better-160031

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago
Reply to  northco

The US is playing catch up designing flank sonar arrays, they have been a feature of all British diesel and nuclear subs since the late 50’s. They were even a one off feature on a class Britain built during WW1. I believe the Russians first started using them on the Yasen class.

The US chose to focus on towed arrays and bow rather than flank arrays and bow, Britain initially focused on flank rather than towed but eventually switched to having all three sonar types fitted.

Last edited 1 month ago by Watcherzero
John Hartley
John Hartley
1 month ago

Lets hope it has at least some vertical launch tubes & a diving bell type escape system.

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago

I take it that France declined the offer

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

They didn’t get the opportunity.
  :wpds_cry: 

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Exactly,

Jason M Holmes
Jason M Holmes
1 month ago

”Aukus: France recalls envoys amid security pact row” news story on the BBC, French really are throwing the dummy out of the cot on this one!

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago
Reply to  Jason M Holmes

Wouldnt you if your defence industry lost a contract worth more than the GDP of three quarters of the worlds countries. The media really havent helped either by failing to mention the performance issues with the existing contract.

Jason M Holmes
Jason M Holmes
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Yes I’d be upset, but recalling envoys? that just smacks of childish

farouk
farouk
1 month ago
Reply to  Jason M Holmes

I feel that, that reaction is more for pubic consumption, I don’t think they will mention any of this:
https://www.politico.eu/article/why-australia-wanted-out-of-its-french-sub-deal/

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

Those are, how to put it: lies.

The Australians wanted a conventional submarine derived from nuclear submarine.
They wanted much more industrial incorporation than they were able to fill. Then there are also the case of who they put at the head…

I don’t even put here the French side…just this:

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/lost-the-plot-how-an-obsession-with-local-jobs-blew-out-australia-s-90-billion-submarine-program-20210913-p58r34.html

This will be even more serious with new subs if Australians are bend on their delusional production requests.

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Jason M Holmes

When we were children, we did childish things, we will see how childish the French can be its only 22 miles wide !!!

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Jason M Holmes

… and serious hypocrisy the French are experts in this sort of ‘back stabbing’ indeed to the point they think that others have breached their copyright. And now threatening the proposed EU/OZ trade agreement just shows how France thinks (perhaps with good reason) that the EU is simply it’s Napoleonic plaything to do as French policy demands of it.

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

France really thought they ruled the EEC until the reunification of Germany that put a Dampener on that idea Next trick the creation of the EU, I even had too be under their command in 93 in the Adriatic off Croatia did nothing useful until UN took charge although we’ve left that whine party now. They still have that Napoleon complex little minds big boots

Tams
Tams
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Very true. Their massive scam hasn’t paid off. And as scam artists are want to do, they’re having a tantrum.

Ever called out a ‘Nigerian Prince’ on their scams? They can get downright nasty. This is little different.

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Tams

Thanks Tam you might be on to something there, Now the French defence minister is refusing too meet Britain’s defense minister France is really showing the world her true colours 20/9/20 oh by the way would you like the winning Nigerian lottery ticket got one spare lol

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Tams

Tam the Observer 24th Sept this must be another French scam in the Pipeline they now are demanding Compensation for their failure too Sell those vintage D,electric Irwin Allen inspired Subs to our Commonwealth Cousins ,

OldSchool
OldSchool
1 month ago
Reply to  Jason M Holmes

Yeah…it’s fun to watch believe me 👍.

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  OldSchool

PISTOLS at dawn no Lead shoot ,banned under EU legislation lol 😆

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Jason M Holmes

And the best thing ,Boris says is that our relationship with France remains strong With a straight face

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 month ago
Reply to  Jason M Holmes

Macron is because he likes to portray France as a superpower and the EU led by France as militarily competent. Reality is different.
The EU are not robust enough with Russia or China. We have to stand upto both. French nuclear attack subs like Rubis class are very inferior to Trafalgar class and hopelessly outmatched vs Astute and Virginia class. The USN has a large attack submarine fleet. Australia could buy off the shelf from USA but they would get less boats, requiring more crew than an Astute class purchase.

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Jason M Holmes

20/09/20 Jason the French loving BBC have just stated that France thinks its a Super power when all along its a Mini power first time the BBCs told the truth

T.S
1 month ago

How about the Uk, US and Aus all go in together for a new common design and share the costs bringing unit prices down significantly. Each puts there own together in sovereign yards, but each brings its own specialisations to the party. We provide sonar tech and the reactor, US provides combat management systems and vertical missile compartments, Aus supported to build up its tech to take over its own areas of specialisations over time. Could we not have one yard that purely focuses on building hull sections for all? With all the suppliers getting orders for much higher numbers… Read more »

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  T.S

Vertical launch that sniffs of SSBNs not Hunterkillers

OldSchool
OldSchool
1 month ago
Reply to  T.S

It’s nice in theory but everyone is likely on different time tracks for a new sub. Really Aus needs an OTS solution tho I’m not sure that is what they will go for. That said I think they will go for a US solution as they are more tied in with USN systems these days. Initially might be to lease a Los Angeles or older Virginia to learn the ropes and then slot in a Virgina or two built in US before getting remaining subs built in Aus ( or assembled there at least). They will embed crew early onto… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago
Reply to  OldSchool

Just a hunch but I would imagine that there will be more Aussies on either US or UK boats soon. Certainly at the wardroom level the 2 navies run things differently so it will be interesting if the Aussies stick with tradition and go for the RN model or go down the USN model. They do get a lot more kit from the yanks but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have to throw in with the Yanks. Time will tell I guess.

OldSchool
OldSchool
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy P

Yes. It’s a funny old world. I was reading (via Google books) a bit about the Collins class subs gestation. It seems that during the 1960s the RN Oberon’s had lots of Aussies and Canadians onboard (in some boats up to 50% of the crew including a few Commanders). This was due to the RN converting over to nuclear boats with many Brits on training courses and then subsequently crewing the nukes. As to which boat the Aussies pick I think its almost certain if OTS to be US. I have a feeling that the US may base some of… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by OldSchool
Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  OldSchool

We even sold one O boats to Isreal late 60s It was found this Century at the bottom of the Med about 4 days out from its destinatuin Hiafa

Jason M Holmes
Jason M Holmes
1 month ago
Reply to  OldSchool

Virginia Class is newer than the LA class

OldSchool
OldSchool
1 month ago
Reply to  Jason M Holmes

Correct. I just threw it out there as a plan B if there were unable to provide a Virginia on lease. Admittedly I’m not sure that leasing will happen – its a very complicated option with many many factors to consider. The same can be said about the whole idea of Aus getting nukes. The next 18 months planning phase will be critical.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago

I wonder if from the UK side that events might lead to some joint training with the RAN and RN on the Astutes? A bit like the RAAF and RAF with the Wedgetails AEWs? If there’s an additional production of Astutes I’d like to see the RN also get at least 1 more, even 2 or 3, so more availability and to be able to offer simultaneous protection to two CSGs with leftovers for other Ops if required.
Hope that the powers that be take up any opportunities to increase the RN sub fleet.

eclipse
eclipse
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I’m assuming extending Astute production isn’t feasible unless Dreadnought is pushed off and that will seriously threaten our unbroken CASD. Or if HMG makes it clear that they plan to build a larger number of SSNR and BAE finds it economically suitable to create more space, which will likely involve construction. In any case, we’ve begun the design process for SSNR and considering how capable Astute is it should turn out really well. In any case, I hope that rather than extending Astute production, SSNR production might be brought forward. Ideally, we would have 12-14 SSNR; let’s assume the best…… Read more »

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Quentin , the Navy has been doing swaps with the Aussies for years now, the done thing only that it was for Officers not All ranks and rates the old adage of we don’t want riff raff messing up the party , will have too be dispelled

Shaun
Shaun
1 month ago

Interesting, I read in a Taiwan News article that Morrison informed Macron of their changed thinking and likely cancelling of the sub deal at a dinner in June, discussing concerns about the capability of conventional subs to deal with the new strategic environment?

eclipse
eclipse
1 month ago
Reply to  Shaun

Yes. Apparently there was an “secret” meeting between Johnson Biden and Morrison during G7 to discuss this. I also read that Morrison reached out to the U.K. and USA about collaborating on nuclear submarines as early as this March.

OldSchool
OldSchool
1 month ago
Reply to  eclipse

I believe that is correct. The gamechanger was the US giving the go ahead ( with UK support) access to US(UK) nuclear tech.
This is the meeting that the EU are miffed they weren’t invited too! Cos they reckon they’re a player. Laughable.

Bob
Bob
1 month ago

I wonder if there is any research ongoing to evaluate supercritical CO2 turbines within the Navy? They would theoretically offer a reduction in size compared to traditional steam turbines.

geoff
geoff
1 month ago

Coming very late to this discussion but would it not make sense to just keep the Astute assembly line running on to produce this class for Australia? No route to acquire modern and tested Nuclear subs could be quicker and in addition-how different could the RAN’s requirements be? Cost,capability, time to commission-proverbial no-brainer?

Jason M Holmes
Jason M Holmes
1 month ago

Latest hot air from France, even going as far to call the UK ‘ a third wheel ‘ in the new security framework. France has really descended into some seriously childish rhetoric.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-58610234

Last edited 1 month ago by Jason M Holmes
geoff
geoff
1 month ago
Reply to  Jason M Holmes

Absolutely Jason. The degree of petulance from the top is really scary-difficult to take them seriously on any level.

Jason M Holmes
Jason M Holmes
1 month ago
Reply to  geoff

Maybe China will offer to buy the cancelled submarines, promise to buy 12, receive one, cancel the contract and use all the new tech!

OldSchool
OldSchool
1 month ago
Reply to  Jason M Holmes

As I’ve said before – this is from a country that has never even paid its debts to the UK or USA from World War 1 (in todays terms using gold price as a costing factor I estimated a couple of years back we’d be talking $240b and $320b respectively – yes that is in billions). And from a country that said we owed the EU……

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  OldSchool

And Degualle Didn’t pay us anything whilst he enjoyed his 4 year vacation in the UK

Robert1
1 month ago
Reply to  Jason M Holmes

I’d argue all modern politics has become childish…I’d be willing to bet a significant sum that if the UK was in France’s position our politicians (and many of the commenters here) would be equally outraged.

It’s all just playing to the electorate. It makes sense for internal PR for French Government to behave like this (especially with a presidential election next year). Compare it with Boris Johnson’s spiel about world beating vaccine rate back in March/April/May, comparisons with the EU didn’t help us on an international stage, but it worked for the government to maintain internal support.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert1

The vaccine rate wasnt incorrect in the western world though was it?

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert1

Of course we would , but we wouldn’t do things like the old Rainbow Warrior

Jason M Holmes
Jason M Holmes
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert1

It went down very well in the USA, I should know, I live here, US public was very supportive of Brexit

TypewriterMonkey
TypewriterMonkey
1 month ago

I wonder if this will have a VLS? Feels like interesting times in defence news, first with the depressing problems associated with Ajax, but now the positive news about AUKUS. I have to say it is strange reading this latest news covered by the BBC so negatively with them spouting off like a mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party as if the BBC stands for Beijing Broadcast Company. Also kudos to the UK government for being professional enough not to lower themselves to silly name calling back to the French.

OldSchool
OldSchool
1 month ago

If only the UK Govt would learn from the Aussies here. Just bin Ajax and get something decent!

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  OldSchool

Citrean c 5

Martyn Palmer
Martyn Palmer
1 month ago

The Aussies will go for an in production design so the can embed their people in to the yards building them immediately so their people can be upskilled whilst facilities to build are in construction, I’d imagine this would give them 2 yrs of training whilst the infrastructure is put in place and I expect the 1st metal to be cut for an Aussie produced sub to be in the 22-23 timeframe, I very much doubt they will mess with the specs of the chosen design at all with them having 0 experience in this field, their current Collins class… Read more »

Meirion x
Meirion x
1 month ago
Reply to  Martyn Palmer

It is not presently possible for Australia to build a copy of an Astute sub in their own yard. No nuclear infarstructure there to fual up a nuke sub, and press a reactor vessel.
We got Sheffield FM to do this sort of steel work here.
Very complicated struff!
At least half of a Aus. nuke sub would need to be built in either a UK or US yard.

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion x
Frank Armstrong
Frank Armstrong
1 month ago

Nobody should feel the slightest sorry for the French. I’ve been in the defence industry for 40 years and all they have ever done is take any “partner” to the cleaners. They look down their long French Nez at the rest of us. Yes I agree with the comments below that the RAN solution is likely to be BAE systems as the US subs while amazing are totally unaffordable for anybody but the US. The only way we win export deals these days is through government to government efforts or where we have an outright winner of a product as… Read more »

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago

Just read an article, about how Aukus venture could undermine Western security, France never had an interest in it During the cold War ,now with all the halabulo that France is causing, I hope Germany takes advantage and gives France the undiplomatic answer as too why their Subs weren’t purchased . Place what you’d say here _________

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago

France now demands Compensation for their failure to clinch Diesel Electric Sub deal BBC to raise licence fee as a good wil gesture l

Jason M Holmes
Jason M Holmes
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

World demands compensation for having to listen to France’s drivel for 200 years

James
James
1 month ago

Very interesting the day after this was agreed China has applied to join CPTPP.

Wonder if thats what all this is about bringing China to the table on trade in a way that is more regulated and fairer on other countries.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago

France’s defence minister has cancelled talks with her UK counterpart amid the row prompted by a new security deal between Britain, the US and Australia.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-58620220

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Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago

I also read about the Type 32 frigate to replace frigates that are not even in service yet.
As an ex-army man I am impressed at the ability of the Navy to plan this far ahead.
The army can’t even get a few upgrades done on ageing Warriors.