Scomo has laid out a bit of detail on the RAN SSN story the other day.

I'm not concerned about the details of telling the French, but it appears the timeline is Australians started looking into nuclear subs early last year and from other things I've heard it was in response to China being arseholes with our trade as covid started. Once we'd sorted out the details at our end we approached the UK and US at the level below that of political leaders, but we didn't go political until Biden was well and truly inaugurated.
So its looking more and more likely that the RAN will go for an Astute. And im not surprised at the TL that they revealed, coupled with issues with the French the Chinese handling of the whole Covid situation seems very likely to have made waves in Australia. I am also not at all surprised that the Aussies waited until the last dude was out of the white house before they approached the US.
 
I'm happy with the Astute, I think we'll get it faster than if we went with a Virginia and I think it's more suited to our crewing and operating budget limitations as Britain is always short on money like we are.
 
Still no real detail of the deal. We really don't know which boat we are buying, where it is being built and what the design will entail. It appears to be very much up in the air...
 
It's been said in Senate Estimates that we'll build an existing, mature design, which is about as concrete as I've heard.

I did see a suggestion that we could build the front half here, about 40% local content in the build. I think that would be sufficient to give us the capability to undertake full cycle docking with reasonable efficiency and have a decent locally controlled supply chain to keep costs as under control as we can.
 

Pangur

Donor
It's been said in Senate Estimates that we'll build an existing, mature design, which is about as concrete as I've heard.

I did see a suggestion that we could build the front half here, about 40% local content in the build. I think that would be sufficient to give us the capability to undertake full cycle docking with reasonable efficiency and have a decent locally controlled supply chain to keep costs as under control as we can.
Do we have any idea when the first and last boats will be commissioned ?
 
So its looking more and more likely that the RAN will go for an Astute. And im not surprised at the TL that they revealed, coupled with issues with the French the Chinese handling of the whole Covid situation seems very likely to have made waves in Australia. I am also not at all surprised that the Aussies waited until the last dude was out of the white house before they approached the US.
China is a bipartisan issue now, whoever got into the WH on 20th, Australia would still get their subs.
I'm interested in the Australian plans, would they operate them in close waters, say not far from Australia and it's trade routes or will they be deployed with US assets to defend Taiwan and the Phillipines?
 
China is a bipartisan issue now, whoever got into the WH on 20th, Australia would still get their subs.
I'm interested in the Australian plans, would they operate them in close waters, say not far from Australia and it's trade routes or will they be deployed with US assets to defend Taiwan and the Phillipines?
It is open as to how these boats will be employed. However, it is likely they will end up going north to the Taiwan Straits whenever the US asked them to be going north...
 
Do we have any idea when the first and last boats will be commissioned ?

We have an idea, but only by joining the dots.
  • Scomo has said that he'd want the first Australian built boat to be laid down within this decade in the initial announcement, and it will take the better part of a decade to build depending on local content.
  • In the presser the other day he said it was unacceptable that the Attack class would enter service as late as 2038.
  • The Admiral said in Senate Estimates that we will get a mature, existing design meaning an Astute or Virginia rather than the British SSN(R) or US SSN(X) which won't be started until the 2030s to enter service in the 2040s.
This means the first SSN ideally should enter service in 2035 or so and the rest following at 2-3 year intervals.

China is a bipartisan issue now, whoever got into the WH on 20th, Australia would still get their subs.
I'm interested in the Australian plans, would they operate them in close waters, say not far from Australia and it's trade routes or will they be deployed with US assets to defend Taiwan and the Phillipines?

The operational area for RAN subs is more or less the South China Sea, that's why the Collins and Attack class diesel subs were so big and why SSNs are so suitable for the RAN. Just as a matter of interest the seabed contours is why subs are based in Perth rather than Darwin.
 

Pangur

Donor
We have an idea, but only by joining the dots.
  • Scomo has said that he'd want the first Australian built boat to be laid down within this decade in the initial announcement, and it will take the better part of a decade to build depending on local content.
  • In the presser the other day he said it was unacceptable that the Attack class would enter service as late as 2038.
  • The Admiral said in Senate Estimates that we will get a mature, existing design meaning an Astute or Virginia rather than the British SSN(R) or US SSN(X) which won't be started until the 2030s to enter service in the 2040s.
This means the first SSN ideally should enter service in 2035 or so and the rest following at 2-3 year intervals.



The operational area for RAN subs is more or less the South China Sea, that's why the Collins and Attack class diesel subs were so big and why SSNs are so suitable for the RAN. Just as a matter of interest the seabed contours is why subs are based in Perth rather than Darwin.
OK, so the RAN `ideally' get the first sub 25 years after the RN got the first of that class and nine after they the get the last and makes me question the decision. Then again Morrisson has somewhat of a name for telling lies
 
OK, so the RAN `ideally' get the first sub 25 years after the RN got the first of that class and nine after they the get the last and makes me question the decision. Then again Morrisson has somewhat of a name for telling lies
He comes from Marketing. Marketing usually tell lies. This is why I characterise this as selling us a "pig in a poke" set of decisions. Scotty from Marketing is notorious selling us lies...
 
The operational area for RAN subs is more or less the South China Sea, that's why the Collins and Attack class diesel subs were so big and why SSNs are so suitable for the RAN. Just as a matter of interest the seabed contours is why subs are based in Perth rather than Darwin.
I would suggest that the South China Sea is just one of several different theatres where submarines could operate. There are other oceans adjacent to our continent, you realise? The Chinese are simply one foe amongst many potential ones which can and often change, depending on circumstance.
 
I would suggest that the South China Sea is just one of several different theatres where submarines could operate. There are other oceans adjacent to our continent, you realise? The Chinese are simply one foe amongst many potential ones which can and often change, depending on circumstance.

Despite living my whole life on one of the other oceans I don't know they exist.

I named the Sth China Sea as the most geopoliticaly active area at the sort of distances the RAN expects to operate. Sure they could go elsewhere, but there's not a lot of tasks the RAN would send a submarine for to the south, west or east.
 
OK, so the RAN `ideally' get the first sub 25 years after the RN got the first of that class and nine after they the get the last and makes me question the decision. Then again Morrisson has somewhat of a name for telling lies

I'm not overly concerned that the Astute (assuming we choose that and not the Virginia) is that old in conception, mainly because British nuclear submarine trajectory is evolutionary much more than the USN and in certain respects the Astute appears more advanced, in particular the sonar-reflective shaping of the casing and sail. I'm sure we wouldn't get the 2010 spec, we'd get the 2026 spec plus whatever additions could be incorporated from the Dreadnought SSBNs. Personally I can't get it out of my mind that we will get a boat built in Britain, maybe with some Australian modules and other incorporation.
 
Despite living my whole life on one of the other oceans I don't know they exist.

I named the Sth China Sea as the most geopoliticaly active area at the sort of distances the RAN expects to operate. Sure they could go elsewhere, but there's not a lot of tasks the RAN would send a submarine for to the south, west or east.
You'd be surprised what the RAN does when it is needed to. I know from conversations with submariners that an OBERON boat was tasked to carry a government agent from Sydney to San Diego to an important meeting with the USN commander which they didn't want to alert the Soviets to. Personally I think it was a waste of time and resources - a commercial flight would have been easier with the agent in mufti - but I'm not a secret squirrel by trade.
 
I'm not overly concerned that the Astute (assuming we choose that and not the Virginia) is that old in conception, mainly because British nuclear submarine trajectory is evolutionary much more than the USN and in certain respects the Astute appears more advanced, in particular the sonar-reflective shaping of the casing and sail. I'm sure we wouldn't get the 2010 spec, we'd get the 2026 spec plus whatever additions could be incorporated from the Dreadnought SSBNs. Personally I can't get it out of my mind that we will get a boat built in Britain, maybe with some Australian modules and other incorporation.
I think the most the RAN will be allowed to specify is the soft furnishings...
 
I’ve had my piece previously but this means that we won’t be able to close a major straits of trade to two governments, so it’s a purchase of a dependent foreign policy for 50 years. So they’ll go wherever they’re active and we beg to join in pretty much.

These aren’t tools of an independent foreign policy where we continuously choose UK/US alignment as best interest—but, one where such a choice was made continuously by the current government.

YMMV on the desirability of this. You ought to agree that this is a pretty hard limit, and one which not all Liberal Party factions agreed with.
 
As often as not when we try to diversify sources of supply that might enable more room in foreign policy the shit doesn't work. The ARH Tiger was a monumental clusterfuck despite all the promise it showed on paper, and the MH90 has been a mixed blessing. If shit weapons platforms that mean we can't play on the foreign policy stage is the alternative to being on board with the USA then I doubt it is a better alternative.
 
Do we have any idea when the first and last boats will be commissioned ?
If I was a betting man, I would bet that the first will be commissioned the second Thursday after never, and be christened the HMAS SquareRootOfFuckAll.
Already quite a few influential voices are sounding concerns over "unintended consequences" and the Aussies need to know, they are totally expendable in Washington's eyes.
 
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