The old plan was to build a conventionally powered version of a nuclear-powered French submarine. It was crazy. The new plan – to buy a nuclear-powered submarine instead – is worse. It will make the replacement of the Royal Australian Navy’s fleet of Collins-class boats riskier, costlier and...www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au
From submarine to ridiculous (Hugh White)
“The old plan was to build a conventionally powered version of a French nuclear powered submarine. It was madness. The new plan, to buy a nuclear powered submarine, is worse. It will make the replacement of the Royal Australian Navy Collins Class fleet riskier, more expensive and slower. This means an even greater drop in our submarine capacity over the next several decades. And it reinforces our engagement in the United States' military confrontation with China, which is unlikely to succeed and carries terrifying risks.
There is a reason why only six countries, all nuclear-weaponized, operate nuclear-powered submarines. For everyone else, their benefits, including greater range and speed, do not outweigh their much higher costs. Nuclear propulsion makes perfect sense for submarines equipped with nuclear ballistic missiles and for "hunter-killer" submarines that are designed to track and destroy them. But for other tasks, including operating against enemy ships, conventionally powered diesel-electric submarines are more cost effective.
If the Australian submarines were primarily intended to defend Australia and our closest neighbors, then there is no way we would consider nuclear propulsion. But the navy decided many years ago that the primary role of our new ships should be to operate off the coast of China in cooperation with the US navy, and the government was quick to follow suit. This required a larger and more complex submarine than any conventional submarine in the world, with attributes only found in nuclear powered ships. It was the attempt to meet these demands that led us to the very problematic French deal, which has now imploded so dramatically.
Under the new AUKUS deal, announced on Thursday, Australia will have access to highly sensitive nuclear propulsion technology that will allow us to become nuclear ourselves. Eight ships are planned to be built in South Australia, based on the American Virginia class or British Astute class models. Scott Morrison said the decision will be made after an 18-month process to explore and assess all the issues and options at stake.
If the United States, by miscalculation, finds itself at war with China, we absolutely cannot assume that it will win. It must certainly be part of our calculations as to whether we will commit to fighting alongside America.
In a way, the switch to nuclear power does make some sense - but only if we really need the very ambitious capabilities that have driven us to this stage, and which are now pushing us more and more into larger ships. large and more complex. It is enough to be convinced of it to look at the size of the submarines of which we speak. The Collins class weighs 3,000 tonnes. The French-designed Attack class, now discontinued, was to weigh 4,500 tonnes. The American and British submarines we are considering now weigh over 7,000 tonnes.
That's a lot of boats, and they're very efficient. But these abilities come with huge penalties. Starting with the cost. The prime minister acknowledged that the new plan will cost even more than the old one, and that the number of ships will drop from 12 to 8. With an estimated cost of $ 80 billion for 12 ships, the French program was already incredibly expensive. International comparisons clearly show that we could build large modern, conventionally powered submarines for half that price. We could have twice as many submarines in service for the same amount if we scrapped the French program, but stayed in the realm of conventional power and didn't go nuclear. Now we will only have eight boats. This is a significant operational loss, because the numbers really matter in the battle.
Then there is the timing. The Prime Minister has acknowledged that the first of the new nuclear-powered submarines will not be in service until 2040. While all is well, that means we will not have replaced the six Collins-class ships until 2050, and that we will not have 12 ships in service before the mid-2020s. It is far too slow when our strategic situation is changing so rapidly. We need much more submarine capacity, much sooner.
And this schedule could well be changed too. All submarines are complex, but nuclear submarines are doubly so, and Australia has no expertise in this form of propulsion, and very little nuclear engineering expertise to draw upon. No decision has been made as to which design we will purchase, whether we will purchase an existing UK or US model "off the shelf" or whether we will develop a modified model of our own design. Even a standard model would be risky, and any modification would make it even riskier. Second, the challenge of building these boats in Australia, as the government has pledged to do, is daunting. Long delays are very likely, so we should cautiously expect to wait until the mid-2040s for the new submarines to enter service.
In the meantime, the government is counting on the old Collins-class ships to fill the void. He's planning a major upgrade to extend the operational life of the Collinses, but this project is also complex and risky, and it's only just getting started. There is no way to avoid a significant drop in capacity in the 2030s, and there is a real risk that the failures of the Collins modernization and delays in new nuclear ships will wipe out our sub-force. navy for a while.
Then there is the challenge of operating and maintaining nuclear powered submarines safely. This is an immensely complex and demanding responsibility that would place enormous responsibilities on the navy, which has struggled in recent years to operate much simpler systems. There is no doubt that the government and navy intend to rely heavily on help from Britain and the United States, but this is where the problem lies. In addition to the costs and delays, the choice of nuclear submarines reinforces our dependence on the United States and Great Britain, which carries real strategic risks in the context of tense and growing power politics. rapid development of our region. So much for the government's vaunted sovereign submarine capability.
It is a big step for the United States to agree to share, and allow Britain to share, its nuclear propulsion technology with Australia. They've never done it before with anyone. Their reason has nothing to do with the catch-all discourse on shared values and mutual commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. It has everything to do with the ruthless strategic interest of the United States to tie us more closely to their military strategy against China.
Washington wants Australia to be able to do more - much more - to support them in a war against China. So it is in the interests of the United States that we invest in forces designed for this purpose, and nuclear-powered submarines meet their needs perfectly. The government maintains that it is in our best interests as well, as we must rely on the United States to resist China's threatening ambitions, and therefore we must do everything in our power to help them.
But putting all our eggs in America's basket is only a good strategy if the United States is sure to win the competition with China over which of the two will dominate Asia in the decades to come, and if their interests in the region will always be aligned with ours. This is far from certain. Scott Morrison may call our alliance an "everlasting relationship," but nothing is everlasting when it comes to power politics. The United States faces an immense challenge to confront and contain China in its own backyard. He is the most formidable rival the country has ever faced, and its defeat will require enormous sacrifices.
It has been a decade now since Washington has made a strong speech about its determination to confront China. But so far we haven't seen any signs that America's voters or their leaders are actually prepared to shoulder the burdens and pay the costs that come with it. On the contrary, Joe Biden and Donald Trump, each in their own way, made it clear that they were reluctant to take on the obligations of global leadership. In Australia, we simply cannot plan for our future by assuming that the United States will always be there for us, no matter how many nuclear submarines we buy.
And if the United States, by miscalculation, finds itself at war with China, we absolutely cannot assume that it will win. It certainly has to be part of our calculations as to whether we will commit to fighting alongside America. And yet this is what we do more and more
What should we do instead? First, we should recognize, as our neighbors in Southeast Asia do, that confronting and containing China will not work. Whether we like it or not, we're going to have to live with China's growing power and influence. That doesn't mean doing everything China says, but moving away from Washington's policy of trying to push China back by threatening it with war.
Second, we should build forces to defend ourselves without relying on the United States, rather than increasing our dependence on an ally who, despite his tough rhetoric, is less and less credible. It means buying submarines and other systems that work profitably to defend us, not to serve our allies - which means buying conventional submarines rather than nuclear ones.
And third, we should take a step back and think about our long-term future as a country. Thirty years ago, Bob Hawke and Paul Keating said Australia had no choice but to stop looking for its security in Asia and start looking for it in Asia. This remains true, and it is quite the opposite to go back to the time of Robert Menzies and his two "great and powerful friends" Anglo-Saxon.
But that's exactly what Morrison did this week. He's tied Australia to a deal that undermines our sovereign capabilities, spends too much on equipment we can barely be sure will work, and brings us closer to the front line of a war we may not have. no interest to lead.
National Herald is Congress Party Mouth Piece which is led by an Italian and his retard half bred son. FYI INC has signed MOU/Agreements with CPC of ChinaEven as India leases submarines from Russia and sub-leased one to Myanmar to counter Chinese naval power, AUKUS signals a growing lack of confidence in India’s ability to help contain Chinawww.nationalheraldindia.com
INC?National Herald is Congress Party Mouth Piece which is led by an Italian and his retard half bred son. FYI INC has signed MOU/Agreements with CPC of China
Indian National Congress.INC?
Why has an Indian political party signed an agreement with another country? The Congress must also explain why the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation received a donation from Chinawww.newindianexpress.com
Money was paid and accepted for the Chagos islands and for relocation of the residents. So the ICJ can rule a cat a dog but a sale is still a sale. As regards Hawaii and Guam, I don't hear any residents complaining. Slightly different case in Taiwan.
Well thats your view, chinese also say the same thing about SCS as well. No one gives a f*** about ICJ. Guess what in another 20 years chinese will do the same to guam or japanese islands.Money was paid and accepted for the Chagos islands and for relocation of the residents. So the ICJ can rule a cat a dog but a sale is still a sale.