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Australian navy's hunt for new sub to replace Collins class

dimsum

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The AFR one was just "govt could go for SSNs". This one confirms it.

The Attack-class was going to be a complete crapshow. I can't even really think of a good analogy except for maybe the Cyclone with even more modifications - DCNS was going to modify a French nuke sub design to diesel-electric, and presumably fit non-EU systems onto it.

And Australia was the launch customer. :unsure:
 

calculus

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They’ll be mentored by one of the most experienced SSN operators on the planet.
Still though, this will be an order of magnitude more complex than building Attack. Australia has no real nuclear infrastructure, so that will need to be built up, and the shipyard at ASC was in the process of upgrading to build Attack, so it will presumably need another refit to build the much larger and more complex nuclear boats. Also, there is significant anti-nuclear sentiment among Australians. This will need to be overcome to get enough buy in that this program can survive the multiple changes of government that will occur during the program. An interesting development though. The Brits are reporting it could be one of their designs (either Astute or the new SSN (R) follow-on design). Navy Lookout
This is a bit puzzling as a well, given the Aussies use US combat systems, so a British design would need to be modified to support that requirement, which would presumably increase risk and cost.
 
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OldSolduer

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Considering that the Kiwis were always odd one out in FVEY when it came to anything nuclear, yes…Canada has hit a new low.

The politicians should revise their boasting….”Canada’s in the back!”
Canada is back. Sure Justin.

I cannot express adequately my loathing for the Trudeau name. Our biggest trading partner, one of our founding nations and a close cousin have sent us packing.

Yet people continue to adore this fair haired boy. A pretend PM.

Sorry about the political slant but this is a political issue.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Still though, this will be an order of magnitude more complex than building Attack. Australia has no real nuclear infrastructure, so that will need to be built up, and the shipyard at ASC was in the process of upgrading to build Attack, so it will presumably need another refit to build the much larger and more complex nuclear boats. Also, there is significant anti-nuclear sentiment among Australians. This will need to be overcome to get enough buy in that this program can survive the multiple changes of government that will occur during the program. An interesting development though. The Brits are reporting it could be one of their designs (either Astute or the new SSN (R) follow-on design). Navy Lookout
This is a bit puzzling as a well, given the Aussies use US combat systems, so a British design would need to be modified to support that requirement, which would presumably increase risk and cost.
Potential for the reactor segment to be built elsewhere and shipped to Australia. Refuelling could be done in the US.
 

Czech_pivo

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We wouldn't be sitting here in the corner sobbing alone if we had had the fortitude to go ahead and build the Canada class subs 25yrs ago. Those subs would be sitting at the same operational level and remaining life span as our current 2nd hand Vics. We would be perfectly positioned to join in the current arrangement and would most likely had something solid to add to the party and help along the Australians.
How low we have fallen.
 

calculus

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Potential for the reactor segment to be built elsewhere and shipped to Australia. Refuelling could be done in the US.
One of the big issues in Australia with the Attack program, and perhaps the biggest single irritant between the French and the Australians, was "local content". This issue was driven by very powerful labour unions that wanted as much work as possible done in Australia. It was very divisive, and caused the Australians to up the requirement for the percentage of local work after the contract had been signed. Now that they are talking about less boats (8 vs 12), and very likely less locally produced components (with, as you suggest above, critical components being built elsewhere), it will be interesting to see how this plays out politically.
 

KevinB

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We wouldn't be sitting here in the corner sobbing alone if we had had the fortitude to go ahead and build the Canada class subs 25yrs ago. Those subs would be sitting at the same operational level and remaining life span as our current 2nd hand Vics. We would be perfectly positioned to join in the current arrangement and would most likely had something solid to add to the party and help along the Australians.
How low we have fallen.
Probably wouldn't been in the penalty box if your PM wasn't a Chinese sympathizer either...

One of the big issues in Australia with the Attack program, and perhaps the biggest single irritant between the French and the Australians, was "local content". This issue was driven by very powerful labour unions that wanted as much work as possible done in Australia. It was very divisive, and caused the Australians to up the requirement for the percentage of local work after the contract had been signed. Now that they are talking about less boats (8 vs 12), and very likely less locally produced components (with, as you suggest above, critical components being built elsewhere), it will be interesting to see how this plays out politically.
Australians are fairly pragmatic folks -- they take what they can get. Much larger sub - and significant more concern about their neighbors than a year ago -- the work will probably be a wash - as really only the reactor stuff will come from the US - the domestic content is going to be similar not just to Labor Unions, but also because Australia requires that significant portions be done in Australia for National Security implications (helps to be able to rebuild the boat in war time...)
 

calculus

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It's curious: If all Australia wanted was a sub with nuclear power, I wonder why they wouldn't have explored transitioning the existing program to building the Barracuda, which is the design that Attack was derived from. Presumably some of the work they have done over the past 5 years could be ported back into the parent design.
 

suffolkowner

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I'm not shoked at the end of the Attack/Shortfin Barracuda program with Naval Group, but still a little surprised. $2B down the hole to start all over with clear impediments going forward on the nuclear side, plus much larger boats with larger crew requirements. One thing you have to say for the Aussies, theyre not afraid to make decisions or alter course 270 degrees. Clearly they were looking to soldify/stengthen alliances with the UK and US as well as making the move to nuclear propulsion. I would think they would be better off just buying the Astutes off the line or at least building them under license. Too bad we couldn't get in on 5 or 6 ourselves
 

calculus

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Already lost of questions about this announcement in Australia:
Seems more and more like a pretty dumb plan. Might have been better to stick with Naval Group and build a reduced number (6 ) of Attacks to replace the Collinses, and then transition to a nuclear boat in the late 2030s. That way they don't have to flog the current subs to death for another 20 years, or worse, do without any subs at all once those wear out if this aspirational nuclear scheme doesn't pan out.
 
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