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

calculus

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Except the cost to build was initially reported as $20 Billion, then reported as $80 Billion back in January, and this week is now $90 Billion. That is quite indicative of a project running out of control. Also, objectively, a tremendous amount of money for 12 non-nuclear subs.

https://www.aumanufacturing.com.au/submarine-costs-spiraling-into-the-stratosphere

https://www.governmentnews.com.au/defence-megaproject-hit-by-delays-blowouts/

https://www.defenseworld.net/news/26898/Australia_to_spend__90B_for_12_Attack_class_Submarines
 

Underway

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The truth may very well be somewhere in the middle. 

Calculus is correct in that its not uncommon for projects to have won bids with "0" design/work hours allotted on certain aspects of the project in the requirements.  These aspects might end up being more important as one gets down to brass tacks.  The RAN might have changed their mind on something, might put more value in some tech, might have government-provided equipment that needs to be integrated etc..  so the costs go up.

And of course, RDBZ is correct that inflation needs to be taken into account.  Military equipment inflation is running somewhere around 14% I recently heard.  Its fast outpacing regular inflation.  That's a lot of money over the course of a decades-long build program.
 

Spencer100

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Is it really "replacing" if the Attack-class subs never actually get built? :sneaky:

Well, replacing one set electronic drawings and power points with a set different electronic drawings and power points. And most important a different set of "industrial" promises :)
 

Underway

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And now everyone knows why the FREMM never even made it to the finishline on the CSC bid.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Surprised the Aussies are not considering the Japanese or SK subs as well, or is that political unacceptable as they lost the initial competition?
 

LoboCanada

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You ever think a reason we haven't started a Victoria-class replacement is because someone/people are watching the Collins-class replacement project and seeing how to not do it?

Would be a mirror case for us:

SSN capability is favourable but something we as a Navy or our Industry have ever done before.
SSK is in our wheelhouse and cheaper but we haven't built any (ever)* (*Aus built their Collins ages ago).

These articles about "Australia mulling other options" come out every other month it seems, and could also be a partial negotiation tactic too. They chose this design but went with a traditional drivetrain, effectively it's a redesign.

If we ever buy subs, I hope it's through a new procurement model, with lessons learned from this project. Japan and Sweden have come a ways in Lithium-Ion SSKs with VLSs, I hope we chose between them. I guess you could compare the size of the nuclear vs. battery industry within Canada and see where the money (building offshore but with heavy IRBs) would be better spent to assist the industry.

Edit for clarity.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Meanwhile back in a country that cares about their Armed Forces. The possibility about going to nuclear powered subs is raised.
 

dimsum

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Meanwhile back in a country that cares about their Armed Forces. The possibility about going to nuclear powered subs is raised.
I don't know how much stock I'd put in that article. It's an op-ed from a military-funded (and not just Australian military) think tank.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) is a defence and strategic policy think tank based in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, founded by the Australian government and partly funded by the Australian Department of Defence. In addition to domestic funding, it is also funded by foreign governments such as the United States State Department as well as military contractors.
 

Colin Parkinson

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True, but they are at the very least discussing the option and I like the bit about having the ability to dominate their opponents, wished we had politicians that treated externals threats that way.
 

dimsum

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True, but they are at the very least discussing the option and I like the bit about having the ability to dominate their opponents, wished we had politicians that treated externals threats that way.
In this specific case, I read the article as someone at ASPI saying that the politicians were not looking at that option. The politicians are the ones saying no in this case.
 

Colin Parkinson

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He seems to have a background in the issues:
Denis Mole served in the Royal Australian Navy for more than 35 years, commanding submarines and attaining the rank of commodore. He has recently retired from the commercial marine and defence support sector.
 
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