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French Design Wins Australia’s Next Generation Submarine Competition

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DCNS Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A. DCNS Photo

DCNS Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A. DCNS Photo

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — France’s DCNS has won Australia’s keenly-watched, $38.5 billion Project SEA 1000 Future Submarine program to replace six Collins-class submarines currently in service with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Defense Minister Marise Payne announced this morning Australian that the French Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A offering has beaten off competition from Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) and a consortium led by Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries following what Payne called a “rigorous” and “methodical” Competitive Evaluation Process (CEP).

The 12 boats will be designed and built with French assistance by Australia’s ASC at its South Australia shipyard. The company had built the Collins-class submarines for the RAN, and is currently contracted to carry out sustainment of the fleet.

Prime Minister Turnbull has said that said the selection team had been “unequivocal” in its assessment that the DCNS offering was closest to Australian range and endurance requirements, as well as possessing superior sensor performance and stealth characteristics and also included “cost, schedule, program execution, through-life support and Australian industry involvement”.

The 15-month CEP was led by Head of Australia’s Future Submarine Program, Rear Adm. Greg Sammut and General Manager Submarines retired U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Stephen Johnson. The latter had previously been in charge of the program to replace the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines (SSBN(X)).

The process was overseen by an independent Expert Advisory Panel, chaired by former Secretary of the USN, Professor Donald Winter and also peer reviewed by former U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Paul Sullivan and retired U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Thomas Eccles.

Royal Australian Navy Collins-class submarine HMAS Sheean (SSG-77) near the Sydney Opera House. RAN Photo

Royal Australian Navy Collins-class submarine HMAS Sheean (SSG-77) near the Sydney Opera House. RAN Photo

All three bidders had been required to submit options on a complete build in Australia, a wholly overseas build, or a hybrid build conducted both in Australia as well as overseas.

The DCNS Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A is a conventionally powered version of France’s Barracuda nuclear-powered attack submarine. The company expects to begin finalizing the design with the Australian government later this year, subject to further discussions on commercial matters.

This variant will be “over 90 meters in length and displaces more than 4,000 tons when dived” said Sean Costello, DCNS Australia’s Chief Executive Officer. The French bid had also pledged complete access to the latest stealth technologies utilized on board French submarines.

Australian requires the submarines to be equipped with the Mk48 Mod 7 Common Broadband Advanced Sonar System (CBASS) torpedo jointly developed by Australia and the United States. The combat system will be American, expected be an evolution of the General Dynamics AN/BYG-1 already fitted on the Collins-class.

The selection of the Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A is not without its risks, however. The biggest engineering challenge is likely to be adapting a conventional propulsion system into a nuclear-powered design although Peter Jennings, Executive Director of the Australian Strategic Studies Institute also noted that it is probably a smaller challenge than “essentially a new German design and some major modifications to what the Japanese were proposing.”

The decision would be a big disappointment to the Japanese in particular, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe having invested a lot of effort in supporting the Japanese bid as part of his agenda to revamp his country’s hitherto pacifist stance and take on a more active role in security and defence, as well as forging a closer strategic relationship with Australia to counter China’s increasing regional assertiveness.

Reuters has reported that Japan’s Defence Minister Gen Nakatani has called the Australian decision “deeply regrettable”, with Nakatani also quoted as saying that “We will ask Australia to explain why they didn’t pick our design.”

However, there has been a feeling among observers that Japanese bureaucrats and defense companies did not share the government’s enthusiasm or market their bid as actively as their French and German rivals, due perhaps in no small part to their inexperience in vying for a defense export contract.

For its part, TKMS has said that it was disappointed with the outcome but it respected the process, saying that it was conducted with “high integrity and professionalism.”

  • Ed L

    Strange it looked like a modified Soryu Class Diesel boat was to be built for the Australians. Since ther Soryu line is still hot. The France’s Barracuda nuclear-powered attack submarine is too be scaled down in a conventional model for the Australians. Are the French going to take 10 years to build each conventional boat like it is taking for the Barracuda nuclear mode. Common sense or politics?

    • John B. Morgen

      The common sense would have been picking either the German or the Japanese submarines; the RAN is doing it backwards.

  • NavySubNuke

    This decisions seems to make very little sense. I wonder how much of a discount France was willing to give them to get this contract.

    • tpharwell

      I am going to guess that it will pay dividends for the French, who will then be left with the plans for a diesel version of their own SSN, which may prove economical and useful should they decide to enlarge their navy.

  • Anil Jai Singh

    Good luck to the Australians. It will certainly provide employment to many for many years because its going to take ages to build. Choosing a submarine that is in a concept stage is an incredibly brave decision by a country that has burnt its fingers once with the Collins. The first Scorpene class ( a proven design) is in its 11th year of build in India. Here we have an unproven design – a conventional derivative of a nuclear submarine and the Australians are already satisfied with the lifecycle cost, endurance, speed etc etc. The amazing thing is that they were being advised by a team of American Admirals led by an ex US bureaucrat , none of whom have any experience of diesel boats. Doesn’t Australia trust its own professional submariners ? I hope they have good reason for choosing the French design and it doesn’t come to haunt them later in more ways than one.

    • RobM1981

      Right. Bravery and Folly often look the same – at first.

    • John B. Morgen

      It is also surprising the Australians didn’t have anyone from the Royal Navy or anyone from the Royal Canadian Navy, which the latter still operates diesel powered submarines, on the board. I say quite odd.

      • Secundius

        India is a Commonwealth Country TOO. Doesn’t PREVENT them from Buying Russian DOES IT…

        • John B. Morgen

          I never said anything that prevents India from buying Soviet/Russian submarines, however, it is quite possible that India is supplying the Royal Navy with naval intelligence about Soviet/Russian submarines. Keep in mind that the Soviet/Russia military do have export military hardware; for example, a Kilo class submarine in the Soviet/Russian Navy may not be the same as an Iranian or Indian counter-part Kilo class submarines. One must protect one’s naval secrets.

          • Secundius

            No you DIDN’T! But you DID mention BOTH Canada and England, ALSO Commonwealth Countries. Technically the USA, IS a Commonwealth Country. Because WE (the USA) Also Practice Commonwealth Law’s. Just because they Speak English, ISN’T a Prerequisite too Buy English…

          • John B. Morgen

            Some of your comments I do not disagree, and as for Australia speaking English; no it is [not] a prerequisite to buy only English/American/Canadian warships; although, Australia has already purchased a French designed tanker supply ship. As for the United States being a British Commonwealth nation-state—technically— alright then, the United States should return to [Mother], and accept the Queen as {head of State]; change the prefix of our warships to HMUSS or HMAmS.

          • Secundius

            Why not just “U-SUK”…

          • John B. Morgen

            I guess we could because the Indian Navy does not used the HM prefix for their warships; although, India is a member of the British Commonwealth. I preferred using HM because I think it brings us a lot closer to [HOME].

          • Lee McCurtayne

            It may surprise you, that America is also examining the French “SMX” as a diesel “nuke alternate”. Range, stealth, very large arms numbers and 2 SMX for the price of a “Virginia”. You tube SMX SUB.

          • Secundius

            NOT QUITE! The US Navy’s Interest in the SMX, is How to Counter It, NOT Adopt It as a SSK…

          • Lee McCurtayne

            OK just few points, The American Navy experts who were on the CEP all endorsed the French bid, primarily because the Barracuda was seen to fill the void in shallow water deployment in the Pacific.
            Once again, I have to say that, why put a “Virginia Class”, a deep water asset at risk when you can achieve stealth and punch through an allies assets.
            Yes we can go on and on about large nuclear assets, yes they are great as a deep water, ocean attack craft, that is primarily depending on natural advantages.
            The attack element is greatly reduced if placed in a narrower band of the water column, a zone with a multitude of stealthy diesel electric assets. The risks get far greater, why not encourage Pacific allies to use what the US sees as “Regionally Potent” and gain the advantage of shallow water capability with your allies assets.

          • Secundius

            Between 2005 and 2007, We (The USA) Leased the Swedish SSK Gotland. After 2007, We (the USA) Returned the SSK Gotland. NO Diesel SSK Were Built in the USA from 2007 to 2016. If the USA Was Interested, WE’D Have Them Already…

          • John B. Morgen

            The United States Navy would be much better off of buying of building a modify German submarine because the German boat’s engineering system is a lot quieter and with better operational range than most diesel boats.

          • Secundius

            The US Navy want to Counter the Diesel SSK Threat, NOT Embrace IT…

          • John B. Morgen

            The United States Navy has already done that by leasing a Swedish boat, not too longed ago. What the Navy should have done was to signed very long term leases of diesel boats—at least two of them—one for the Atlantic; and the second one for the Pacific.

          • Secundius

            From 2005 to 2007, the US Navy wasn’t INTERESTED…

          • John B. Morgen

            The United States Navy should and must take an interests in such boats because the next naval skirmish with a nation-state that has modern diesel boats. We might find ourselves being “flat footed,” or unprepared dealing with such a threat. The Navy should have been taking notes from its [Parent Navy], after the Falkland’s War. When the Royal Navy was attacked by a modern German built Argentinian submarine (SS), which the Royal Navy was unable to track nor able to destroyed. The United States Navy should have seen [Red Flags]. We need modern diesel boats—period!

          • Secundius

            I’m NOT in disagreement with you! It’s most likely a Political Discession by Congress, NOT being Profitable for THEM. Let’s Face It, WE (the USA) Have a CORRUPTED US Congress. That WILL Put the Nations Security “Secondary” to their OWN Personal Needs…

          • John B. Morgen

            I agree, and pray that no diesel boat sinks one of our destroyers or cruisers in the South China Sea. And with our luck it would be one of our LCS loss.

        • OptimusShame

          Australia has never bought Russian military equipment and I don’t think that will change anytime soon. Never even considered their subs. Has nothing to do with the Commonwealth!

          • Secundius

            I NEVER SAID THEY DID! I’m Just Pointing Out That Australia, Like ALL Commonwealth Countries AREN’T Required to Follow the “Piper”. They Can BUY from Anywhere or Anyone…

          • OptimusShame

            Yes, Australia can buy from anywhere, very true. I like your use of capitals.

          • Secundius

            Sorry, Force of Habit. On Some Websites, it’s a Shout Match…

      • Matthew

        The Royal Navy operates in a completely diffeent environment then Australia not to mention’s operates very differing submarinesthen Australia so them being part of it would be pointless, It’s like getting a plumber to advise you on painting your house.. Very different fields.
        As for Canada, Well there submarine fleet has been shattered for decades giving them the very barest of real world experience, They also operate in differing fields to us due to it.. They will operate mainly around Canada where as Australia will travel as far as Russia and stay on site there for a few weeks before returning.
        In Australia’s case, There is really no nation on earth that does with there conventional submarines that we do, as such no one to truly advise us better then we can advise our selves.

        • John B. Morgen

          Has the RAN thought about having and operating nuclear powered submarines, since the RAN submarines have operated near Russian waters? Or have mixed fleet of both nuclear and conventional powered boats?

          • Matthew

            It’s been mentioned a lot in media and even odd times by those in government but the RAN has always shot it down because it doesn’t suit us.

            1. If we go nuclear then we acquire a capability that we already have access to via our relationship with the US at the expense of another capability. Nuclear submarines are good for open ocean, crap for shallow waters.. Vice versa for conventional submarines. While we do perform long range missions and patrol’s our main area of interest and concern is South East Asia which is a region of water predominantly shallow.

            2. We don’t have the local industry to support it. Not so much in construction but more in the training of crew and the maintenance of the sub’s.

            3. Ignoring that we lack the industry to train or maintain them to have a mixed fleet would set us back at a disadvantage as you are efectively trying to manage two very different asset’s creating a nightmare for the supply chain. It also doesnt help as number’s will have to be reduced in both which will result in our past long term issue of number of submarines on station forward deployed.

            4. Cost alone of a mixed fleet or a nuclear fleet would result in funds diverted from other area’s of the ADF which will be bad, Funds are stretched enough as it is and the current and planned future make up of the ADF will give us a nice well rounded force that should not be stripped apart for some belief that nuclear is better..

          • John B. Morgen

            If the RAN was given an option from the United States Navy to provide the RAN a nuclear powered submarine, with a submarine tender, and under lease;plus provide the RAN submarine crew the required training. Will the RAN accept such terms? A SSN would be ideal for the RAN to operate in deep blue water operations.

          • Matthew

            If it was offered and it was in conjunction with our DE submarines rather then instead of then more then likely I’d like to imagine.

            But such a thing will never occur, at least not for decades to come. The US has no submarines to spare as there number’s are falling faster then they can replace them, They don’t expect to get back up to there bare minimum number’s until the 2040’s.

            Like it or not nuclear is just no an option for us, We lack the industry to sustain them or train the crew’s needed. We for the foreseeable future are stuck with conventional submarines, people need to suck it up and face reality rather then having a tantrum that the people that actually serve on these submarines don’t know what they are doing because apparently arm chair admirals do… You like they are doing, Awesome, You dont? Well feel free to keep it to your self because I can tell you know your opinion doesnt mean squat to those in the know.

          • John B. Morgen

            Matthew: I just asked you a hypothetical question and that’s all, but if you want to act like a bloody jerk. Don’t take it out on me! You’d know nothing about me……

  • RobM1981

    Has Australia ever successfully built a complicated warship, of any type or class? I’m too lazy to google it, but none jump to mind. It just doesn’t strike me as something that they are skilled at.

    Why they don’t just buy German or Japanese submarines, modified to their own specs, is hubris – and politics.

    • John B. Morgen

      The RAN has built foreign copies of other warships, but if you are referring to the [post-World War II era] then it would have to be both the HMAS Adelaide class and also the Anzac class frigates. However, the RAN has built British copies of both the Battle and Daring class destroyers after World War II; the Daring class being the most advanced designed destroyers of the world; at that time..

      • publius_maximus_III

        More destroyers, more destroyers, more Western Alliance destroyers… and subs.

        • John B. Morgen

          During World War II the RAN built a few destroyers, but also the RAN built their own designed sloops and British copies of frigates; moreover, no aircraft carriers, battleships or even cruisers were built—not even Dido class light cruisers ..

      • RobM1981

        Thanks. Were the Adelaide and Anzac successful?

        And, regardless, there’s a pretty large skills gap between a frigate and an SSK.

        Wow, I’m really surprised that the RAN is attempting this. It seems really ambitious. Maybe they’re going to heavily leverage the French, during construction? I know no details, so that’s just a guess.

        • tpharwell

          If you can summon the ambition, I can suggest a book for you to read, and you can judge for yourself. “Subs, Steel, and Spin: The Collins Class Submarine”.

        • Secundius

          The “Anzac” class is just a Copy of the German Meko 200 class Frigate…

          • OptimusShame

            Based on the MEKO 200. Lots of ‘Australianization’, particularly now with the SEAFAR radars and MLU

          • Secundius

            It’s not that the Australian’s Aren’t Capable of Building An Indigenous Design, THEY HAVE. But Virtually ALL Large Naval Vessel are Foreign Copies of Some Other Countries Design’s. It’s Probably Cheaper To Copy, than to Commission an Indigenous Design…

          • OptimusShame

            Yes, very true. Makes little sense for Australia to design all-new warships from the keel up given relatively small build numbers. So modified, foreign designs (lately have included Spanish, German, Swedish, US, French designs) have been and will remain the optimum choice…

          • Matthew

            With the way our politics work’s yes it is. Our politicians generally don’t like to spend money they don’t have to so never start the required design work early, In the end with tighter time frames we are left with little choice then to modify an existing design.

        • Matthew

          The Adelaide is our copy of the Perry class to which we also upgraded in the last decade to a level making them the most powerful of all Pery class and there variants in the world, The Anzac class was a huge success showing good management and continuous production does make us globally competative, We have also over last couple years being fitting all of them with the ASMD upgrade (CEAFAR radar) that is turning them into the worlds most powerful Frigates for there size.

        • Hugh

          The RAN also had 3 Charles F Adams Class DDGs, built in the USA – we initially developed Ikara and fitted 2 sets to these ships, then for the 1st Gulf War we designed, constructed, installed, integrated, tested and set to work 2 sets of Phalanx CIWS on HMAS BRISBANE, all in only 2 months! We fitted the other 2 ships similarly, so likewise they were the world’s most powerful non-helo destroyers for their size.
          In the 1970s the 6 Oberon Class Submarines were fitted with the SWUP (weapons upgrade), making them the most potent conventional boats at that time.
          HMAS SUCCESS was constructed in the early 1980s to the French design.

        • John B. Morgen

          Matthew’s response is correct, but he beat me to it. The Anzac class is based on a German (Meko 200) design frigate, which a few navies have them in their fleets. The Meko frigates are strictly for the warship export market.

    • John B. Morgen

      “Why they don’t just buy German or Japanese submarines, modified to their own specs, is hubris – and politics.” I agree, but I think it was plain politics, more so than hubris because Australia has a very poor record of building submarines—the RAN never operated submarines during World War II, it was until and during the Cold War the RAN started operating British built Oberon class submarines.

      • Matthew

        No we don’t, We have a very poor media relation’s with only the bad being reported or stuff being taken out of context. We actualy built the submarines over budget.. By a whopping $40 million and that was after we had to pull half them back apart to replace foreign componants found to be faulty.

        • John B. Morgen

          Did the RAN had problems with the British built Oberon class submarines? I would think the Germans would have a much better quality assurance program than the British, if so then how come the German boat design was not picked? The real reason–please?.

          • Matthew

            Because at the time we chose the Oberon the only submarine the German’s were producing was the Type 206 which was a fraction of the size of the Oberon?

          • John B. Morgen

            A point well taken, but the German Type 206 submarines were slightly more than half the size of the British Oberon class submarines. The German Type 206 submarines were designed and built for 159 feet, while the British Oberon submarines were designed and built for 295 feet. The Germans favored a smaller submarine for Baltic and North Sea operations, while the British preferred blue water operations.

          • Matthew

            You are confusing length with size, It’s not just length but width, depth, circumference, diameter, radius etc that all come into play.

            Take the beam for example, The Type 206 was 4.6m while the Oberon was 8.1m.. Doesnt seem like much but when you take in the length factors and multiply length by width the Type 206 and Oberon’s come out 223.56 and 729. Not useful or very accurate but gives you an idea of having to account for all dimensions, Not just length.

            Should be looking purely at the submerged displacement in which case they are 498t and 2,410t respectively.. The Oberon displacing over 383% more then the 206.

    • Hugh

      Australian naval shipbuilding, up to light cruisers, has been undertaken since WW1.

      • John B. Morgen

        The RAN has never built any light cruisers or heavy cruisers, although, the RAN has operated both light cruisers and heavy cruisers during both world wars. The largest warship that the RAN has built was the HMAS Success (OR 304) AOR replenishment tanker, which is a French copy of the Durance class.

        • Hugh

          Light cruisers, HMA Ships BRISBANE and ADELAIDE were built at Vickers in Sydney, 1913-16 and 1915-22. Displacement 5,400 tons, eight 6″ guns etc, armour up to 3″. Also built at the same yard 1926-28 was HMAS ALBATROSS, a 7,000 ton Seaplane Carrier. Many smaller warships, larger support vessels, etc have also been built around Australia during the last 100 years.

          • John B. Morgen

            I stand corrected about the RAN not building any light cruisers in Australia, However, the cruiser Brisbane was never built by Vickers; although, she was built in Sydney but at Cockatoo Naval Dockyard. The shipbuilder Vickers never established a company in Australia like they did with in Canada; however, Vickers did provide the machinery for the cruiser Brisbane, and the same Yarrow for the ship’s boilers.

            As for the HMAS Albatross, I have known about her for a longed time. In fact, she was transferred to the Royal Navy in 1938, the RAN exchanged her for three light cruisers of an improved Leander class.

          • Hugh

            Cockatoo Island started as a NSW dockyard, after which the RN used it followed by the RAN until leased in the 1920s to private interests before the government finally closed it in 1990. Vickers Cockatoo Dockyard were running the place in the 1970s and 80s. By the end of WW2 they could build most items of equipment, including steam turbines for destroyers.

      • Secundius

        ALL Australian HEAVY Units were either Built in England or Scotland. AND NONE During WW2…

        • John B. Morgen

          The Royal Navy only built two heavy cruisers for the RAN, and none were built during World War II. Both HMAS Australia and Canberra were built by John Brown, Shipbuilding Company in Scotland.

          • Secundius

            Depend on How You Define It. Semi-Independent Rule Started in 3 September 1939. And FULL Independence in 3 March 1986. So Anything Built in Australia BEFORE September 1939, Would Still Be Part of the British Empire…

          • John B. Morgen

            You’re correct. However, Australia is still a major member of the British Commonwealth, and the Queen is still Australia’s Head of State.

          • Secundius

            That Why I Posted the 1986 Date Too! Though it Still Leave the Queen in the Picture…

          • John B. Morgen

            What if we had [NOT] succeeded from Britain? How much history would have changed?

          • Secundius

            Wrong Person to Ask? Try author Harry Turtledove, HE’s into Temporal Mechanics and Alternate Timelines…

          • Lee McCurtayne

            You know how to rub salt in the wound!.

    • OptimusShame

      The Hobart Class AEGIS destroyers are being built in Australia, based on a Navantia F-100 design. Complicated – yes, and late and over budget. Still, should position the shipyards well for forthcoming frigates and submarines.

      Fair to say the country is trying to acquire and maintain these complex shipbuilding skills. The sub and frigate programs together are valued at over $AUD70 billion. It’s common sense (rather than hubris) and smart politics to build here. Exporting all those dollars to France, Germany, Japan or whoever, with no industry in return would be crazy…

  • DaSaint

    I would have lost this bet. I was sure the Jaapanese would have won tbis bid. By all accounts they had a proven air-independent design that was well respected by the US Navy. It had to be regarding concerns about their ability to manage a foreign yard, but that seemed an easier lift than plugging in a conventional propulsion system in a nuclear boat.

    • tpharwell

      That has got to be easier than the reverse. Not knowing much about this, the question that arises for me is the what sort of diesel-electric subs has the French firm built in the past, and who have they relied on for components. A lot of horse trading goes on in this very specialized market.

      One thing we can say with confidence is that it will not be like most other d-e subs. The Australians built the Collins class to very demanding range, endurance, and integrated control requirements. They have learned a lot from the experience and we can expect that the new sub design will be informed by many of the hard lessons they learned in the process. One of them, as we can already see, was this: work with the US Navy. Nobody builds subs like it. And the selection of a GD combat system akin to those used aboard US subs reflects an intention to achieve interoperability as a goal which has become for the Australian government, a political priority.

  • publius_maximus_III

    “The French bid had also pledged complete access to the latest stealth technologies utilized on board French submarines…”

    Sounds like a real plus to sweeten the deal. I’m thinking of that recent “sinking” of one of our super-carriers by a French sub during exercises off the coast of FL in early 2015 — that, along with most of her escorts.

    Glad the French have found a nicer country in which to sell their naval hardware (besides Poot-land).

  • John B. Morgen

    I would have picked the German design, but enlarge the new class for long-ranged operations.

    • Lee McCurtayne

      The main reason I feel, is that the French builder offers a “nuclear pathway” any time of the build, the other two don’t. It would take at least 15_20yrs for Australia to develop a nuclear industry so the 3rd or 4th sub stage could fall into the nuclear capability.
      The other problem I should mention is a large nuclear sub is less stealthy than the diesel electric adversaries, so why would anyone put an expensive blue water asset at risk. One can have 2 say “SMX” subs for the price of a “Virginia”class and be a better shallow water asset while concentrating the”blue Water Hammer” in what it’s designed for, wide and deep attack.
      Last thing I should say is the Australian pick fills that gap and is in the realm of the “SMX”.

      • John B. Morgen

        Good point, though the same conversion could have been done with the British Astute class (SSN).

        • Lee McCurtayne

          Exchange rate puts the brakes on.

  • Pat Patterson

    Could have just built the nukes instead.

  • Russ Neal

    With the distances they need to cover I would have preferred a nuclear submarine.

    • Lee McCurtayne

      Who wouldn’t! but if you don’t have a nuclear industry, its not feasible.

  • Matthew

    Just my 2 cent’s from an Aussie,
    We didn’t go for the nuclear option because it gives us one capability at the expense of another. Generally speaking nuclear boat’s are good in open ocean but disadvantaged in shallow water’s, vice versa for conventional submarines. Australia’s location has both, but our most crucial area is South East Asia which is generally shallow. So conventional subamrines suit our need’s best, Another benefit as it sit’s is that with our close relationship with the USN we complement each other, Both being able to perform task’s that other is harder pressed to do. That doesnt go into our lack of training capability for any personnel (nothing suitable in Australia and difficult to train them overseas).
    In regard’s to German, Franch and Japanese submarines.. Well each and every one had there risks and advantages, there postives and negatives.. The Japanese while having the largest hull in the water is actually very cramped inside, to chang that you are effectively building an entirely new hull, The german hull just did not exist beyond computer modeling and well the French hull was the largest hull under construction that didnt need to be remodeled for us.
    What people need to understand is we have chosen the French SB-A1 hull, that is it.. The contract still need’s to be signed, and all the internal’s are still undecided. The pumpjet propulsion could very well be taken out of it.. We could end up with German engines, We will have American weapons and combat systems and could also have Japan Lithium ion batteries.

    • Secundius

      MAN Diesels SE of Germany are Good Diesels. But for SHEER Efficiency I’d go for the Wartsila-Sulzer Diesels of Finland. And Lithium-Iron Batteries…

      • OptimusShame

        Lithium-Ion batteries are likely to be on the final design. Decisions on engines are probably some way off…

    • Hugh

      After WW2 Australia was developing a nuclear industry until the early 1970s when the Labor Government got back in (after 23 years). Since then the population is still generally anti-nuclear, especially noting accidents in Russia and Japan, and even ignoring this, in order to get nuke boats we would have to get a nuclear industry to support them – far too expensive and time consuming.

  • Secundius

    The Washington Post, just Posted that USAF A-10 Warthogs. Are being Stationed in the Philippines to Air Patrol the South China Sea…