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Major policy flip from Australia: out with French diesel subs and in with *nuclear ones*!?

Next thing you know we might get *one* nuclear power plant?

HMS Ambush, Nuclear Submarine

HMS Ambush

Yesterday the odds of that were “Buckleys”. Wow. Foreign readers might not appreciate how seismic this is. There are 450 nuclear power plants in the world and  Australia has none of them (just one little medical research reactor). So even getting a small nuclear plant in an underwater boat is a pretty big deal.

Australia to get nuclear-powered submarines, will scrap $90b program to build French-designed subs

ABC

In 2016, the Turnbull government announced French company Naval Group (then known as DCNS) had been selected for this country’s largest-ever defence contract, to design and build “regionally superior” conventional submarines.

A well-placed military source has told the ABC the Defence Department’s general manager of submarines, Greg Sammut, has called an urgent “clear lower decks” meeting for tomorrow morning to discuss the dramatic development.

Another senior official said “top secret” briefings have been arranged at the Defence Department on Thursday.

We’re still fixing the legacy of Malcom Turnbull’s mistakes.

Australia Goes Nuclear

Breitbart

The report goes on to state Australia, the United States and Britain are expected to jointly announce a new trilateral security partnership on Thursday, with a focus on aligning technology and regional challenges.

The new three-nation security pact – called AUKUS – will be seen by China as a bid to counter its regional influence, especially in the contested South China Sea, according to the ABC.

The nuclear submarines would likely be based in Western Australia giving easier access to the broad expanses of the Indian Ocean.

The new alliance has been called “China’s Worst Nightmare”. 

UPDATE: The irony is that the French subs were originally nuclear subs, and needed major modifications at great expense to turn them into diesel subs, and now we are saying that they’re no good because they are not nuclear. So the French have every reason to feel aggrieved.  But if we are getting US Nuclear Sub technology “for free” that explains dumping the $90b French deal.

In another irony, Jacinda Ardern popped up to say that these subs won’t be allowed in the New Zealand zone of the ocean because they are a nuclear free zone. We wish our New Zealand friends the best of luck, and wonder how well the zoning will work on Chinese subs. Like gun control, the anti-nuclear forcefield may only repel the good subs and not the enemy.

I fully expect Arden to get a stern talking too and pull back from statements like that in the future.

David Archibald was lamenting these daft submarine policy choices 3 years ago

Malcolm Turnbull has made that very difficult. He took delight in choosing French vapourware submarines over the proven Japanese offering because the latter was Tony Abbott’s choice. The French submarines are scheduled to enter service in the 2030s.  In the interim we will be spending as much keeping the sclerotic Collins class submarines going as it would have been to replace them with the Japanese Soryu class. The Collins class is cursed with one of the worst diesel engines ever put into a marine vessel.  Our submariners will be struggling with them for decades yet thanks to Prime Minister Turnbull.

As an indication of the idiocy that is guiding our French vapourware submarines, Asia Pacific Defence Reporter reports that they are going to be built with lead acid batteries instead of lithium ion batteries because the RAN does not want to be introducing this particular new technology in the 2030s. The Japanese are using lithium ion batteries now in the Soryu class. The weight difference is enormous – 300 tonnes of lead acid batteries versus 100 tonnes of lithium ion. The delta of 200 tonnes makes a big difference to a submarine. This decision on batteries by the RAN has been described as “retarded” by an experienced Australian defence observer based in Washington.

David Archibald is the author of American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare

 

9.8 out of 10 based on 85 ratings

259 comments to Major policy flip from Australia: out with French diesel subs and in with *nuclear ones*!?

  • #
    Raving

    Tic toc, tic toc …. How long before Aus electric generation goes … ?

    (Maybe you can sell the gently used boats to Canada in a few decades)

    210

  • #

    Personally I think Australia needs to do much more to combat climate Armageddon / catastrophe/disaster/apocalypse.

    Just give me one good reason why these subs can’t use solar power?

    621

    • #
      Raving

      Fusion technology isn’t mature

      120

    • #
      clarence.t

      “Just give me one good reason why these subs can’t use solar power”

      Maybe they should try wind power?

      Lots of water where they are.. maybe hydro power is the obvious goer.

      And sorry, but the new wording is “climate devastation“.. just look around you !

      310

      • #
        Earl

        “Maybe they should try wind power?”

        That might work so long as they are not defending Flinders Island. Seems there might be an issue with their wind farm. Noticed yesterday that their renewables didn’t get above 20% during the afternoon and once the sun set and solar turned off their wind turned off too. Checking this morning and solar is generating around 3% with nothing from wind meaning diesel is pumping out 97% of island need.

        On an earlier thread Ronin noted “They were going well over the weekend when the wind was blowing close to 100kmh, they were 100% on wind with solar throttled back for trim, but now it is calm, they have been on 100% diesel for a couple days”.

        For sake of island lets hope they are in middle of windless spell and not damaged by winds.

        140

      • #
        ExWarmist

        Wind power makes perfect sense.

        Just surface the boat, and ‘raise the windmill,’ to charge the batteries.

        What could go wrong?

        70

        • #
          tonyb

          Interested to hear on the UK radio this morning -where this pact is headline news -that all the five eyes navies officers, with the exception of the US, hold commissions that make them able to assume commands in any of the other navies and that training and equipment is often interchangeable.

          So perhaps we might see five eyes being given some general armed muscle in other spheres. Another thing mentioned is that due to the nuclear capability this is now seen as a global navy with the submarines neatly spaced around the world at strategic places. Much talk was made about China so this is definitely seen as a counter, although this was not specifically mentioned

          40

          • #
            Serp

            Effectively it’s been four eyes since Ardern signed up to OBOR and Canadia is nearly as suspect so that’s three eyes, hence or otherwise we now have AUKUS.

            30

      • #
        Broadie

        Clarence
        I believe you are on to something with the Hydro generation.

        So when you flood the ballast tanks to submerge you run the water through a Pelton wheel and charge a bank of batteries. To surface you reverse the process and pump out the ballast using an electric pump.

        I am sure this would be successful. This incorporates a similar principle to Snowy Hydro 2.0

        00

    • #

      LOL……Very tricky to get Solar Power when you are under the sea and trying to be stealthy……….

      00

    • #
      Deano

      Come on TonyB, solar power is a SILLY idea for a sub. Hydro-electric is the obvious answer. The submarines could be built as vertical tubes rather than horizontal ones we currently see. The sea water drops through from top to bottom and spins turbines which turn the propellers directly.

      Well, it’s no more impractical than a solar powered tank:
      https://interestingengineering.com/nato-may-be-planning-to-build-solar-panel-powered-tanks

      10

  • #
    Broadie

    Who made this decision?

    We have a leader!

    A leader who can lead us out of this managed decline of our economy, give our children some protection against the constant barrage of imaginary fear and guilt and stop the transfer of wealth (one scrape of the back of the throat or one shot at a time) to some sort of doomsday cult. A mad cult manipulated by a powerful oligarchy.

    With the willful transference of our wealth in their ill-informed pursuit of an elusive ‘freedom’, the Baby Boomers reaching their product expiry date are about to find out the company responsible for their maintenance, will not be able to honour the lifetime guarantee for parts and repairs. The service provider will be broke due to the lavish provision of an untested by normal standards piercing.

    110

    • #
      Steve of Cornubia

      “Who made this decision?”

      Nobody in Australia, that’s for sure.

      140

      • #
        Ian

        “Who made this decision?”

        Nobody in Australia, that’s for sure.

        That’s a sweeping statement but almost certainly accurate. I t certainly would not have been Morrison who, seemingly, cannot decide what tie to wear.

        It was probably Biden as both Australia and the UK are dependent on the US for military back-up if the need arises

        111

      • #
        PeterPetrum

        This process to get rid of the French sub-sea disaster and get real submarines was on Peter Dutton’s to do list from day one on his new job as minister for our armed forces. He was outspoken in his opposition to the French subs from day one, part of the reason why Turnbull made sure he torpedoed (no pun intended) his attempt to take over the prime ministership. Not sure if Scomo was on side initially, but he clearly is now. Now if Dutton can just have a word in the ear of our doubtful Minister for Energy ………

        40

    • #
      Ross

      Could this be due to Peter Dutton? Now minister for defence, but would have been a terrific PM after Turnbull was booted. He seems to have more common sense than Scott Morrison in most areas of policy.

      340

      • #
        robert rosicka

        Talks have been ongoing in secret for 18 months and started with the Trump administration in acquiring the subs according to their err our ABC.

        130

      • #
        Ian

        “He seems to have more common sense than Scott Morrison in most areas of policy.”

        A paper bag has more common sense than Morrison but Dutton was loathed by most to this colleagues who were determined to stop him becoming PM. However in this instance they we’re right as if Dutton had been PM the LNP would have been out of government for at least three terms as he is well disliked by voters.

        227

        • #
          YallaYPoora Kid

          He is only disliked by left leaning Labor and Greens voters so they wouldn’t vote for a Liberal Government in any case.

          80

  • #
    PeterS

    We shall know soon enough as PM Morrison is expected to appear at a virtual event alongside Biden and Boris Johnson to make an international security announcement at 7pm today. Let’s wait and see.

    60

    • #
      Vicki

      Already done!

      60

    • #
      beowulf

      For those concerned about Australia acquiring nuclear-powered defence capabilities, fear not — the subs are only going to be NU-KU-LAR according to Scotty . . . multiple times in his submarine announcement. A graduate of the George Dubya School of Elocution and Pronouncieratiuon. Right up there with Julia’s HYPER-BOWL.

      50

  • #
    David Maddison

    I am stunned!

    Some common sense from the Australian Government.

    Now to partially compensate for the hundreds of millions spent on the diesel-electric contract plus the cost of cancelling the diesel contract, take it from the government superannuation (retirement savings paid during their employment by government) of all those politicians, public serpents and woke members of the military who fought so hard against the nuclear alternative.

    In fact, I don’t think it was just extreme incompetence to choose diesels. It borders on treason. No sensible or informed person would ever think they were an appropriate choice.

    It was always obvious that nuclear subs were the only appropriate solution for Australia.

    Naturally, the Chicomms and the Left in general will be offended. I am relishing the endless whines from the Left for offending their beloved commies (who have nuclear subs) and their pain from Australia finally joining the mid-20th century and getting a (non-research) nuclear reactor on its soil.

    The conservatives and other rational thinkers finally have a win.

    But it’s a mystery, who in the Government were responsible for this common sense and what is their true motivation, plus who in the US supports this? It’s not something the Biden Maladministration would have seemed likely to support.

    Is it too much to ask that Australia now get nuclear civilian power reactors?

    Suffer you ignorant, stupid greens and other Leftists and fighters against Enlightenment values!

    722

    • #
      RobB

      “Is it too much to ask that Australia now get nuclear civilian power reactors?”

      Well as far as civilian nuclear power is concerned, surely these subs will begin to break down the barriers and public angst towards nuclear energy. If the country accepts nuclear powered submarines, what argument can there be against civilian reactors? Won’t the Greens love this…

      550

      • #
        Ted1

        Civilian nuclear was specifically ruled out.

        But that can change.

        130

      • #
        peter

        Peter Dutton pushed this nuke sub idea along but they had been working on the idea for years. But the real problem is when will they build them? Building at Adelaide is, in the words of a former Defence Minister, a problem as they’re renowned for being so hopeless that “they couldn’t build a canoe on time and on budget”. The word is that they may not be built before 2040 or 2030s at the earliest. We need them now! Buy the French nuclear sub (already in production)in a return deal that will make the French happy and get the French to complete the 1st sub in France NOT Adelaide. That way we should get the 1st sub in a few years not 2040. We’re doing this for Australian defence NOT to make the Adelaide unions happy.

        70

    • #
      Sambar

      “But it’s a mystery, who in the Government were responsible for this common sense and what is their true motivation,”
      I would guess the answer to that is Dutton. Like him or not he seems to be the only one with any real awarenesses of threats to Australia, and dare I say I believe he loves his country

      500

      • #
        Old Cocky

        and probably Andrew Hastie as well

        300

      • #
        robert rosicka

        Sambar I think Dutton might have had a hand in this if true .

        100

      • #
        Ian

        “But it’s a mystery, who in the Government were responsible for this common sense and what is their true motivation,”

        I doubt anyone in the Australian government was responsible as Morrison was almost certainly told by Biden and Johnson what was going to happen.

        312

        • #
          el+gordo

          Definitely, the Alliance is rebooting and Europe might walk.

          ‘France is frustrated at being left out of a new security alliance between the United States, Britain and Australia, describing it as a regrettable move that will push Europe to be more autonomous in its strategic planning.’ (SCMP)

          20

        • #
          YallaYPoora Kid

          Yeah right, why would an Australian Government not have a say in it. Remember the Federal Government is Liberal ie conservative in Australia and care about Australia’s defence.

          They are not like the Labor Victorian Government who can’t remember who made decisions about their failed COVID-19 quarantine hotel arrangements.

          40

    • #
      GlenM

      The ABC will get Turnball on for HIS opinion on the matter. My question to him would be on the lines of “How do you feel now?” Followed by public garotting.

      240

    • #
      Ronin

      That dumb French subs deal should’ve been the first thing Scomo put a line through when he won office, better late than never.
      We should be hearing all the wailing and gnashing from our commie mates soon.

      220

      • #
        Ian

        It is fascinating to read how commenters here seem to believe Australia was a leading figure in this three way announcement. Such hubris. You can bet it wasn’t as Australia is by far the junior partner in every aspect of defence. Whu=y not join the real world of politics

        117

        • #
          el+gordo

          We are a deputy in the South Pacific and the Alliance leader says we need to beef up our capabilities otherwise that godless lot will laugh at us. All it means is that the submarines can stay down longer than a conventional sub and go faster. Time spent submerged depends very much on food supply and the patience of the crew.

          20

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      🙂 🙂 🙂

      30

    • #
      Ronin

      The only thing that might foul up this deal is the fact they want to build them here in Adelaide, we always should endeavour to build in Australia, but I think a nuclear sub is a bridge too far , imagine the delays caused by dodgy unions, we need subs now, not by the end of the century.

      111

      • #
        Ted1

        Boris was going to do it in The Midlands.

        Between Aussie unions and Pommy unions, might leopards at last change their spots?

        10

      • #
        Hasbeen

        We can’t even make the steel requires for sub hulls.

        Perhaps we could use the old CKD, [completely knocked down], method, as we used in assembling cars from imported kits.

        30

    • #
      bobn

      But it’s a mystery, who in the Government were responsible for this common sense and what is their true motivation, plus who in the US supports this? It’s not something the Biden Maladministration would have seemed likely to support.

      The British were responsible. They cut out the French and seem to be the prime contractors.

      21

    • #

      I agree and I am stunned too. It makes perfect sense and the next as well as building lots of Nuclear Power Stations is to have ICBMs on the Submarines with Nuclear Warheads. Now, the Nuclear Power Stations do not need to be the massive very expensive big ones but the smaller modular cheaper ones being envisaged by that European Consortium being led by Rolls Royce and others. Toshiba already have a very small modular Nuclear Power Plant that can be put into the basement of a High Rise Building. Been around for a few years apparently. Sir Mark Oliphant will be clapping and smiling in his grave……..QED

      60

  • #
    David Maddison

    NZ is terrified of anything “nuclear” so I guess they won’t be welcome there. It doesn’t matter anyway. The NZ has a self-confessed communist as a PM and the are eager participants in the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative so they’ll soon be a Chinese colony anyway. We’ll be having to defend ourselves against them.

    320

    • #
      TedM

      Yes NZ would have to be excluded by default. But now we have to vote our Sinophile Pollies out, and their are a few of them. Now wait for China to stop buying our iron ore or threaten to do so.

      250

    • #
      PeterS

      NZ can go jump. If we go nuclear then so be it. We should also start deploying short to medium range nuclear missiles.

      270

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Not too short range please PeterS; you do want them to land off-shore (unless you think that an “accident” to Canberra would be to the advantage of the rest of Australia).

        120

        • #
          PeterS

          I was thinking of Victoria and NZ. They could easily become our enemies in a war with China. Just joking of course but I am sure there would be some politicians in those two areas who would prefer we join up with China and leave the US alliance totally. Of course that would be like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.

          150

          • #
            Greg in NZ

            Um, er, I’m not sure I’m too happy where this line of thought is going fellas…

            Can you hold-off lobbing those nukular thingies over the Tassie for just a mo’ while I lookup Herr Cindy’s address for you; I’ve read that ‘smart technology’ often hits the wrong target. Besides, Cindy’s causing enough ‘collateral damage’ as it is all on her own.

            N.B. I’d give you our Minister of Climate’s address too but he’ll be winging [whinging?] his way to Glasgow soon, to save… um… to save… er… maybe just nuke Glasgow?

            P.S. Apologies to all Glaswegians and fellow Scotch drinkers, aye!

            150

            • #
              bobn

              Yes, dont target NZ for the stupidity of the few leftie loonies who take power there. That said, NZs big error is most of the population dont give a fig about politics and let idiots take over. kiwis too busy out shooting pigs and roasting everything on the BBQ.

              60

      • #
        Ian

        “NZ can go jump. If we go nuclear then so be it. We should also start deploying short to medium range nuclear missiles.”

        And where will these missiles come from? Adelaide?

        Australia doesn’t have any nuclear missiles to deploy, The following is from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

        “Australia does not possess any nuclear weapons and is not seeking to become a nuclear weapons state. Australia’s core obligations as a non-nuclear weapon state are set out in the NPT. This includes a solemn undertaking not to acquire nuclear weapons”

        https://www.dfat.gov.au/international-relations/security/non-proliferation-disarmament-arms-control/nuclear-issues

        23

      • #
        Grogery

        NZ can go jump

        Shouldn’t that be “NZ can go bungy jump?”

        10

  • #
    Penguinite

    It’s about time! Malware Turnball has been the biggest drag on this country for far too long. Even now he’s carping about Christian Porter for a spurious 30 y/o allegation of rape. Porter may have received financial assistance, to help pay his legal costs against the ABC, from a ‘Blind Trust’. The list of Malwares infringements would be too long to list here but a couple that spring to mind would be High-Speed broadband and French Subs. The fact that his petulance at losing Liberal Cabinet support and spiked his interim replacement, with an Independent, by canvassing against a Liberal and almost cost the Liberals the last election will never be forgotten. Turnball was instrumental in allowing our water to be commercialised that his son capitalised on by selling shares to his Chinese mates!

    420

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Good; and there’s also the seven and a quarter tonnes of gold buried up at the great big barrier reef foundation.
      Somewhere.

      Snowjob 2.
      Barrier Reef Foundation.
      Wobal Glorming, parts 1, 2 and 4.
      The-French sub contract.
      Denial of water access to farmers who paid a premium for riverside land.

      Vicious.

      140

  • #
    TedM

    Peter Dutton does it again. Finally someone in the ministry for defence with common sense, an understanding of the military and a backbone. Just waiting for the hissy fits and shrieks of doom from the Greens and the “Greens ABC”.

    320

    • #
      TedM

      “Peter Dutton does it again.” Reference is to the subs deal.

      120

      • #
        Dean

        Do you seriously think these sorts of decisions are made in less than 6 months???

        Talk about warmistas being delusional…..

        10

    • #
      David Maddison

      Surprisingly Their ABC has been uncharacteristically impartial about the matter, so far.

      I guess they are still getting their “minds” together.

      130

      • #
        GlenM

        Don’t worry tonight’s bulletin will feature Carr and Keating.

        80

        • #
          Tilba+Tilba

          They have already had Green Adam Brand on this morning – he roundly condemned the “floating Chernobyls” docked in major cities, a nuclear arms race, and a new cold war.

          56

    • #
      Ian

      If you believe Peter Dutton “does it again” you must also believe in Santa and fairies.at the bottom of your garden. Australia is subservient to the US in military matters and is doing as instructed by Democrat President Biden. Pity the inept Trump did not have similar foresight.

      113

      • #
        Steve of Cornubia

        You believe Dementia Joe ‘Hiden’ Biden is making decisions like this?

        Really?

        The guy who can’t front a press briefing without a script? The guy who can’t even recall which part of the military his own son served in, or which countries he was posted to?

        REALLY?

        141

        • #
          YallaYPoora Kid

          Dementia Joe is just like forgetful Dan, lefty politicians somehow lose their mental capacity when the discussion comes to responsibility.
          Ian seems to be a little peeved that our conservative Government has made a brilliant agreement with Global Allies rather than the EU group-think Russian and Chinese appeasers.
          Suck it up.

          20

      • #
        bobby b

        “Pity the inept Trump did not have similar foresight.”

        I’d guess that Trump would have welcomed and pursued partners, but not so much vassal states.

        00

  • #
    David Maddison

    It doesn’t make sense that the Biden Maladministration would have supported this. This is not something consistent with what the people who tell Bejing Biden what to say would want.

    I think this sudden outbreak of common sense must have been initiated under President Trump’s administration who wanted Allies to help moderate China’s power and influence.

    221

    • #
      RobB

      The UK seems to be part of the deal. I suspect Australia might be getting UK’s Astute class SSN’s with a US combat management system.

      160

    • #
      Steve of Cornubia

      But it is consistent with the notion that American isn’t governed by Biden but the ‘Deep State’, of which the Military Industrial complex (i.e. the folks who make billions from the sale of weapons) is a large part.

      51

      • #
        Kalm Keith

        Maybe a deal was done.
        Maybe if we buy their subs they’ll let us off buying the rest of the CV19 Vaxxines.

        90

    • #
      Ian

      “It doesn’t make sense that the Biden Maladministration would have supported this.”

      You cannot be serious. This is what Biden had to say

      In a deal announced by US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the US will share secret nuclear technology to help Australia in the switch to nuclear-powered boats.

      15

      • #
        Greg

        And that was after he finally remembered “that fellow from down unders”name.God help us!

        70

        • #
          Ian

          “And that was after he finally remembered “that fellow from down unders”name.God help us!

          You just don’t get it do you? Australia is not ranked very highly by the US as i tis too unimportant on the global scale

          18

        • #
          Serp

          Showing prescience Boris helpfully uttered the name “Morrison” immediately before handing over but either Joe wasn’t paying attention or he actually forgot within the seconds that had elapsed by the time he needed it; finally I am obliged to give credit to the point of view that Biden is cognitively deficient albeit still a loathsome bullying creep who’ll do what he likes whenever the spirit takes him –definitely Hunter’s dad.

          30

  • #
    David Maddison

    Can we cancel other of Turnbull’s disasters now?

    E.g. Snowy Hydro 2. And as a taxpayer, I want my money back for the $440 million he gave away to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation (they were even shocked to get it and didn’t ask for it).

    420

    • #
      Graeme#4

      Yes, apparently we can cancel the existing subs contract for about A$200m. This was discussed some time ago in The Australian. Hoping that this is still possible.

      60

      • #
        Raven

        Hmmm . . . AU$200M seems cheap.
        Victoria paid over a billion to NOT build the East West Link.

        70

        • #
          YallaYPoora Kid

          Which of course China Dan and his brains trust said wasn’t going to cost anything to to Victorian taxpayer. After that outcome he’s been lying about his infrastructure project costing outcomes ever since – anyone interested in a few million tonnes of contaminated soil in your backyard?

          What is it about honesty and lefty politicians?

          10

  • #
    David Maddison

    Australia has finally joined the mid-20th century, only 70 years too late.

    It’s my birthday today so what a fantastic birthday present.

    381

  • #
    David Maddison

    Now Australia can have nuclear military reactors, it’s not a great leap to get civilian power reactors.

    We could replace all those economy and landscape destroying wind and solar panels with one or two nuclear power reactors.

    280

    • #
      Vicki

      How fantastic to wake up to some good news!

      COVID news actually took a second place!

      BTW also thank God for Peter Dutton. Can’t think a better choice for Minister for Defence. A man not afraid to follow his intelligent appraisal of events , as opposed to the politics.

      Just wished I had supported him for PM instead of Morrison.

      360

    • #
      ExWarmist

      Perhaps we’ll get the fuel cycle too.

      20

    • #
      peter

      David,
      The unions, Greens and ALP would totally oppose a civilian nuclear power plant aggressively. The only place to build it would be on Commonwealth property to avoid black bans, green bans and state government obstruction (even the NSW Lib Govt [Environment minister Mat Kean] would oppose it). It could be built at Jervis Bay together with a nuclear Sub maintenance base. The usual suspects would turn up to blockade the project but you could ban unauthorized entry to the 70 square kms peninsula – for national security reasons. Sited there, the power plant would slot in nicely to the NEG electricity network, for baseload power. And the sub base would be close to Nowra where a big naval presence already exists. The Greens could travel down from inner Sydney, camp on the perimeter fence-line, protest loudly with no effect, annoy the locals and leave all their rubbish (like they always do) but feel good about themselves. So it’s a win-win for everybody.

      70

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    So we export Iron ore and coal and buy back iron and steel products
    We export cotton and buy back clothing, manchester, etc
    We export grains (which really means we are exporting water)
    We export uranium and buy back submarines

    As pointed out we do not do any enrichment for the uranium, and therefore will be at the mercy of the supply chains, and we have the resources to protect them.

    We are just a colony in all but name, and I think we should stop pretending that we are a nation,

    As stupid ideas go, this one is a doozy

    535

    • #
      David Maddison

      Have you sent your commiserations to Bejing yet, Peter?

      And of course we should do more processing of raw materials in Australia. I don’t disagree with you there.

      340

    • #
      PeterS

      PF, the reality is China has already declared they want to become the world leader in everything and that the West is decadent (partly true) and untrustworthy (partly true). China believes (wrongly) they can do a better job of “managing” where the world should is heading as a whole. So the West, rightly or wrongly (both) are preparing for war. That’s how real life works. This is nothing new. It happens time and time again when two great powers of opposing ideologies try to flex their muscles on the same planet.

      170

      • #
        Peter Fitzroy

        It is not china, it is our colonial mindset that I have a problem with. Like the F35 we are being sold a solution for someone else’s needs. I do wish we were a proper nation, one with a government which put our needs ahead of those of the USA or the UK

        520

        • #
          PeterS

          The only way we can do that is we become like Switzerland, and to some extent like NZ and become isolated from the rest of the world. That’s now fairy tail stuff in today’s climate. We have already picked and chosen who our allies are, for better or for worse (both actually) and nothing will change that. Face reality. The West is now preparing for war with China. Whether that eventuates or not only time will tell.

          90

        • #
          David Maddison

          You want us to be a “proper nation” Peter and yet you and the Australian Government have a fanatical commitment to nation-destroying wind and solar random and expensive energy generators?

          260

        • #
          Raving

          F18s? Yes Canada bought those gently used ones from Australia.

          https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/f18-fighter-jets-canada-australia-1.5836504

          60

        • #
          clarence.t

          “our colonial mindset”

          your colonial mindset, you mean !

          It must be a far-left thing, that feeling of constantly seeking to be a victim.

          50

        • #
          clarence.t

          We can never be a proper nation with the leftist mindset prevalent, even in so-called “conservative” politics.

          Everything that Australia could be, is constrained and held back by putting anti-science ideologies, like “climate change”, before the well-being of the country.

          140

    • #
      clarence.t

      Why do some people hate their own country, Australia, so much ?

      Perhaps they should move to China or NK… they will be happier there.. they can “belong”.

      190

      • #
        GlenM

        Not so much hating but despair of its laziness and reaction. I guess I’m one of those “Old Guard” types who believe in no nonsense get the job done well and without fanfare. Australia is a land of lost opportunity. No grasp or foresight.

        130

    • #
      Hanrahan

      It’s the greens and their destructive policies that prevent any downstream processing. We were doing well in metals refining before electricity became expensive and unreliable. Korea Zinc has installed 1 million solar cells to save their refinery. Stage II will never be built.

      The MUA has made coastal shipping so expensive it is virtually nonexistent. Tas makes good beer but freight on Dutch/Belgian beer is less than getting it across Bass St.

      The CFMEU and WHS has made building prohibitively expensive. A SA hospital springs to mind.

      There is plenty of blame to go round and you and yours must shoulder your share.

      180

    • #
      robert rosicka

      Peter Fitzroy gave you a green tick for your comment and yes Oz should be processing all those materials including converting the raw yellow cake into fuel rods which then hopefully will clear the way for nuclear power stations to give us that clean green power you want so much .
      Only problem I can see is your CCP masters might not be happy .

      90

    • #
      bobn

      a great idea as you explain Fitz. Aus has not developed its tech and now it can. Great that it will develop an uranium enrichment facilty to fuel these boats. You make the case that they are a great move.

      40

  • #
    David Maddison

    Morrison and Johnson are speaking live on Their ABC TV now. Biden is standing their waiting for someone to activate him and make him start saying words.

    ….

    Ha, he forgot Morrison’s name. He called him that “fella down under”…

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  • #
    James Murphy

    I’m still waiting for actual evidence that the RAN thinks nuclear subs will be better than conventional ones. all I ever hear is some generalised comments by armchair submariners, not facts pertaining to real and specific RAN requirements.

    If you don’t actually know what the RAN intends to do, and what they need, how do you know what sort of submarine is best for them?

    I’m not doubting that there are advantages to nuclear over conventional, or for unmanned over manned, and am not against nuclear subs, I just think that the usually rational people in the comments are showing uncharacteristically shallow thinking on the topic.

    29

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Agreed, but the public (or most of them) think nuclear subs are wonderful, and can I remind you that there will be a Federal election within 8 months.

      30

    • #
      PeterS

      There are advantages and disadvantages in both but one needs to understand why the US is made up entirely of nuclear-powered submarines. They have three types of submarines; ballistic missile submarines, attack submarines, and cruise missile submarines. They all need to travel long distances and remain underwater for long periods. Non-nuclear subs cannot do all that and as such would be a major disadvantage as a deterrent for any attempt of a major and long drawn out war with an enemy. In our situation, I often thought that do we don’t really need submarines at all. We are not a super power so why can’t we just rely on our allies, the UK and US to do the “heavy lifting” under the seas? That’s where we could use non-nuclear subs for other purposes, such as scouting around the coast. However, I can understand that in the face of an ever increasing threat of war with China, it would be prudent we have nuclear subs of our own based here in Australia to supplement the UK and US forces.

      101

      • #
        James Murphy

        Our Collins class subs are primarily intended for surveillance, not attack. They potter around countries to the North, and North West of us, collecting whatever floats across the airwaves, monitoring shipping, and likely, foreign subs. No doubt they do a lot more too.

        30

    • #
      David Maddison

      https://www.defenceconnect.com.au/maritime-antisub/7896-nuclear-error-did-australia-s-subs-selection-miss-the-boat

      Nuclear error — Did Australia’s subs selection miss the boat?

      19 April 2021

      A former Navy submarines commander explores whether the Commonwealth should have given more credence to a nuclear option for the Future Submarines program.

      In a piece published by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), Denis Mole, a former submarines commander of the Royal Australian Navy, questions the Commonwealth government’s decision to rule out a nuclear option for the Future Submarines program.

      Mole raises the issue in response to comments from former defence minister Christopher Pyne, who described the nuclear argument as “nonsensical”.

      “Almost all of these arguments are driven by people who either know nothing at all about submarines and defence or have outdated information that is no longer relevant,” Pyne claims.

      Mole rejects Pyne’s assertion, noting support for a nuclear option among Australia’s “current and recent submarine commanding officers”.

      “The 2016 Defence White Paper called for Australia’s future submarines to be ‘regionally superior’. As a former commander of the submarine force, I don’t know any submarine commanding officer over the past 30 years who has any doubt that, overall, nuclear-powered submarines are superior to diesel submarines of similar vintage,” Mole writes.

      SEE LINK FOR REST

      150

      • #
        Tel

        Christopher Pyne’s only objective was to funnel tax money over to the workshops in Adelaide … he didn’t give a toss about what they were building over there. I doubt he would even understand, if you told him.

        I don’t know any submarine commanding officer over the past 30 years who has any doubt that, overall, nuclear-powered submarines are superior to diesel submarines of similar vintage

        Yes and no … the old Oberon Class was very stealthy, probably sneakier than a modern Virginia Class, and there’s one philosophy that says the whole advantage of a sub is stealth. The large US warships were never designed to fight something so small, which leaves them with a peculiar weakness against tiny subs with an expert crew who know how to exploit the advantage.

        On the other hand, Australia has a heck of a lot of coastline and Virginia Class is larger, faster, longer range, better equipped, etc. I support the idea of leased nuclear subs, and realistically there’s no way Australia will ever be able to manufacture these machines better than the USA.

        Building a small modern sub with roughly the same profile as the Oberon Class that use Li-Po batteries and a small off-the-shelf diesel generator might be a good complementary project. After all, the USA still flies both F-15 and F-16 together, because the F-15 is bigger and faster while the F-16 is more maneuverable. A lot of things in engineering come down to trade offs.

        [Small edit]AD

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    • #
      Old Cocky

      They can stay underwater much longer and don’t have to surface for extended periods to run the diesel engines to recharge the batteries.

      The official term for a submarine on the surface is “target”, or less charitably “sitting duck”

      190

      • #
        robert rosicka

        They are also quieter and faster than diesel subs .

        61

        • #
          It's all BS

          That is not true. Diesel boats are quieter than nuclear boats when they are not charging batteries, which by the way, is still a quiet evolution but one in which is dangerous to the boat due to the infrared plume of the exhaust. Electric motors are extremely quiet, where nuclear boats still have circulation around the reactor. Nuclear boats are faster, but the faster you move through the water, the more noise you generate, which is another reason diesel boats are quieter. They move slower.
          I am quiet qualified to discuss this.
          Yours aye

          44

          • #
            robert rosicka

            Diesel boats are quieter than nuclear boats when they are not charging batteries” , you lose your argument by admission . Your serve.

            31

            • #
              It's all BS

              Spoken like an armchair strategist.

              Your serve

              12

            • #
              It's all BS

              What are you on your high school debating team? Seriously? “you lose your argument by admission”. Wow. Have a read of the rest of it. Nuclear boats are not quieter.

              Your serve, armchair strategist.

              11

              • #
                robert rosicka

                You said diesel were quieter but then admitted they were noisy when surfacing for air and charging batteries , some X spurt.

                21

              • #
                It's all BS

                Dearest Robert

                They are quieter. The biggest danger is their infrared signature from exhaust. Nuclear boats are noisier, particularly when being fast. They move lots of water. That creates lots of noise. If you want to pick apart what someone says when they disagree with you because they actually do know what they are talking about (never said I was an expert, just qualified), feel free. I will stick with hunting what I know, you stick with hunting what you know. But I won’t attempt to teach you something different. Your ego is too brittle.

                Yours aye

                21

              • #
                robert rosicka

                Like you I know nothing about submarines but seeing as you claim to be well versed on the subject even though you contradict yourself , can you tell me is there a reason why a nuclear sub would go fast if there was an enemy nearby . Seems to me that slow or stop would be the go and wait it out , a nuclear sub could stay motionless and underwater for months in this scenario but a diesel sub would last how long . Nuclear does have its disadvantages I’m sure but your claim about noise when going fast while true in a combat situation wouldn’t exist , However a diesel sub no matter what has to surface even if just by snorkel to charge it’s batteries making it noisier by your own words and also leaving a heat signature .
                In short if the nuke isn’t going flat out it has all the advantages and is quieter .

                10

          • #
            bobby b

            Subs are creatures of stealth. Or, they die.

            Diesel boats must surface and recharge batteries on a set (and not a long) schedule. At that point, their position is known, and they can only travel a certain distance from there until they must surface again. Plus, they must either go to port or meet a tender to refuel.

            A nuclear boat stays down much longer, and seldom needs to refuel. If it is marginally louder, it is still not loud enough to make it easily findable.

            So, nuclear boats are much harder to locate. The circle of uncertainty from their last known point will always be much larger than that of a diesel boat.

            30

            • #
              It’s all BS

              Gents, it comes down to the capabilities of the crew, their planning, knowing the capability of the boat. The commander of the submarine manages the submarine around their capabilities. Diesel boats are generally used in different tasking and work around their capabilities. They use the coast, they rely on the practically noiseless electric motors and move slowly to avoid detection. Nuc boats are faster, they are louder because their engineering cannot avoid it. They are bigger. They cannot outrun an aircraft no matter how fast they go, and the faster they go makes them very easy to hear. Even at slow speed they make more noise than a diesel boat because their engineering is louder and they push more water around.

              Robert, I am a Principal Warfare Officer. Look that up. Then you will realise that I do know a lot about submarines, how they work and how to fight them. Your serve

              10

              • #
                robert rosicka

                Older tech Nuclear subs were noisier at speed but I can find no reference anywhere that states a nuclear sub must travel at full speed whenever underway , unless you have some info to say otherwise .
                Our subs will be new tech and I don’t know if it’s been announced but the Columbia class are boasting super quiet running also the French and UK subs are now boasting how quiet their subs will be / are.
                I understand there are big subs and small and I understand some fuel types are suited to different roles but as I said unless there is a requirement for nuclear subs to travel flat out your argument for Diesel being quieter is based on your opinion and old tech.

                11

              • #
                It’s all BS

                Good to see you are doing some research. I trust you appreciate my opinion is a professional one. Nuc boats will always get quieter. They have to in order to increase survivability. But I doubt they will ever get as quiet as electric motors on batteries.

                10

    • #

      Yeah but…. this is not about the RAN

      12

  • #
    TIP

    So….are these considered “weapons”?

    Lets ask Anthony…

    10

  • #
    Dean Wild

    And the first boat will be called ????

    HMAS Buckleys

    60

  • #
    Geoffrey+Williams

    Nuclear Submarines for th 21st century is just common sense prevaling at long last.
    Talk about procrastination. Now for the details. How long will that take ?
    GeoffW

    110

    • #
      David Maddison

      How long will that take ?

      And what will be the multiple of overspending compared to a fair market price for the contract?

      Australia will be doing well if we only spend twice or three times what a reasonable price would be.

      90

  • #
    Gerry

    If we can get some good subs off the shelf and modify them to our weapon systems and requirements, it’s got to be better than that stupid contract Pyne organised with Turnbull. We need good boats that will be ready to go in a few years not in dries and drabs ….
    The country needs a submarine fleet that has reach and stealth and reliability as soon as possible.

    110

    • #
      robert rosicka

      I believe the yanks have an off the shelf Sub they offered to sell Oz for less than the two stroke ones but the offer was knocked back , and yes we are getting Nuke subs the ABC are all over it this morning but nothing on Sky news just yet .

      60

    • #
      Destroyer D69

      A TIMELINE OF YEARS IS TOO LONG A TIMELINE. WE NEED BOATS NOW,NOT IN A FEW YEARS. BUY OR LEASE OFF THE SHELF!!!!!!!

      50

  • #
    Destroyer D69

    I still cannot see how a submarine can be built in a shipyard powered by batteries???????

    100

    • #
      David Maddison

      The shipyard in SA has already invested many millions in diesel generators to provide reliable electricity.

      When doing large scale submerged arc welds on the submarine pressure hulls, a power failure during welding simply cannot be afforded. The work will have to be scrapped and started over.

      “Green” electricity is not suitable for submarine construction (or anything).

      110

  • #
    garry b

    Nuclear powered submarines probably are a sensible economic investment in defence, but what are they to be armed with? Where are they to be based? Probably, the navy brass would like them based in or near a large city, since that is where the crew, officers & enlisted, spouses and family want to live. But do the residents of that city, who are also voters, want to become targets of an incoming nuclear tipped missile? Once some location for such base is announced, the crazy greens faction’s numbers will be swelled by those who can see that nuclear immolation could happen to them. Nimby perhaps, but who wants their family to be in that situation?
    Put the base well away from a large town/city, compensate crew for isolation, with pay, very cheap housing, facilities, etc., and ensure employment opportunities for the spouses at least equivalent to capital cities. After spending a fortune on the subs, it would be a shame if constant resignations due to disaffected spouses prejudiced efficiency of the subforce.

    43

    • #
      David Maddison

      Why would a nuclear powered submarine be any more of a nuclear target than a conventional submarine, or any other military asset, or civilian city or power installation, dam, or other infrastructure for that matter?

      70

      • #
        garry b

        The point I was attempting to make was that such a large investment (by Australian standards) in a nuclear submarine force, needed to be supported, by considering the potential crews conditions. The crews of these boats would consist largely of technical personnel, and the cost of training them and then losing them at the end of their initial enlistment, let alone the inefficiency, would reduce the deterrence value of the force. When I served in RAN, in 1960’s most men joined before 20 y.o., and discharged in mid-20’s by which time they were married/family. If you do not consider the spouses, the cost, I think would greatly exceed the cost of keeping them more content.
        Your point about other targets being equally inviting. I am not a military strategist, but there is probably a limited quantity of offensive weapons held by an opponent, and destroying assorted infrastructure first would seem odd-certainly not the Japanese strategy in 1941.
        Base location. Most of time the subforce will spend training-probably with the anti-submarine units of RAN and possibly NZ. In that case somewhere near Jervis Bay may be ideal as it is near other air and naval bases, not too far from major population centres, and security can be had. For those who want it to be in a population centre, how do you propose physically securing the subs from sabotage by Greenie nutters. If they can manage to cause a nuclear accident in Sydney Harbour??? Maybe that is the scare they will run with. You can still have a presence on the West coast also.

        00

    • #
      Strop

      They’ll be based at Perth.

      40

      • #
        Hanrahan

        I heard the CCP is being evicted from Darwin so there could be forward facilities there too the same as there is a permanent detachment of F 18s at Tindal.

        The USN based some subs in Perth during the war.

        00

    • #
      Hanrahan

      Garry, you wouldn’t even be safe in The Alice, remember Pine Gap. LOL

      00

  • #
    Dave

    The liberal black hand gang legacy. $90b to save one seat and then the poodle left shortly after anyway. That group of selfish fools are a blight on this nations history, up there with rudd/gillard in the incompetency stakes.

    110

    • #
      Ross

      I know what you’re saying Dave. But if it looks like a duck and goes quack then it probably is a duck. All these poor policy decisions can be traced back to Malcolm Turnbull. Snowy River II, slow NBN rollout, French subs, GBR cash splash. He couldn’t even do the Gay Marriage thing right. If he had gone with Tony Abbotts plan for a plebiscite that whole saga would have been finished way earlier.

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  • #
    a+happy+little+debunker

    We could have replaced the 12 French DSM Subs (20 or 30 year from now) with 150 ‘off the shelf’ Japanese Nuclear subs for the same cost.

    Let’s wait and see how this ‘deal’ delivers for Australia’s defence.

    Then we can talk about the implications of this change…

    30

    • #
      Hanrahan

      AFAIK the Jap subs were smaller and conventionally powered. It is true that there was a dry dock available for immediate start as the last domestic one had been launched.

      01

  • #
    David Maddison

    I wonder where in Australia the subs will be built?

    The far Left SA Government won’t want anything “nuclear”.

    10

  • #
    Bruce

    Oz Defence procurement has been a sick joke for decades. Poor equipment, completely WRONG equipment, inadequate “support packages”,; the list is seemingly endless.

    SELLING the entirety of Australia’s ground equipment, small arms and ammo manufacturing capability to the French was typical of the behaviour. Especially as the French were really only interested in the Electro-optics division of ADI but got the whole works as a job lot..

    As for personnel, I doubt that the situation has EVER been more parlous, even considering the post WW1 “wind-down “Peace Dividend” rolling into the utter fiasco of early WW2.

    The C-17? Great aircraft; been around since the early / mid 1980s. Go and look up the size of the fleet and how many can be in the air at any one time.

    40

    • #
      robert rosicka

      I can tell you Oz is playing around with stealth helicopters , no idea how many they have but it’s at least two .

      10

      • #
        Strop

        We’ve got 98 of them. The two you noticed aren’t in operation anymore for obvious reasons.

        20

        • #
          robert rosicka

          Yeah I’ve never heard a chopper at maybe 100 metres above sound like a small Cessna at 3000 metres and in the distance , I was lucky enough to see a lot of manoeuvres and practice of these (only at night and mainly over water) and also had my first glimpse at an Osprey up close along with what we have in attack choppers honing their skills .

          30

          • #
            Hanrahan

            I was just driving along the road near Garbutt Airbase once and saw a chopper do a loop. I think it was a French one on a sales tour.

            Later that day it had a heavy landing at Lavarack, two pilots, neither said “Your plane”.

            00

    • #
      David Maddison

      I hear the Taliban are selling some state-of-the-art American equipment, apparently on EBay marketplace (not joking).

      50

  • #
    robert rosicka

    Didn’t take long for the ABC to start whining about canceling the contract could lead to Australia having to fork out $300million in penalties, never heard a whisper about Dan Andrew’s forking out a Billion not to build a road.

    90

    • #
      Hanrahan

      AFAIK the contract let was for design. No build contracts had been put to tender.

      There comes a time when you must stop throwing good money after bad.

      00

  • #
    OldOzzie

    Nuclear vindication for Tony Abbott – smackdown for Marise Payne & Turnbull
    Thursday, 16 September 2021

    First published on 30 June, 2017

    Tony Abbott’s well researched speech on Australia’s submarine fleet
    Friday, 30 June 2017

    I listened to Tony’s speech live yesterday – and I was shocked. Shocked and more than a bit worried.

    It’s full of data, facts and figures. And what he says is frightening.

    Tony is critical of his own time as head of government and with good reason. We are compromising Australia’s security.

    The points he raises are so important that there’s no place here for protecting reputations, barracking for a side etc.

    It’s tragic to see most of the reporting on Tony’ speech totally ignore the contents of it. It’s reported as political shit-stirring by the empty heads and barrackers. It’s far from that.

    Let me know what you think.

    70

    • #
      Ross

      The content of TA’s speech was amazing. Pretty well encapsulated the whole Australian subs saga in about 18 minutes. How the hell did we end up with Turnbull as PM?? (rhetorical) Also, thanks to his previous experience as Health minister under Howard I think Abbott would have been a much better PM during COVID.

      60

      • #
        Hanrahan

        Abbott was and should still be an excellent PM.

        Weak libs thought if they humped him their ABC would be kinder. Who could be that dumb?

        40

      • #
        Serp

        In respect of previous experience guaranteeing better performance note that Daniel (as he was then marketed) Andrews was twice health minister but has subsequently presided over Australia’s most dismally managed covid epidemic on a per state basis.

        10

  • #
    Phillip+Charles+Sweeney

    Manned submarines whether nuclear or diesel-powered are as obsolete as battleships

    “Generals (and Admirals) are always preparing for the last war”

    China already has unmanned submersible drones deployed around Indonesia and Western Australia.

    Australia has been brought to its knees and now is just a group of State dictatorship due to Chinese biological warfare.

    When will the idiots who govern us wake up?

    42

    • #
      Old Goat

      Phillip,
      The issue with unmanned weapons is that you can lose control of them . If your enemy has gained access to your control code it can be used against you . Food for thought….

      50

      • #
        David Maddison

        Plus, there is no real time comms with a submarine.

        An autonomous sub won’t be able to receive real time instructions, say, to fire a weapon.

        In a manned sub there is still no real time comms but humans can make the decision.

        60

  • #
    Strop

    Does this mean we can have some mini nuclear power plants submarines plugged into our electrical grid when they’re idle?

    70

    • #
      David Maddison

      The Russian floating nuclear power plant is basically two KLT-40S marine nuclear power plants originally designed for aircraft carriers and icebreakers. They can deliver a total of 70MW electrical to the grid.

      Australia will soon need to hire them if the wind and solar insanity doesn’t stop. One is in operation now but seven are planned.

      60

    • #
      Neville

      Yes Strop and the SUBS’ reactors are not shut down, even if they are not used for many months or years.
      And the same for Nuclear Aircraft carriers. And if they are shut down for maintenance after say 25 years they must be carefully monitored during that process.
      But WESTERN type reactors are very safe.

      50

    • #
      Ronin

      I was thinking that too, great idea.

      30

  • #
    Neville

    You can get a quick summary of Nuclear powered Submarines and Aircraft carriers from this 6 minute video.
    The narrators accent is not good but you can click settings and choose English transcript.
    But Nuclear compared to Diesel is like CHALK and CHEESE and here’s a few very obvious comparisons.
    Nuclear requires no refueling for decades and can stay submerged for months, except for crews needs like food etc.
    Diesel has to refueled at very short time intervals. Nuclear is very powerful and are much faster than Diesel Subs.
    And Diesel can be monitored very easily because of the diesel engines noise that an enemy can hear, easily. IOW if you cared for a loved one you wouldn’t want them fighting a WAR as part of the Diesel sub crew. For them it would be a waste of time and a waste of their lives.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHIGMSQtF4E

    50

    • #
      Hanrahan

      You don’t use the diesel in combat. Our O Boats were very quiet, quieter than the nuclear ones at the time. Something about valves I think.

      The US Boomers MUST be nuclear because their mission is to stay underwater for months. Attack subs need to be nuclear for speed and endurance underwater but Japan has diesel subs for use against coastal surface ships.

      20

  • #

    To be fair to Lucas Heights. It is actually a big medical reactor.

    31

    • #
      David Maddison

      It is a multipurpose research reactor that also produces medical isotopes as one of its functions.

      Other functions include:

      Research in the fields of materials science and structural biology using neutron beams and its sophisticated suite of experimental equipment

      Analysis of minerals and samples using the neutron activation technique and the delay neutron activation technique

      Irradiation of silicon ingots in order to dope them with phosphorus and produce the basic material used in the manufacturing of semiconductor devices

      60

  • #
    David Maddison

    It will be now so easy to “trigger” Australian Leftists into meltdown.

    You just have to say to them “Australian nuclear submarine”…

    Make sure to specify Australian because they don’t mind the Chinese ones.

    100

  • #
    David Maddison

    I also had an article in Silicon Chip, December 2016 on nuclear submarines.

    https://www.siliconchip.com.au/Issue/2016/December

    30

    • #
      David Maddison

      That was meant as a reply to Neville, #30.

      40

      • #
        Neville

        Thanks for that David.
        A few years ago I watched a video on youtube about the Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan and was amazed that it had not been refueled for 23 years.
        But I know now that it’s just par for the course and they could probably extend that for a few more years if required.
        The density of Nuclear fuel is a miracle or as close as we’re ever likely to see.
        And if Nuclear fusion is ever possible it would be the wonder of the ages.

        60

    • #
      Yonason

      Surprising the success he seems to be having without a clean room.

      00

  • #

    I would have thought Daniel Andrews was the biggest threat to Australia, He basically Nuked Victoria and 50% of the people are happy about it !?

    90

    • #
      Serp

      He certainly misjudged the federal government’s determination to revoke his partner status with the CCP whose methods he intends to deploy this weekend against RickWill’s dills.

      00

  • #
    Ronin

    Funny how we intend building state of the art nuclear subs in the state with the least reliable power grid,but we can’t build a train or a ferry.

    130

  • #
    It's all BS

    This has been an interesting thread thus far, one with some facts and some blown out media hype. I am a naval warfare practitioner and have been for nearly 20 years. I am quite qualified to comment.

    Diesel boats are quieter than nuclear boats when they are not charging batteries, which by the way, is still a quiet evolution but one in which is dangerous to the boat due to the infrared plume of the exhaust. Electric motors are extremely quiet, where nuclear boats still have circulation around the reactor. Nuclear boats are faster, but the faster you move through the water, the more noise you generate, which is another reason diesel boats are quieter. They move slower.

    One disadvantage of nuclear boats is their size in comparison to a diesel boat. This is brought about by crew habitability. Because they can stay dived for so long, they must be able to feed the crew, they must be able to house they crew comfortably and entertain the crew when not on watch. Nuclear boats are also larger due to their power plant; it is not just the reactor, it is also the turbines which turn the steam generated by the reactors to motion. Diesel boats can, and mostly are, smaller. Which is an advantage to operating close in shore. Nuclear boats don’t because of their size. We operate our diesel submarines differently due to this.

    Unmanned is only as good as the technology driving it. And it cannot make the same decisions required by international law that the commanding officer of a submarine can. Radio communications with a dived vessel is very low data.

    Lithium ion batteries would be incredibly dangerous in a submarine due to the fire risk. The RAN has a far higher risk aversion to fire than the USN has; this is through the common heritage of the RN, which is very flammable material averse.

    Yours aye

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    • #
      Ross

      So in reality a navy should have both diesel and nuclear powered submarines in order to cover all likely missions. But I am going to say that in the age of satellite imagery and over the horizon radar etc that being underwater for the longest amount of time is probably an advantage? Yes?

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      Old Goat

      BS – why is it that the superpowers have so many nuclear subs if they are inferior ? Please advise who is currently equiping their navy with diesel subs and not nuclear .

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        Hanrahan

        Superpowers roam all the oceans. Minnows try to keep people off their lawn.

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          It's all BS

          Over the horizon radar is not a crock. It is a very useful asset in our early warning, both on the surface and the air. The problem is, on the surface at least, is that small contacts, such as people smuggling vessels, are lost in the surface clutter. They are also generally built of balsa which is not a very reflective material. Australia has had much success in tracking contacts with Jindalee, but they are larger targets. It is more useful in the day as it reflects off the atmosphere that is energized by sunlight. My science lobe is failing after a few beers.

          That is the most important point about unmanned submarines, the bandwith of comms. It is not great when the submarine is underwater.

          Old Goat, superpowers use nuc boats as they are generally superior in most aspects to a diesel boat. Speed and endurance, as already discussed, is far superior. But they are also very expensive to build, run and man. In some operations the diesel boat is superior, particularly when manned by a skilled crew. Diesel boats, being cheaper to run, man and maintain, are very attractive to smaller nations. The RN did run both types until the late 1980s. The Russians ran and I believe still run both. China runs both. France and the US only run nucs. Indian runs both. The Brazilians are looking at nuclear boats in the future.

          I believe this is a great acquisition for us. I only like to point at the positives of diesels because they have their advantages. But if we crew and train our nuc boats to the capabilities of our diesel boats, they will be world beaters. The Collins is the best diesel boat in the world. The Yanks hate war gaming against them. Very quiet boats crewed by well train, professional and motivated sailors. World beaters.

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    David Maddison

    We are due for another Age of Enlightenment.

    In his essay ‘What Is Enlightenment?’ (1784) Immanuel Kant summed up the era’s motto with:

    ‘Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason!’

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      Ross

      Is that enlightenment supplied by coal or wind power David. If it’s the latter, then we can only have that enlightenment on windy days. 🙂

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    Steve of Cornubia

    Given that the CCP probably has way better maps of the underwater terrain between Australia and China, also the whole area around Australia and New Zealand, I wonder how useful our subs would be in a shooting war, even if they are nukes? I wouldn’t doubt that China has more passive listening devices scattered around us, too.

    Did you hear those muted booms? That was our sub fleet being knocked out, letting us know a war has started …

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    STJOHNOFGRAFTON

    We need to get these nuclear subs hooked up to the grid when they’re in port.

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      John R T

      Globally, nuclear-powered maritime fleets. In-port, power terrestrial grids.
      Clean. Quiet. Proven.
      Mutual-defense/trading-nations chose:
      a. Nuke = no tariffs, nor port fees;
      b. Petrol Scows = enviro and other fees up-the-wazoo, no port liberty.
      Everyone wins.

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    Brian the Engineer

    What a fabulous piece of news!!!

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    Beertruk

    Chicoms are very peeved and Greentard heads are exploding.
    Awesome.

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    Need 4 or 5 Nuclear Subs, but also 4 or 10 dirty big three phase plug at most of our ports!
    This is so when we need lots of power we can plug in a couple subs when needed!

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    Hivemind

    100 tonnes of litium on fire while you’re underwater? I would worry about that.

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    Curious George

    “The weight difference is enormous – 300 tonnes of lead acid batteries versus 100 tonnes of lithium ion. The delta of 200 tonnes makes a big difference to a submarine.”
    The landing gear will have to be made much more expensive 🙂

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    CHRIS

    Ahhh…good old sabre rattling. About time we stuck it to the CCP

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    Genevieve J. Davis

    great

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    Genevieve Davis

    I thought we were getting off-the-shelf US subs so there is no need for us to design or construct them.
    We didn’t have the personnel, training, infrastructure or training facilities to operate jet aircraft once upon a time either but somehow we managed to do that.

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      Ronin

      Once the party atmosphere wears off, I think the reality will settle in that this might be a worse deal than the French subs.

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    […] JoNova; Australia’s politicians have finally buckled on their blanket nuclear ban, in the face of […]

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    Lance

    France is quite upset. They cancelled dinner. really. They did.

    But, they kept the cheese and wine. /sarc

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9999163/French-officials-CANCEL-gala-dinner-celebrating-ties-protest-losing-90bn-sub-contract.html

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    Yonason

    In the early 70s I served on a sub tender in the US Navy. We serviced “boomers”(nuke powered subs with ballistic nuke missiles) and “pig boats” (diesel powered) that I thought were on their way out. Why any would still employ them, I have no idea. I thought they were obsolete even back then.

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    Steve of Cornubia

    Maybe I maligned Scotty when I cast doubt on who made this decision, assuming it was America’s. Though I knew it couldn’t have originated with Baffled Biden, I thought perhaps it was the US military.

    However, according to the UK papers, it was indeed Morrison’s idea, one he first raised at the G7 meeting. He had been trying to find an alternative to the stinking deal we had we the French, for their obsolete subs.

    Well this sounds like an excellent alternative and, to emphasise how badly we were stitched up by the French, these NUCLEAR subs with much more advanced technology will actually cost LESS per unit, plus there is much greater technology transfer to Australia.

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    As an ex-submariner (nuclear trained)I was baffled at the French deal. It did not make sense on any level. However, it will take a while to get a nuclear capability, unless there is a big recruitment drive from the UK and US. It happened before when Australia purchased ‘O’ Boats from the UK – lots of recruitment of O Boat submariners from the UK.

    Diesel does have advantages, but these do not really work for working against China. Also, as a rule of thumb, everyone should remember that it takes approx. three submarines to keep one on station. You need a good number to make a credible deterrence. You need lots…not just 8 as being posited at the moment.

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    Very belatedly I’ve added a little update to say the obvious (mostly for foreign readers).

    UPDATE: The irony is that the French subs were originally nuclear subs, and needed major modifications at great expense to turn them into diesel subs, and now we are saying that they’re no good because they are not nuclear. So the French have every reason to feel aggrieved.  But if we are getting US Nuclear Sub technology “for free” that explains dumping the $90b French deal.

    In another irony, Jacinda Ardern popped up to say that these subs won’t be allowed in the New Zealand zone of the ocean because they are a nuclear free zone. We wish our New Zealand friends the best of luck, and wonder how well the zoning will work on Chinese subs. Like gun control, the anti-nuclear forcefield may only repel the good subs and not the enemy.

    I fully expect Arden to get a stern talking too and pull back from statements like that in the future.

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      Lucky

      Good comments from Jo above.

      I have no reservations about the French original proposal, it was the Turnbull engine swap that ruined the idea. If a fault can be put onto the French it was of going along with the diesel option. The sales team being too diplomatic? At least at a technical level, they would have known it was impractical.

      NZ. No need to ban Chinese subs, China will fax/semaphore requirements, NZ will comply to Arden’s usual demonstrated level of competence.

      Comments from -It’s all BS- noted. Yes, diesel subs have their place, but this application is not a diesel role.

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    It’s all BS

    Jo, Jacinda’s comment is mute. Our submarines never go east. Nothing there to do.

    Yours aye

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    RoHa

    If we must have submarines, I suppose these nuclear submarines are better than the dodgy French ones.

    But I fear that tying us even closer to the idiotic and insane foreign policy of the US will just involve us in even more disastrous wars. I think Keating has a point.

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    Genevieve Davis

    er, it will take a while to get a nuclear capability, unless there is a big recruitment drive from the UK and US. It happened before when Australia purchased ‘O’ Boats from the UK – lots of recruitment of O

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    Raving

    France recalls ambassadors fron the U.S. and Australia

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-58604677

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    CHRIS

    Is that so surprising? Poor little diddums Fench spitting the dummy…how many times has that happened since 1900? (EG: Vietnam). The French are sore losers and Empire fantasists. Serves dimwits like Turnbull right for agreeing to the original proposition

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    It seems reasonable for Jacinda Arden to make such a statement, regardless of whether or not some may consider it naive. Not everyone wants to play with potential fire. I hope you continue to report on how this unfolds in the future, there seems to be a lot of pros and cons.

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