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U.S.-Australia submarine deal: What are the risks?

12 Comments
By Sylvie LANTEAUME

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In pursuit of Australia's legitimate need for self-defense, in the face of a large and threatening foreign military force that is lead by a party who is blatantly seeking regional economic and political domination and primacy - and is not hesitant when threatening others who oppose their will - the deal makes perfect sense and should go through without further delay or drama.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Skeptical- I agree.

The other side of the equal sign is what the risks are of not doing the deal.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Global terrorism disguised as "democracy and goodwill"..

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

I don't think, since nationalism returned in earnest with Trump, anyone is paying more than lip service to a 'rules-based international order'. Although a bad thing, nuclear proliferation may have become inevitable as soon as globalisation began to be taken down. International trade has done a reasonably good job of keeping antagonistic nations from going too far since the end of WWII. It hasn't been perfect, but it has kept a lid on things. As globalisation now ends and we switch back to the nation state model, regionals wars are more likely in areas like the Indo-Pacific.

I suppose there is some sense in having a nuclear balance of power in the Indo-Pacific region, as there has been in Europe, to reduce the chance of a first strike. For now, that is provided by US forces. Australia apparently has no interest in nukes.

The Pacific Ocean is a bigger pond than most nations have in their backyard, so the Aussie desire for this tech is understandable. The Australians should have been more open with the French about their change of direction, but these things happen.

A bigger downside is the nuclear waste created. It's not pixy dust. It will be around for generations.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Dont forget, these subs, if delivered , are decades away.

Havent even decided in a class or design yet.

As much politics by an Aust. PM under pressure as defence initiative.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The biggest hurdle that I see is geographical.

Obviously,sub propellers in the Southern hemisphere will rotate in the opposite direction.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Global terrorism disguised as "democracy and goodwill"..

This is why the international community is working together and will thwart any Chinese aggression.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

He said it could encourage non-nuclear weapons countries like Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Saudi Arabia or South Korea to buy nuclear submarines that could give them weapons-grade fuel.

Brazil is already three years into construction of its first nuclear powered submarine Álvaro Alberto which began in 2018.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If the Aussies are smart they will buy an existing design in use with either the RN or USN and go with that as is without changes. Start off building hull sections in the shipyard(s) of the nation who's design is chosen. Send Australian shipyard workers there to learn their craft under the expert supervision of experienced submarine builders. Assemble and fit out the hull sections in Australia with help from shipyard workers from the nation who's design is chosen. Move more work to Australia with each successive submarine until the last two are built entirely in Australia, hopefully with only minimal oversight from the foreign shipyard who's design they are building.

It takes two to three years to train welders to make the kinds of perfectly smooth, bubble and void free welds required to join the thick, 100,000 psi steel plate used in nuclear submarine hulls. It is a very specialized skill. Australia might want to think about sending shipyard workers to the US and UK now to start learning their craft building US and UK subs.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Australia is taking a wrong path these days!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

A more cost effective maritime defense would be nuclear mines.

Mass produced, enough could be laid to deter Chinese aggression, and keep the open seas free for all peace loving people of the free world.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Australian submarine builders have decades of experience and those welders may not take three years to get up to speed on the thicker welds for the nuclear subs. Workers will be recalled from French yards and be sent to US/UK yards to learn what is needed before the first hull is laid in Adelaide which will be years away in any case.

This is an opportunity for the US to design a new attack sub and share the costs with Australia saving itself billions. It may be based on the Virginia class or be a start over with lessons learned from Virginia class subs. Using an already old design will still need alterations for updated technologies in computers and other equipment like sensors and mast camera technologies etc.

I certainly bow to Desert Tortoise naval experience and knowledge in US systems but question his knowledge of Australian shipyard expertise and experiences. They may also hire some personnel from the UK or US that already have such welding experience, to live and work in Australia. Australia frequently employ's British specialists from the military and civilian military complexes.

The fact is Australian requirements are to construct these subs at Adelaide to keep the trained skilled staff in work rather than to lose them by having subs built in other countries for the first couple of decades. This means a constant build in Australia starting as soon as is practical. It may not be the fastest or most cost effective way forward but it gives us the native capacity to build nuclear submarines which will augment other Allies construction to increase numbers faster. It also gives an ability to conduct more detailed repairs on allies nuclear subs at an Australian ship yard that may be the closest available.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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