Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear missile submarines in the Indo-Pacific

Increasing Indo-Pacific nuclear boats and the impact on strategic stability  Defence Connect, Stephen Kuper, 5 June 20, As the Indo-Pacific continues to evolve economically and strategically, one of the traditional measures of great power status – nuclear attack and missile submarines – will become more prominent. For ASPI academic Stephan Fruehling, this will have a dramatic impact on the strategic stability and calculus Australia depends upon.

Much like the submarine competition between the US and Soviet Union, this new arms race is resulting in fleets of hunter-killers and strategic missile submarines stalking the depths, however the US and China are far from the only emerging and established Indo-Pacific nations seeking to leverage the power of nuclear submarines.

The growing proliferation of advanced nuclear weapons systems, including the relatively crude, yet still capable submarine launch ballistic missiles recently tested by North Korea, and the increasingly capable nuclear-powered submarine fleets introduced by China and Russia, South Korea has moved to address a tactical and strategic shortfall: a lack of nuclear-powered submarines.

While seemingly a shock move, the South Korean strategic policy institute, the Korea Defense Network (KDN), commissioned a research review into the feasibility of developing an indigenous nuclear-powered attack submarine.

It is reported that the results suggested that South Korea consider building a nuclear-powered attack submarine modelled after the French 5,300-tonne Barracuda Class submarine, the design model for Australia’s own fleet of $50 billion Attack Class submarines.

India also fields a growing array of domestic and foreign nuclear submarine designs in both the attack and ballistic missile variants providing an already tense regional balance of power with yet another platform to complicate the tactical and strategic decision making processes for many nations, including Australia……..

For Australia, this raises the question, can the nation depend on the nuclear umbrella provided by the US or, for that matter, the UK at a stretch? If not, what is the solution for Australia? ……..

June 6, 2020 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war

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