Australian news, and some related international items

Few realistic options for Defence to fill its submarine ‘capability gap’ before new nuclear fleet

Few realistic options for Defence to fill its submarine ‘capability gap’ before new nuclear fleet, ABC By defence correspondent Andrew Greene  4 Nov 21
  In a blistering National Press Club address on Wednesday, France’s ambassador warned that Australia may have created a submarine capability gap of up to 20 years by cancelling the contentious $90 billion project with his nation.

Much of what Jean-Pierre Thebault said during his hour-long critique of the federal government is rigorously contested, but what is clear is that the navy faces a looming headache on how to replace its ageing Collins Class submarine fleet.

Acquiring nuclear submarines will take decades, and over the next year or so Defence is studying the numerous American

and British options available, as well as the various regulatory and workforce hurdles involved……………….

The scrapped French design was considered the best conventionally powered option, so now there are few options for the government if it wants to replace the operational capability provided by the ageing Collins Class submarines before nuclear-powered boats arrive.

Build, buy or borrow? None of the options are easy

Soon after the AUKUS bombshell was dropped in September, government ministers floated the prospect of Australia leasing submarines, but most military experts don’t believe this option is viable.

Very few nations have ever leased a submarine, and Australia’s AUKUS partners — the United States and United Kingdom — don’t appear to have any “spare” nuclear-powered boats lying around. 

A similar option being discussed would be the forward deployment of one or two Virginia Class American submarines in Western Australia, or even the permanent basing of the US boats in Fremantle. ……………….

November 4, 2021 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war

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