Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Why nuclear submarines?

Despite so many changes over recent decades, it all comes back to whether the nation’s military should be focused on defending the continent, or if its interests are better served by helping a powerful ally further from home

From SMH 14 Feb  ‘…………Why nuclear submarines?

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced in September that Australia was dumping a $90 billion agreement with France to build 12 conventional submarines and would instead develop a fleet of at least eight nuclear-powered boats with the US and Britain under the AUKUS agreement. The nuclear submarines will arrive by 2036 at the earliest, but possibly much later, at a cost of at least $116 billion.

The decision to acquire a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines has very little to do with defending the mainland and its maritime approaches, which our current fleet of Collins-class subs could probably handle. In fact, some commentators argue conventional submarines are superior in defending the archipelago to our north because their engines can be turned off, which makes them stealthier.

………………….. Dutton is also still insisting the [nuclear] submarines will be built in Adelaide, saying the government has already “demonstrated through a number of programs a desire to build our capability … and there are tens of thousands of jobs in the economy today as a result of that”.

……………… Australian military strategist Hugh White, the principal author of Australia’s 2000 Defence White Paper, is not a fan of the AUKUS agreement, saying it has been exaggerated for two reasons. The first is because the nuclear fleet will arrive too late, and the second is it is not necessarily what is needed.

Instead of getting nuclear submarines decades down the line, White says Australia should be looking at building a new version of the Collins-class submarine, while moving as fast as it can to buy “off-the-shelf” submarines such as Germany’s Type 216 conventional submarine.

……….. Despite so many changes over recent decades, it all comes back to whether the nation’s military should be focused on defending the continent, or if its interests are better served by helping a powerful ally further from home……………….. 

February 17, 2022 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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