Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

US admiral issues blunt warning on building Australian submarines in overstretched shipyards

ABC By defence correspondent Andrew Greene, 1 Sept 22,

A senior US Navy official has warned helping Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines could be too big a burden for America’s already overstretched shipyards.

Key points:

  • Constructing additional submarines would be “detrimental”, US program executive officer for strategic submarines says
  • Admiral Pappano’s comments are the strongest public intervention so far on the idea
  • The Defence Department is conducting an 18-month study on the best option for Australia to acquire nuclear-powered subs

During an online forum, the US program executive officer for strategic submarines was questioned on America’s shipbuilding workforce and the implications of the AUKUS partnership with Australia.

Rear Admiral Scott Pappano said the ambitious plan could hamper his nation’s own nuclear submarine program, as well as the United Kingdom’s, in comments made to the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.

“If you are asking my opinion, if we were going to add additional submarine construction to our industrial base, that would be detrimental to us right now,” Admiral Pappano said.

The rear admiral added that significant investment would be needed to provide “additional capacity, capability to go do that”

“I won’t speak for the UK, but I think that exists for both the US and the UK where we’re looking right now,” he said.

The Defence Department is currently conducting an 18-month study on the best option for Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarine capability, with a report due to hand down official recommendations in March.

Earlier this year former defence minister, now Opposition Leader, Peter Dutton claimed he was confident Australia could secure two American-built Virginia-class nuclear submarines by 2030.

Mr Dutton insisted that if the Coalition had remained in office, it could have been “in a position to make an announcement around July-August” on acquiring US-built nuclear submarines.

Private reservations

US naval figures have long held private reservations about allowing Australia to join an American production line for nuclear-powered submarines, but Admiral Pappano’s comments are the strongest public intervention so far…………………….

UK says submarines a ‘collaborative program’

British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace remarked that Australia’s future nuclear-powered submarines, under the AUKUS agreement was “not an either, or type question” between British or American designs, but could be a collaborative program between the three nations………………………………   https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-09-01/us-admiral-issues-blunt-warning-on-building-aus-subs/101394250

September 1, 2022 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war

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