Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s nuclear submarine plan – a source of disagreement in US Congress

Who is going to build our nuclear submarines? Financial Review 13 Jan23.……………………………………………………………. At the heart of the problem is this simple fact: according to current projections, the US needs to turn out two submarines a year, but only around 1.3 per year are coming out of its naval shipyards.

The deficit in shipyard capacity is a problem that affects maintenance and refits as well as new boat construction. Last year, Rear Admiral Doug Perry, director of undersea warfare requirements in the US Navy, admitted that of America’s 50 attack submarines, “18 were either in maintenance or waiting to go in maintenance”. That figure should be closer to 10.

‘Zero-sum game’

In the words of senators Reed and Inhofe, “what was initially touted as a ‘do no harm’ opportunity to support Australia and the United Kingdom and build long-term competitive advantages for the US and its Pacific allies, may be turning into a zero-sum game for scarce, highly advanced US SSNs”.

Reed and Inhofe will have been briefed in detail by US officials, and presumably those classified briefings led them to conclude that the projected additional demand from the AUKUS program would come at the expense of America’s own military preparedness.

…………………………….. the back-and-forth [in the USA regarding Austrsalian submarines] shows that wider congressional commitment could be put under strain if the program comes to be seen as improving Australian capability while stretching the US to breaking point.

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January 14, 2023 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war

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