Replacement of Australia's Collins Class Submarines

Archibald

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The fact that the previous LNP deliberately went out of its way to exclude Saab/Kockums from the Collins Replacement
The fact that the previous Gvt deliberately went out of its way to exclude Naval Group's nuclear variant of Attack, known as Barracuda from the Collins Replacement (and trigger a crisis with France)
 

GTX

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Hood

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Once again, another opinion piece that falls wide of the mark.
Maybe post Dreadnought BAE Systems will have no work, but that's well into the late 2030s or early 2040s before that happens.
 

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Maybe post Dreadnought BAE Systems will have no work, but that's well into the late 2030s or early 2040s before that happens.
Hopefully working on Barham and Bellerophon by then...
Hopefully an Astute successor (wouldn't want to guess at name, conventions are up for grabs these days).
 

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Hood

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Indeed. By then though, my rise to power will be complete. "B, Admiral. B comes after A!"
Technically as the next class in line the Dreadnoughts should have been 'B' so Astute successor would have been 'C'.
(actually technically Astute should have been W but I can see why they skipped the rest of the alphabet...)
Anyhow enough of this designation OCD - tuning back now to your favourite Aussie sub soap drama (crikey cobbers it might run longer than Neighbours!)
 

Foo Fighter

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Fairly unlikely. I thought the idea was to buy the successor class of whichever side of the pond wins the study. Is anything changing or is this just folk here postulating?
 

kaiserd

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My understanding was the Australians had indicated they were looking to buy an established proven design - i.e. Virginia’s or Astute’s as soon as realistically possible, rather than successor designs (given that the later would push the realistic in service dates for Australian SSNs even later and deepen capacity-gap concerns with current Collins subs ageing-out).

Now that apparently intended plan has it’s own potential issues (as discussed in great detail in this thread) and it’s not to say an alternative approach of, say, proceeding with a conventional stop-gap of some kind (even the cancelled French subs but maybe reduced numbers, or something equivalent) but also agreeing to get into the nuclear sub business as a foreign partner, say, in the US next generation attack sub as a longer term project as part of AUKUS, wouldn’t have some arguments for it.
But the later “alternative approach”doesn’t appear to be the plan the Australians are currently pursuing.
 

Foo Fighter

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IMHO, basing US/UK subs in Oz while training and placing crew members from the RAN would enable training and facilities to come on stream in a controlled manner rather than everything being done flat out and making mistakes. It will take quite some time to bring crews up to standard. if rushed, where would crews come from? Stripped from the surface fleet?
Buying current designs will reduce the relevance of what is supposed to be a fleet with long term relevance, wasted money in other words.
 

kaiserd

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Well the Virgina’s are intended to still be in production into the 2040’s and US service into the 2070’s (with continuing US support and ongoing updating) so that’s not really a concern for them. And the expectation is that the next class of US attack sub (that will overlap in production with the Virgina’s) will be even larger than the Virgina class so may be even more of (unrealistic?) ramp up in size and crew required than Australia already facing.
And while proposals for early loans or early diverting of US ordered Virgina to the Australian navy appear to be long shots there may be scope for Australian basing of US Virgina’s (or at least frequent visits).

The same can’t really be said of the Astutes with greater risk of support issues given the much smaller UK Astute fleet and that it’s intended production run and service life re: the UK will end rather sooner. And given the small size of the UK Astute fleet and the pressing demands closer to home likely that any UK Astute visits Australia will be rather more infrequent and briefer than their US equivalents.

And even putting these aspects aside given many different factors and precedents it appears highly likely that Australian will end up favouring the US (Virgina) solution rather than a UK (Astute) one.

As discussed previously in this thread it is certain that Australian service people will serve on US and UK nuclear subs as part of the build up to fielding their own equivalent capability.
 

Foo Fighter

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Thanks, I thought the Virginia's wopuld be shorter lived than that. I must have crossed wires somewhere.
 

BlackBat242

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Thanks, I thought the Virginia's wopuld be shorter lived than that. I must have crossed wires somewhere.
The VPM Virginias have more improvements than just the payload module--- they incorporate normal improvements in equipment etc that keep the design up-to-date - as will future blocks.

Therefore, they will remain relevant long past when the first decommission.

SSN-774 Virginia commissioned in 2004... of the 66 planned, 21 are complete, and 6 are building (with equipment for 6 more in-work).
 

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US seems to want increased submarine build and maintenance capacity. Australian boats would assist in this - more craftsmen, more facilities, more subcontractor capacity.
This capability is being added for Columbia, and Australian Virginia boats would decrease risk of this capital investment.
It seems likely that Virginia blocks will be in production until Columbia production matures.

Adding a boat every five years to Virginia production, while Columbus production spins up, would be difficult but not impossible. Mature Virginia production is the best value Australia could expect. It is a unique opportunity to negotiate price, training of Australian yard workers, supervision and support of maintenance facilities, long term maintenance contracts, decommissioning risk elimination, etc...
 

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