Major policy flip from Australia: out with French diesel subs and in with *nuclear ones*!?

Major policy flip from Australia: out with French diesel subs and in with *nuclear ones*!?

Next thing you know we might get *one* nuclear power plant

Yesterday the odds of that were “Buckleys”. Wow. Foreign readers might not appreciate how seizmic this is.

Australia to get nuclear-powered submarines, will scrap $90b program to build French-designed subs

In 2016, the Turnbull government announced French company Naval Group (then known as DCNS) had been selected for this country’s largest-ever defence contract, to design and build “regionally superior” conventional submarines.

A well-placed military source has told the ABC the Defence Department’s general manager of submarines, Greg Sammut, has called an urgent “clear lower decks” meeting for tomorrow morning to discuss the dramatic development.

Another senior official said “top secret” briefings have been arranged at the Defence Department on Thursday.

We’re still fixing the legacy of Malcom Turnbull’s mistakes:

David Archibald was lamenting these daft policy choices 3 years ago

Malcolm Turnbull has made that very difficult. He took delight in choosing French vapourware submarines over the proven Japanese offering because the latter was Tony Abbott’s choice. The French submarines are scheduled to enter service in the 2030s.  In the interim we will be spending as much keeping the sclerotic Collins class submarines going as it would have been to replace them with the Japanese Soryu class. The Collins class is cursed with one of the worst diesel engines ever put into a marine vessel.  Our submariners will be struggling with them for decades yet thanks to Prime Minister Turnbull.

As an indication of the idiocy that is guiding our French vapourware submarines, Asia Pacific Defence Reporter reports that they are going to be built with lead acid batteries instead of lithium ion batteries because the RAN does not want to be introducing this particular new technology in the 2030s. The Japanese are using lithium ion batteries now in the Soryu class. The weight difference is enormous – 300 tonnes of lead acid batteries versus 100 tonnes of lithium ion. The delta of 200 tonnes makes a big difference to a submarine. This decision on batteries by the RAN has been described as “retarded” by an experienced Australian defence observer based in Washington.

David Archibald is the author of American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare

 

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September 15, 2021 at 02:27PM

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