Defence under pressure over submarines

Defence under pressure over submarines, by Robert Gottliebsen.

The Australian submarine contract is vital for France and its president. …

US defence is actually appalled at our incredible costly submarine gamble because it lessens our ability be an effective force in the Pacific and Indian oceans for the foreseeable future.

The ABC reports that former government defence adviser Derek Woolner and fellow researcher David Glynne Jones say that Australia’s objective to produce a “regionally superior” submarine is “now under challenge” and by the time the new submarine hits the water around 2034 “it’s going to be obsolete”.

Woolner says our submarine is to be built with a heavy metal main battery…

“A number of countries in the region are already proceeding to build boats around lithium-ion batteries that promise something like five to six times the submerged stealthy performance and a great deal more high-speed performance than you can get from a lead-acid battery submarine”, Woolner reveals.

Delivery times slip 10 years, then 20 years:

In February 2015 then prime minister Tony Abbott said the new submarines would enter into service by the mid-2020s. A few months later Kevin Andrews, then defence minister, said it would be 2026-27. It’s now 2034 but it turns out that the Barracuda project in France is a disaster and is three or four years behind schedule so that will inevitably delay the Australian submarine closer to 2040. By 2034, let alone 2040, there will be a whole new generation of submarines. Abbott was right they had to start being operational in the mid 2020s. …

Price soar from $20b to $90b:

Australia originally announced that the $50 billion cost estimate was after adjusting for inflation. It was a shock figure and more than double the $20 billion firm tender from Germany.

Then last year defence dramatically lifted the cost to around $80 billion (probably because of building the first two submarines in Australia).

Then add $10 billion for the combat system, which is useful for a submarine, and we have a total cost of around $90 billion. Maintenance costs are likely to take it above $200 billion over the submarines’ life.

The DCNS Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A design is a conventionally-powered derivative of France’s nuclear-powered Suffren-class submarines.

At least the picture is cheap

Crook technology in our lead-acid-battery limp-alongs:

Hydraulics expert Aidan Morrison’s detailed research paper last year showed that the while the pump-jet system works well with nuclear submarines, at the slow pace required for diesel electric it fails.

After a long delay, defence countered by claiming that pump-jets could be efficient across the entire speed range. Morrison responded: “It is a bizarre, irrational claim with no basis whatsoever in physics. It is frankly bewildering that such a claim could be made, given how easily its falsehood can be established by even moderate research, or simple logic.”

Our elite are so incompetent they are begging for replacement. I wonder if the Chinese leaedership reckon they could run our country better?