Australia sailing on after sinking French subs con job

Australia sailing on after sinking French subs con job. By Robert Gottliebsen.

Back in 2016 the French “conned” Australia to go with the massive submarine project. As I explain below, by stopping the contract we now have a magnificent opportunity to transform not just our defence, but our nation. …

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

French battery-powered Barracuda: Cancelled

It’s not easy to admit a $270bn mistake but that’s what Dutton, along with his assistant Andrew Hastie, did on Thursday, September 16, 2021 — a historic day in our nation’s history.

And better still they replaced the French “con trick” with what we should have done in the first place — a link with America and the British in a nuclear submarine.

My first warning that Australia might have been “conned” came three days after the announcement on April 29, 2016. Countless commentaries have followed and I want to thank all the people who have helped me with information and gave me the courage to keep writing when I seemed alone. ….

The Wentworth Report has been highlighting the inadequacies of the French sub deal since 2016, such as here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Gottliebsen has previously quoted this site on other defense matters.

The written 2016 estimated tender price for the French submarines was in the vicinity of $23bn, in 2016 dollars. Defence officials desperately tried to keep a secret that the base costs had ballooned and construction was headed to be around $150bn, inflation-adjusted. But the operating costs would take the total bill to around $270bn. And the submarine fleet that relied on outmoded lead acid batteries would not be available until 2040 and beyond. Crazy. Defence officials desperately try to keep the original cost estimate secret even though it had been announced in April 2016.

To be fair to the Navy, it always believed a nuclear submarine was best for Australia but back in 2016 that was not politically possible.

We still have the Joint Strike Fighter/ F-35 disaster and the frigate mess to sort out. But the submarine was the biggest of the mistakes. …

Defence did not have the right people. The federal parliament needs to realise but they have been fed a series of lies and half truths, not just over the submarine but the Joint Strike Fighter and the frigate contracts. The Labor opposition should have made defence a pivot point in attacking the government but they did not do the work.

It’s good to see that poor decision has now been corrected.

Well done Robert Gottliebsen, for shining a torch on this important issue while the rest of the media mostly twittered on about trivialities that were soon forgotten.