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Australian navy's hunt for new sub to replace Collins class

Kirkhill

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Old Solduer, us boomers will just have to keep a civil tongue. Eh?:giggle:
 

dimsum

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The main thing that separates this forum from every other disgruntled boomer vet Facebook group out there is the fact that the threads about technical and strategic issues are civil, mostly on-topic, and bring people to the table with subject-matter expertise and interesting perspectives of the matters being discussed.
Agreed. We already have a stigma from places like the Canadian Forces subreddit of being dinosaurs, but the discussions there aren't as tech/strategic. It definitely has its place for quick admin answers for the average troop, and the Saturday memes, but it's a very different focus.
 

dimsum

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So this is what a mature politician sounds like:

I'll play devil's advocate.

We in Canada don't generally hear much Australian news, so what we do hear can feed into confirmation bias. It didn't help that our MSM highlighted how great their military is, but never mentioned their procurement failures (and there are several) - SH-2 Super Seasprite, MRH-90 helicopter, Eurocopter Tiger helicopter, and now the Attack-class submarine. Similarly, do you think they hear about our procurement issues? No - all they know of Canada is it's big, has mountains, and Whistler.

I've been following Australian politics for a while now, and this is an expensive distraction from how badly the Australian Liberals (not to be confused with the North American definition - they are the right-leaning major party in Australia) are handling things such as Covid under PM Scott Morrison. Many of the Australian states are under actual lockdown - the sort we had last winter. The PM is not polling well.

Notice that he talks about the US cycling through - part of the AUKUS thing is also to allow greater US access to Australian bases as staging areas. They already do that with the USMC in Darwin, but it'll be expanded. I don't personally think this is a bad thing, but I'm sure it factored into the deal to grant Australia access to US nuke tech, other weapons, etc.

Australia is also arguably more invested in China than Canada is. Touching on the Terry Glavin article in another thread, the Australians have also been attached at the hip to China for over a decade. A lot of their mining goes to China, and they have the same concerns with foreign ownership in Sydney and Melbourne from Chinese buyers as we do in Toronto and Vancouver. Australia is also a lot closer to China than Canada is, so it's a decently attractive country to emigrate to.

I've said this before, but the one difference between Canada and Australia regarding Defence is that Australia enjoys bi-partisan support of the concept of Defence. It is not to be confused with a US-style "we support our troops" attitude - it is definitely "mile wide and inch deep" and aside from ANZAC Day, most of the public won't even realize that they have a military, but all parties won't outright say they want to cut Defence spending.

However, let's not kid ourselves - their procurement policies are still wonky and have an Australian jobs aspect, whether manufacturing or support. They're less wonky than ours, but still wonky. They complain about similar issues.

Thank you for listening to my TED talk.
 

CBH99

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I'll play devil's advocate.

We in Canada don't generally hear much Australian news, so what we do hear can feed into confirmation bias. It didn't help that our MSM highlighted how great their military is, but never mentioned their procurement failures (and there are several) - SH-2 Super Seasprite, MRH-90 helicopter, Eurocopter Tiger helicopter, and now the Attack-class submarine. Similarly, do you think they hear about our procurement issues? No - all they know of Canada is it's big, has mountains, and Whistler.

I've been following Australian politics for a while now, and this is an expensive distraction from how badly the Australian Liberals (not to be confused with the North American definition - they are the right-leaning major party in Australia) are handling things such as Covid under PM Scott Morrison. Many of the Australian states are under actual lockdown - the sort we had last winter. The PM is not polling well.

Notice that he talks about the US cycling through - part of the AUKUS thing is also to allow greater US access to Australian bases as staging areas. They already do that with the USMC in Darwin, but it'll be expanded. I don't personally think this is a bad thing, but I'm sure it factored into the deal to grant Australia access to US nuke tech, other weapons, etc.

Australia is also arguably more invested in China than Canada is. Touching on the Terry Glavin article in another thread, the Australians have also been attached at the hip to China for over a decade. A lot of their mining goes to China, and they have the same concerns with foreign ownership in Sydney and Melbourne from Chinese buyers as we do in Toronto and Vancouver. Australia is also a lot closer to China than Canada is, so it's a decently attractive country to emigrate to.

I've said this before, but the one difference between Canada and Australia regarding Defence is that Australia enjoys bi-partisan support of the concept of Defence. It is not to be confused with a US-style "we support our troops" attitude - it is definitely "mile wide and inch deep" and aside from ANZAC Day, most of the public won't even realize that they have a military, but all parties won't outright say they want to cut Defence spending.

However, let's not kid ourselves - their procurement policies are still wonky and have an Australian jobs aspect, whether manufacturing or support. They're less wonky than ours, but still wonky. They complain about similar issues.

Thank you for listening to my TED talk.
Fantastic TED talk. I enjoyed it, genuinely 😉👍🏻

This is true. Our MSM does cherry pick what to report (I had no idea…) so what we do readily hear about does tend to feed into our confirmation bias.

I think every democratic country with multiple political parties will have similar issues with procurement.

- Jobs will always be a factor. A company employing 1000 people is potentially 1000 families with a roof over their head, food in the fridge, and opportunities. It’s also a source of income for government coffers via GST, income taxes, etc.

- Are their procurement failures on the same scale as ours? I genuinely don’t know.

They DID acquire Tiger attack helicopters. The availability and reliability of the Tiger sucks, and they should have purchased something else. But the fact is, they did procure that capability - even if the platform chosen leaves much to be desired.

They also acquired the MRH-90. Again, an aircraft that didn’t live up to the hype. But they DID procure it. (If it was a better helicopter, we’d consider it a good procurement, no?)

*I am NOT familiar with the financial situation of these projects at all. Were they over budget? Bought at a premium? Substantially delayed? Or did the process go decently smooth? 🤷🏼‍♂️


They also have quite a few success stories, especially as of late.

- The 12 Super Hornets + 12 Growlers.

- Purchase contract for the F-35 to replace the rest of their fleet.

- invested partner & committed buyer in AI wingman concepts. (Aka loyal wingman)

- P8 Poseidon acquisition

- RPA acquisition to supplement the P8

- have openly stated the Tiger nor MRH-90 is up to the task, and are looking at replacement options

- A fleet of (I believe 6?) C-17’s


They aren’t doing too shabby as of recent, it seems?

But like you said - I don’t get a lot of exposure to Australian news, so I just go off of what driblets I hear via news articles.
 

SeaKingTacco

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The thing I appreciate about Australian Defence Policy is that they are far more tolerant of procurement failure than we are. They take more risk. Sure, sometimes that results in a Seasprite, a NH-90 or a Tiger, but it also gets them Assault ships, EF-18s and, apparently, nuclear submarines.

Edit- Looks like CBH beat me to it!
 

dimsum

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They DID acquire Tiger attack helicopters. The availability and reliability of the Tiger sucks, and they should have purchased something else. But the fact is, they did procure that capability - even if the platform chosen leaves much to be desired.

They also acquired the MRH-90. Again, an aircraft that didn’t live up to the hype. But they DID procure it. (If it was a better helicopter, we’d consider it a good procurement, no?)

*I am NOT familiar with the financial situation of these projects at all. Were they over budget? Bought at a premium? Substantially delayed? Or did the process go decently smooth? 🤷🏼‍♂️
Yeah, but by those metrics our Cyclone is a win as well, despite being substantially delayed and other stuff. Same with our CC-295.

It's a bit telling that they never deployed the Tiger, a helicopter gunship, in Afghanistan.


The thing I appreciate about Australian Defence Policy is that they are far more tolerant of procurement failure than we are. They take more risk. Sure, sometimes that results in a Seasprite, a NH-90 or a Tiger, but it also gets them Assault ships, EF-18s and, apparently, nuclear submarines.

Edit- Looks like CBH beat me to it!
Sometimes the procurement wins get unintended (and hilarious) consequences.

So about the Canberra-class LHDs. I've heard from a couple of Aussie friends that because they're so tall, they block some of the nice views of Sydney Harbour from some of the multi-million dollar units next door.

Edit to add: And if you think we have issues trying to afford a place in Victoria or Halifax as a S3, I wouldn't even want to know what issues the lower ranking RAN sailors would have trying to even rent a place near-ish to work in Sydney.

Happy Little Kids GIF by NBC
 

Kirkhill

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I agree with you Dimsum, that by CBH's metrics the Cyclones are a win.

Personally I think it is a Scots - Irish thing.

Canada was settled in large part by parsimonious Scots Presbyterians who if they had two pennies kept them in their pockets until they rubbed the heads and tails off them.

Australia was settled in large part by Irish reprobates who made a national game out of chancing their luck if they had two pennies. They might lose or they might win the price of a pint.

The Aussies might lose the toss but they prefer to try.

Our Canadians prefer not to try than risk losing.

two-up.jpg
 

Humphrey Bogart

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Yeah, but by those metrics our Cyclone is a win as well, despite being substantially delayed and other stuff. Same with our CC-295.

It's a bit telling that they never deployed the Tiger, a helicopter gunship, in Afghanistan.



Sometimes the procurement wins get unintended (and hilarious) consequences.

So about the Canberra-class LHDs. I've heard from a couple of Aussie friends that because they're so tall, they block some of the nice views of Sydney Harbour from some of the multi-million dollar units next door.

Edit to add: And if you think we have issues trying to afford a place in Victoria or Halifax as a S3, I wouldn't even want to know what issues the lower ranking RAN sailors would have trying to even rent a place near-ish to work in Sydney.

Happy Little Kids GIF by NBC

I find the poor reviews of the Tiger AH from Australia interesting. I own a book written by a French Helicopter Pilot who flew the Tiger in Libya, Mali and the Ivory Coast. He had very good reviews of the Tiger and its performance in combat.

81LAH+65-EL._AC_SL1500_.jpg


I wonder if the issues have more to do with poorly written contracts and service & support than actual combat capabilities?

I'll play devil's advocate.

We in Canada don't generally hear much Australian news, so what we do hear can feed into confirmation bias. It didn't help that our MSM highlighted how great their military is, but never mentioned their procurement failures (and there are several) - SH-2 Super Seasprite, MRH-90 helicopter, Eurocopter Tiger helicopter, and now the Attack-class submarine. Similarly, do you think they hear about our procurement issues? No - all they know of Canada is it's big, has mountains, and Whistler.

I've been following Australian politics for a while now, and this is an expensive distraction from how badly the Australian Liberals (not to be confused with the North American definition - they are the right-leaning major party in Australia) are handling things such as Covid under PM Scott Morrison. Many of the Australian states are under actual lockdown - the sort we had last winter. The PM is not polling well.

Notice that he talks about the US cycling through - part of the AUKUS thing is also to allow greater US access to Australian bases as staging areas. They already do that with the USMC in Darwin, but it'll be expanded. I don't personally think this is a bad thing, but I'm sure it factored into the deal to grant Australia access to US nuke tech, other weapons, etc.

Australia is also arguably more invested in China than Canada is. Touching on the Terry Glavin article in another thread, the Australians have also been attached at the hip to China for over a decade. A lot of their mining goes to China, and they have the same concerns with foreign ownership in Sydney and Melbourne from Chinese buyers as we do in Toronto and Vancouver. Australia is also a lot closer to China than Canada is, so it's a decently attractive country to emigrate to.

I've said this before, but the one difference between Canada and Australia regarding Defence is that Australia enjoys bi-partisan support of the concept of Defence. It is not to be confused with a US-style "we support our troops" attitude - it is definitely "mile wide and inch deep" and aside from ANZAC Day, most of the public won't even realize that they have a military, but all parties won't outright say they want to cut Defence spending.

However, let's not kid ourselves - their procurement policies are still wonky and have an Australian jobs aspect, whether manufacturing or support. They're less wonky than ours, but still wonky. They complain about similar issues.

Thank you for listening to my TED talk.

The Australians have a robust Bi-Partisan Defence Policy by virtue of how absolutely crappy the Countries around them are:

Indonesia is the fourth most populated Country in the World, it also is an absolute basketcase in so many ways: Islamic Fundamentalism, Military Coups, Death Squads, Massive Civil Unrest and Social Issues. It's literally a stones throw from Australia. Sailing through the Indonesian Archipelago was an experience I will never foget.

Philippines - same as above

Malaysia - ditto

Brunei - Practices Sharia Law and is run by a crazy despotic Sultan who, fun fact, happens to own the World's largest luxury car collection. The British also protect him and have a Ghurka Regiment permanently garrisoned there.

Then you've got Thailand, Burma and Vietnam further away but also have their own issues.

I won't even get in to all the Pacific Islands, the vast majority of which are economic, political and social basketcases with their own issues.

Fiji has had what? 4 or 5 Military Coups in the past 25 years?

You think Australia spends a lot on Defence? You should go to Singapore. They've got a Navy that's more capable than ours with 1/7th the population. Their Main Naval Base is a bloody Modern Day Fortress that they only built a few years ago. The entrance to the manmade harbour is lined with guard towers, and remote weapon systems. All ships that aren't Military that enter the harbour are checked by divers for mines/IEDs. The Jetty's have underground tunnels with conveyor belts that are used to move ammunition from underground ammo stores directly to the Ships. It's all automated of course 😁. I laugh when I think of us fumbling ammunition at CFAD.

I would show you pictures but I was expressly forbidden from taking any while I was there, for obvious reasons.

I quite like Singapore if I'm being honest. They are hyper-capitalist, incredibly wealthy and they are surrounded by bad people that want what they have. They don't mess around with their Defence or Sovereignty. The Country is also among the safest in the World. I know the Attaché there and he told me it's the safest Country he has ever been to. There is almost no crime and he lets his kids ride the subway to school by themselves. He would never even consider that in any place in Canada.
 

dimsum

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You think Australia spends a lot on Defence? You should go to Singapore.
Yeah, but that is because of....well...you know...


Australia has had bombs dropped in Darwin and Broome, and a Japanese submarine sank ships in Sydney Harbour (or just outside). It changes your world view when your enemy was literally at your doorstep, and you're in a bad neighbourhood, as you pointed out.
 

Kirkhill

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Yeah, but that is because of....well...you know...


Australia has had bombs dropped in Darwin and Broome, and a Japanese submarine sank ships in Sydney Harbour (or just outside). It changes your world view when your enemy was literally at your doorstep, and you're in a bad neighbourhood, as you pointed out.

Yeh but...

battle-of-the-st-lawrence-ef077926-15fc-4a70-9c0d-7234ac59962-resize-750.jpeg
battle-of-the-st-lawrence-5aff863e-6e28-4dcd-bdd9-20028146285-resize-750.jpeg


We choose to actively ignore some stuff.
 

dimsum

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Yeh but...

battle-of-the-st-lawrence-ef077926-15fc-4a70-9c0d-7234ac59962-resize-750.jpeg
battle-of-the-st-lawrence-5aff863e-6e28-4dcd-bdd9-20028146285-resize-750.jpeg


We choose to actively ignore some stuff.
Agreed, but again, the big difference between us and Australia is the proximity of friendly nations.

I'm not saying I agree with it, but short of the US turning on us (and worse than the Trump tariffs), an strong Canadian defence strategy is unlikely to be important enough to the public and govt.

Australia has to hold out until the US/UK/whoever can help bolster. Hence being very receptive to US forces on its soil.
 

Kirkhill

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Agreed, but again, the big difference between us and Australia is the proximity of friendly nations.

I'm not saying I agree with it, but short of the US turning on us (and worse than the Trump tariffs), an strong Canadian defence strategy is unlikely to be important enough to the public and govt.

Australia has to hold out until the US/UK/whoever can help bolster. Hence being very receptive to US forces on its soil.

Agreed - and the Brits badly let the Aussies down in WW2. And again when they joined the EU. The US has been their anchor for a while.

We seem to have more of a contemptuous familiarity with the US. Sure in our own minds that no matter what we do to him the Big Guy won't let anything bad happen to us.
 

Czech_pivo

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Yeah, but that is because of....well...you know...


Australia has had bombs dropped in Darwin and Broome, and a Japanese submarine sank ships in Sydney Harbour (or just outside). It changes your world view when your enemy was literally at your doorstep, and you're in a bad neighbourhood, as you pointed out.
But to your point a significant number of ships were sunk within the confines of the Gulf of St Lawrence but we Canadians seem to conveniently forgot about this.
 

CBH99

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A strong Canadian strategy won’t be a high priority for any government, as they know the public care more about social justice outrage stuff than hard power. Then that same public will be blown away when something like Covid happens, and we lack the ability to even produce our own PPE.

And the government hasn’t figured out that the CAF is actually their ability to execute their foreign policy. So instead of investing really in themselves, they buy ‘those green, blue, black uniformed folks enough to keep us happy’ - not realizing we are them outside of our borders. (Mind boggling really…)

We have the ability to produce high quality armoured vehicles. We should develop the capability to also produce the turrets & everything that goes into the turrets.

We have the ability to build helicopters. We should build a few a year to keep the plant busier & steady, stabilize it. Our boom & bust cycles aren’t good for anybody.

We can clearly build ships now, and hopefully this plan goes the way it is envisioned.


My point is that if we stabilize (or grow) the workforce that is directly involved in or supporting national defence, we may actually get more support across the parties. Those are skilled jobs, which require quality training at universities, keep families afloat, keep local economies chugging along, and keep us in the global game.

There is so much potential here in so many aspects that ends up completely wasted, because it would require the federal government, defence manufacturers, provincial governments, etc to do more than think ahead as little as possible.


0.02 🍻🤷🏼‍♂️
 

Good2Golf

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Fantastic TED talk. I enjoyed it, genuinely 😉👍🏻
Good one, Dimsum! Although, away from ‘civy MSM’, Tiger and Taipan were well known within the international defense community as poorly supported products.
This is true. Our MSM does cherry pick what to report (I had no idea…) so what we do readily hear about does tend to feed into our confirmation bias.

I think every democratic country with multiple political parties will have similar issues with procurement.

- Jobs will always be a factor. A company employing 1000 people is potentially 1000 families with a roof over their head, food in the fridge, and opportunities. It’s also a source of income for government coffers via GST, income taxes, etc.

- Are their procurement failures on the same scale as ours? I genuinely don’t know.

They DID acquire Tiger attack helicopters. The availability and reliability of the Tiger sucks, and they should have purchased something else. But the fact is, they did procure that capability - even if the platform chosen leaves much to be desired.

They also acquired the MRH-90. Again, an aircraft that didn’t live up to the hype. But they DID procure it. (If it was a better helicopter, we’d consider it a good procurement, no?)

*I am NOT familiar with the financial situation of these projects at all. Were they over budget? Bought at a premium? Substantially delayed? Or did the process go decently smooth? 🤷🏼‍♂️
Yes, yes, yes, and no. Tiger and Taipan were both heavily influenced by hard French lobbying…as were the subs. Australia had enough of France and promises and delays…
They also have quite a few success stories, especially as of late.

- The 12 Super Hornets + 12 Growlers.

- Purchase contract for the F-35 to replace the rest of their fleet.

- invested partner & committed buyer in AI wingman concepts. (Aka loyal wingman)

- P8 Poseidon acquisition

- RPA acquisition to supplement the P8

- have openly stated the Tiger nor MRH-90 is up to the task, and are looking at replacement options

- A fleet of (I believe 6?) C-17’s


They aren’t doing too shabby as of recent, it seems?

But like you said - I don’t get a lot of exposure to Australian news, so I just go off of what driblets I hear via news articles.
What’s the common theme with the successes above?

AUKUS
 

CBH99

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What’s the common theme with the successes above?

AUKUS
True true.

I was also thinking “urgent operational requirement.”

I think a majority of those projects were pushed through as their equivalent of a UOR, or at least a focused buy that “only this product fits our requirements” - and they didn’t kick the can down the road for years at a time.


Another angle on the common theme comment could also be - all of those procurements were done with common sense in mind.

Projects used by your largest ally, in production, upgrade roadmaps, and in easily supported just via sheer numbers in service. Common theme with those is also common sense?

🍻
 

suffolkowner

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I think as stated above the Australians are pivoting away from European solutions to American ones. If you keep having problems with particular suppliers why would you keep going back. It doesn't matter whose fault it is if your focus is on results, just move forward. Why can Australia do this and not Canada? Why is defence procurement not as much of a political football? Why do we understate or minimize our past exposure to danger?

I think this nuclear project is going to be quite interesting to follow.

1. Australia needs to build the infrastructure to build and maintain the new boats as I understand the facilities currently existing and envisioned are not up to snuff

2. Current Uk and American boats are quite huge and their replacements are expected to be bigger yet, especially if the UK looks to use the same reactor setup in both its SSBN and SSN. Is that what they are looking for?

3. There doesn't seem to be room for Australian boats on the production line especially in the UK

4. The Australians are commited to American torpedoes and combat system so that adds another layer of complexity in any ASTUTE modifications. Are they commited to a specific torpedo layout that is going to be costly?

Too bad the relationship with Naval Group soured and they couldn't make it work on the conventional subs or transition to the French nuclear sub. Makes one wonder how the French are getting along with Brazil? Is it a Latin thing?

I wonder if the UK doesn't complete it's ASTUTE run and the equipment all get moved down under for Australian use/continuation
 
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