Skip to comments.Push to axe Collins subs now, buy European (Australia)
Posted on 10/06/2010 6:25:49 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
Push to axe Collins subs now, buy European
From: The Australian October 07, 2010 12:00AM
A RADICAL plan is being pushed by a group of senior Australian submariners.
It is to retire two Collins-class submarines immediately and fast-track the purchase of four ready-made submarines from Europe.
The proposal, which has been sent to both the federal government and the opposition, reflects growing concern among some former senior naval officers that the government's plan to build 12 of the world's most sophisticated conventional submarines is flawed and unrealistic.
The proposal comes after Treasury last week urged the federal government to buy more off-the-shelf weaponry.
The former submariners say that Australia cannot afford to wait until 2025 for the new submarines and must take urgent action to buy off-the-shelf submarines from Europe to progressively replace the under-performing Collins-class fleet.
Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar. .End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar. "Australia should rapidly acquire four locally built military-off-the-shelf (MOTS) submarines to address the submarine availability issue and address the growing capability gap between the Collins-class submarines and the modern submarines proliferating throughout the region," said Rex Patrick, a former submariner who assists the navy in undersea warfare training and who has authored the proposal.
"The Collins-class submarine program has been an unmitigated failure and two of the submarines should be decommissioned immediately (the HMAS Rankin and HMAS Collins) -- they are not available anyway, there are no crews for them and maintaining them is placing an ever increasing burden on the navy's budget."
The Rudd government's defence white paper committed to building 12 large, sophisticated submarines in Australia to replace the six Collins-class boats from the mid-2020s.
The plan to build 12 large homegrown submarines has been costed by the
(Excerpt) Read more at theaustralian.com.au ...
Cutaway of the Collins class submarine
I’m in Maine, and I got excited when I saw the headline, “...ax Collins.”
I thought they were talking about Susan Collins.
The newer Euro-boats have much smaller manning requirements with approximately 30 personnel to a boat compared to 40-odd for the Collins class. This along with their new air independent propulsion systems make them attractive in one sense for the RAN. However the Collins was designed for sustained oceanic operations just like the big Japanese subs.
Crewing is the problem - people can earn so much money now in the Western Australian mines, that the RAN is having serious recruiting and retention problems. Submariners are among the best trained, and so are very attractive to industry.
The RAN is perfectly prepared to pay for crews - and submariners earn a lot of money with their allowances compared to other members of the Australian Defence Force - but there’s a limit to what you can do when you are competing with quarter of a million dollar salaries for people with the skills of officers or chiefs, and six figures for somebody with the skills of a 20 year old Able Seaman.
Perhaps these sailors should be lionised a bit more somehow. Being a miner shouldn’t carry a carry too much less prestige than serving your country...