Skip to comments.Australian coalition leaders float nuclear navy
Posted on 11/16/2012 7:53:21 AM PST by JerseyanExile
Top Coalition leaders want to open the debate over the purchase of nuclear submarines to replace the navys diesel fleet, a huge step up in Australias military capability in response to Chinas plan to become a major maritime power in the Pacific Ocean.
Senior Coalition frontbenchers told The Weekend Financial Review that acquiring or leasing Virginia-class nuclear submarines equipped with conventional weapons, such as cruise missiles, would be supported by the Obama Administration.
Purchasing the submarines is not yet Coalition policy but some shadow ministers have discussed the idea with United States officials. Australias dependence on seaborne trade and Chinas ambitions make a powerful submarine fleet the most sensible naval strategy, some Coalition leaders believe, and nuclear submarines would be more reliable and lethal than Australias existing submarines.
In discussions with defence experts US Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich reiterated American willingness to provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines, which could receive technical support at US naval bases in Hawaii and Guam. In the longer term, this could lead to a joint Australian-US submarine base in the west or north of Australia.
(Excerpt) Read more at afr.com ...
If you’ve got a nuclear submarine your going to want some nuclear weapons too.
Since we’re decommissioning her, we ought to sell the Aussies the Enterprise. That’ll give the Chicoms some heartburn.
bad move. they can buy more diesel electrics with less cost in training and still add cruise missles. i don’t see the australians doing a lot of long range power projection and a lot of AOs around australia are shallow and SSs are better suited for that. also build up a powerful long range shore-based maritime strike air force with ASMs.
I don’t think this would be legal...current laws about the export of fissile material and very sensitive military technology would have to be changed. Not that that would stop Obummer...
Aussies are better off with many more modern diesel boats than a couple of nucs anyway. The expense would be enormous...it’s not just the boat...they would have to establish an entire training infrastructure to provide the crew to man the boat...unless they are allowed to train with US Nucs...
On the flip side, this would help with more production at EB and GD.
Australian submarines do undertake long range missions. A lot of this is classified, for obvious reasons, but it's now public knowledge that during the 1980s and 1990s, the Royal Australian Navy was operating submarine spy missions off the coasts of Russia and China with the boats we had then and our current submarines are far more capable than those.
Whether we need nuclear boats is another question, but we have long decided we need the capacity for far, far more, than littoral operations near our own shores.