Some good news about the NBN

The NBN debacle will be dwarfed by the submarine project.

The total cost of the project is budgeted for $50bn with an extra $5bn-$6bn allocated for weapons.

The first sub won’t be battle-ready until 2034 after which ­Defence expects to roll one out every two years. Australia will not receive its full complement of boats until the 2050s.

Allow 100% cost blowout and a decade or two on the delivery. The upside is that it will all be academic, apart from the addition to the national debt, because they will be out date for the next war long before they become a target.

Thinking laterally to save some money. Since they are only likely to be used for target practice by the enemy forces, why not leave out the engines and weaponry and just build shells to tow behind some other vessel as decoys to draw enemy fire?

UPDATE A comment by a longtime observer of the submarine fleet.

I disagree with the comment about buying US submarines, they are all nuclear and setting up the infrastructure to handle them would be way more expensive than a whole fleet of conventionals. We should have bought stock standard, off-the-shelf German boats. We would have had the whole lot in 10 years for about a quarter the cost. The difference in cost comes about from having to make a unique design to accommodate a US combat system, plus the cost of paying the US to actually develop a combat system for a conventional boat. Their first go was the disaster in the Collins Class.

This entry was posted in Rafe, Shut it down. Fire them all.. Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to Some good news about the NBN

  1. Rex Mango

    Australia’s French designed nuclear retrofitted diesel submarines sailing around in the 2050’s will be Malcolm Turnbull’s enduring legacy.

  2. BrettW

    What a joke.

    As many have indicated should have bought US subs, Already in use, much cheaper and could even poach some US crew to get first ones going.

  3. John Constantine

    Russia now running nuclear robot drone subs.

    Skynet submersibles.

  4. nfw

    Hang on. If we had gone the Japanese route that would have meant: having boats (they are not “subs” you armchair warriors!) in the water asap; the builder and designers would be on the same time zone plus or minus an hour; Japan is only a 9 hour flight away (even by JetStar!); and dealing with one of Australia’s best and oldest reasonably honest trading partners. Going French however has so many more advantages: public servants in and out of uniform will be able to enjoy long flights with the attendant best hotel rest time for all that business and first class travel; the Alps are in France; Europe is so much closer to France than Japan; dealing with a country that undercuts us in trade and subsidies all the time while blocking us selling to the EU; and offering years of productive work for Canberra denizens while waiting for plans and boats. Of course nobody in Canberra would remember or wants to know how the French treated us with HMAS Success would they?

  5. 132andBush

    Are there any ADF people out there able to defend this decision?
    Anyone?

  6. Dr Fred Lenin

    Another great business venture by the clever career politicians ,remeber NBN esimteof 3billion or a bit more it was written on he beer coaster the plans were originally written on I said at the time “somewhere between 3 billion and sixty billion . Looks like turnbull and pyne have beaten krudd and conway by a mile ,now its between 50 and 999 billion ,wonderfull !the left ing liberals beat the right wing communists of the alp. Still we only have to wait 30 years for or deadly sub fleet . Imae w many missiles we could manufacture for that money and the radar to detect hostiles in or waters to destroy w our missiles and risking no lives to do it drones ,radar missiles make subs obsolete, like lefty career politicians . Dinosaurs awaiting extinction .

  7. Oh come on

    This is insane. Absolutely insane. Australia needs to get over its brain-bleedingly stupid aversion to nuclear-powered subs. We are not the only country in the world that requires long range subs, but we are the only country in the world that demands our long range subs have diesel electric propulsion. Hence the vastly expensive and time-consuming procurement of sub-standard (ahem) subs that are unique to Oz.

    The solution is obvious – go nuclear!

  8. Beachcomber

    Is it too late?; to cancel the contract, pay the withdrawal penalties, buy the Japanese or US ships, and get on with it.

    And send the bill to Turnbull, Pyne and Bishop.

  9. Beachcomber

    Oh, and – go nuclear!

  10. cohenite

    Worst financial boondoggle and scandal this country has had. Pyne leaves turdball with his puissant half a bill for saving the GBR and 7 bill for pumping water uphill for dead.

  11. Beachcomber:

    Is it too late?; to cancel the contract, pay the withdrawal penalties, buy the Japanese or US ships, and get on with it.

    Fuck the penalties – sue the French for fraud.
    They can fight it out in the courts.
    Purge any Australian who put their signature on the procurement documents, then try them for treason.
    This whole Defence Procurement debacle continues back through the years to damn near every major acquisition made by the department for the last twenty years.

  12. TFX

    the basic problem for hunter/killer submarines has always been their slow underwater speeds in getting into the appropriate locations for attacking surface ships. These submarines may have to surface to obtain higher speeds to get to an appropriate location. While surfaced they are much more vulnerable to detection and interception. Nuclear missile armed retaliatory submarines do not have the worry about this basic failing in submarines.
    Drone submarines can be built at a cost an order of magnitude lower. They are much smaller and have no requirements for life-support systems. Preferably they could be nuclear and remain on patrol duty for years on end. Diesel electric submarines would require much more regular servicing. This lower cost would allow a potential tenfold increase in the number of submarines available for protecting Australia and therefore the likelihood of interception of hostile surface vessels.
    There have been technological improvements which allow much greater communications contact with these vessels while submerged. An integrated communications network using satellite information from our allies and our Over the Horizon radar system would enhance the effectiveness of these vessels and because of their greater number, provide a much greater defence capability for Australia.

  13. John Constantine

    The Russian drone robot subs can also be thought of as rechargeable recallable nuclear torpedoes.

    No port in the world is untouchable, no ship unsinkable, no supply route safe from blockade.

    Australian socialism Class submarines are the flashest Sabre wielding cavalry on the dearest charging horses money can buy, in the age of helicopter gunships.

    Just as well our elites have signed Australia’s unswerving commitment to our binding capitulation conventions and we have already surrendered the next conflict.

    Comrades.

  14. Rex Mango

    Seem to remember that ever since RAN went co-ed for Collins Class, they struggled to man, sorry crew their subs, so perhaps HMAS Turnball and her sisters will never leave port anyway.

  15. Fred

    What has never been considered is not buying 12 subs in the first place.

    Land based cruise missiles and land based ballistic missiles will have a much greater deterrent effect than 12 submarines, where half are broken down or in maintenance and the other half are struggling to get crews!

  16. Rusty of Qld

    Why would any of our sailors want to be a submariner in such an inferior vessel? Sure wouldn’t blame them for not wanting to be in the navy anymore.

  17. lotocoti

    Are there any ADF people out there able to defend this decision?
    Anyone?

    When you ask this sort of question, in the right sort of company, the answer is not only no, but nobody will even admit to knowing a submariner.

  18. Fang

    No doubt the frogs, have the deposit for ten of them already?

  19. Ian of Brisbane

    We should have bought working Japanese subs for a fraction of the price as Abbot proposed. But Turnbull could not abide anything TA so trashed our defence capability instead.

  20. areff

    Are there any ADF people out there able to defend this decision? Anyone?

    They’re too busy making its-a-girls-life-in-uniform ads. Can’t recall the last time I saw an ad that encouraged young men to sign up.

    Good beat and you finance social engineering to it

  21. Diogenes

    Seem to remember that ever since RAN went co-ed for Collins Class, they struggled to man, sorry crew their subs, so perhaps HMAS Turnball and her sisters will never leave port anyway.

    Rex,

    It is BECAUSE of lack of boys willing to serve in the Collins class they had to go co-ed, not co-ed first then – sorry don’t want to play. The boys looked at the odds & decided a Collins was more dangerous than a surface ship* .This is also the reason why when every western style submarine service in the world is manned by volunteers, EXCEPT Australia . When you join the Queens of the Sea you have to tick a box saying you would be willing to serve in subs, so by stretching the definition they are technically volunteers, but not really.

    * kinda sorta reminds me of the old Soviet era saying concerning May Bomber/reconnaissance crews. “We have sighted the enemy . Tell our wives we love them”.

  22. duncanm

    Cheezles on a stick! $50B!

    For that price, we could buy ten of the latest Virginia Class attack subs from the US (I’m assuming we don’t want ballistic missile subs).

    FFS — we could probably lease them for a tenth of that.

    Which of course, has been suggested before by minds greater than mine.

    Added bonus – we greatly increase our military cooperation with the US. God knows we need it in this hemisphere with the Chinese sniffing about.

  23. Percy Popinjay

    Australia’s French designed nuclear retrofitted diesel submarines lying on the bottom of the ocean in the 2050’s will be Malcolm Turnbull’s enduring legacy.

    Fixed.

  24. duncanm:

    Cheezles on a stick! $50B!
    For that price, we could buy ten of the latest Virginia Class attack subs from the US (I’m assuming we don’t want ballistic missile subs).

    Didn’t someone here say that the Whole-of-Life cost was going to be $260 Billion?

  25. Percy:

    Australia’s French designed nuclear retrofitted diesel submarines lying on the bottom of the ocean in the 2050’s will be Malcolm Turnbull’s enduring legacy.

    The crews will come from the political/industrial/union classes. Or else.
    If they’re good enough for my kids, then they’re good enough for theirs.
    We may even get some quality out of the bargain.

  26. Entropy

    That’s a good point. A private members bill requiring the children of the pricks who approved this boondoggle to sail in them. Might actually be built survivable.

  27. Entropy

    Grandchildren sorry.

  28. John Constantine

    Robot drone subs with super-Tsar-bomba as a payload.

    Don’t have to get anywhere near the target port with a hundred megatonnes on board.

    Even just parking on an undersea slope that would generate a tsunami if a hundred million tonnes of tnt equivalent went off.

    This is a catastrophist conspiracy thing, but in theory easy and cheap if ruthlessness and megadeaths are your thing.

    https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/02/russian-supernuclear-robotic-submarine-would-trigger-a-mega-tsunami-to-wipe-out-florida-and-east-coast-of-the-usa.html

    Comrades.

  29. J.H.

    If Dan Andrews and Victoria is anything to go by….. Labor will sign itself up to China’s “Belt and Road” initiative and come 2050 we’ll be fighting America using Chinese gear, or rather, our ecofascist kids will be….. France will be a Muslim Caliphate with a technology no more sophisticated than sword making. So forget about those submarines….. 😉

  30. Kurt

    Has anyone ever heard of a French company bringing anything in on time and on budget? I honestly thought out of the Germans, Japanese or French that the French had no chance. The Japanese for a long term strategic partnership (heavily supported by the Americans) or the Germans on pure engineering competence (they have produced hundreds of subs in the post war period). But the French? Only a tosser like Turdbull could fall for them. Who even buys a French car? Ffs.

  31. J.H.

    If Dan Andrews and Victoria is anything to go by….. Labor will sign itself up to China’s “Belt and Road” initiative and come 2050 we’ll be fighting America using Chinese gear….. 0.O

  32. Entropy

    Kurt
    #3033607, posted on June 3, 2019 at 7:06 pm
    Has anyone ever heard of a French company bringing anything in on time and on budget? I honestly thought out of the Germans, Japanese or French that the French had no chance. The Japanese for a long term strategic partnership (heavily supported by the Americans) or the Germans on pure engineering competence (they have produced hundreds of subs in the post war period). But the French? Only a tosser like Turdbull could fall for them. Who even buys a French car? Ffs.

    Procurement prefer trips to Paris.

  33. New construction $M projects for the ADF must be vetted by numerous govt depts then the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works.

    Then if passed by the PWC the project the goes to parliament.

    Hands up all those who remember such meticulous scrutiny for Turnbull’s Tripe Torpedos?

  34. Nob

    This crap will never be any use.

    Anybody read Sean McFate?

    https://www.seanmcfate.com/the-new-rules-of-war

    Video here:
    https://youtu.be/kDIcp3E8t1M

    Can somebody embed it?

    Thank you.

  35. Nob

    Since the end of World War II, the United States has struggled to win wars. This is especially true considering its campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. With one of the most powerful militaries, it is safe to say the US is not losing combat missions due to a lack of resources or technology. Strategic atrophy, along with an unwillingness to adapt to the changes of warfare, are the main reason the US is not winning.

    “War is knowable,” writes Sean McFate, “and half of winning is knowing what it looks like. The bad news is we have forgotten how. Western strategic thought is antiquated and incapable of safeguarding us.” While the US is struggling in this new climate of warfare, other nations, including US adversaries, have already adapted to new strategies and the new rules of war.

    What can the US and other Western powers do to be strategically effective again? How has war changed and how might wars be fought in the future?

    Sean McFate is professor of strategy at the National Defense University and Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. McFate will join us to discuss his recent publication, “The New Rules of War: Victory in the Age of Durable Disorder.”

  36. Peter

    This french fantas project makes no sense, it never did, and it never will

  37. PB

    I think the Globalist warfare project is running a tighter schedule than 2034 allows.

  38. PoliticoNT

    Team – a couple of things to consider >

    Why would we select a submarine that did not offer the capability our Collins Class (now) offer? Please read between the lines.

    Re build times, for both the future submarine, and frigate. The years involved are ridiculous. I regularly have to sit through inane briefings on what is known as ‘Continuous Naval Shipbuilding’ – the invention of the golden circle of Strategic Policy Group. (Des will explain.) Everyone has a PhD, or three Masters; nobody has much common sense. Continuous Naval Shipbuilding is the magical blanket under which we take a very long time to design and build anything. I don’t believe in it, and make the point often. Recently I transitioned (dodgy concept that, but I digress) to making the blunt point, ‘if you fucking idiots think the electorate are going to give us 46 years to build 9 fucking ships – you are kidding yourselves.’ That’s right. 46 years to build 9 frigates. (Privately my view is once Greg Sheridan understands this concept the build window will shorten to 15 years.)

    As for Pyne. Yes, he’s objectionable. Yes, he trashed Parliament. But before Pyne arrived we couldn’t make a procurement decision to save ourselves. Now we make procurement decisions as if it’s the most normal thing in the world. That was Pyne’s doing, plain and simple. So some credit where credit is due.

    As for US submarines. Would it be possible? Absolutely. But we’ve never had the political stocks capable of doing the deal.

  39. Tim Neilson

    Now we make procurement decisions as if it’s the most normal thing in the world.

    I’ll take your word for it, but I think that we’d have been better off saving the billions by not making this particular decision.
    I mean either way we have no subs for decades.
    Or we’d have been better spending the billions to get Pyne out of Parliament in 2016 rather than paying to keep him there for a mere three years more.

  40. DavidH

    @John Constantine (June 3, 6:51)
    Re that headline of a mega-tsunami, the USGS indicates that the “world’s largest nuclear test (USSR)” – which would be the Tsar Bomba – was less powerful than Krakatau, coming in around mag 8. It was an order of magnitude less than the megathrust earthquakes that did create devastating tsunamis.

    Seismic Wave Energy in Earthquakes

    We really are puny compared to nature.

  41. PoliticoNT

    Tim – no – the cost of continuing not to make decisions would have been far more disastrous. Revitalising the decision making element for defence procurement (by NSCC) was the one great thing Pyne achieved during his parliamentary career. It may grate, but it’s worth acknowledging.

  42. Rafe Champion

    A comment by a longtime observer of the submarine fleet.

    I disagree with the comment about buying US submarines, they are all nuclear and setting up the infrastructure to handle them would be way more expensive than a whole fleet of conventionals. We should have bought stock standard, off-the-shelf German boats. We would have had the whole lot in 10 years for about a quarter the cost. The difference in cost comes about from having to make a unique design to accommodate a US combat system, plus the cost of paying the US to actually develop a combat system for a conventional boat. Their first go was the disaster in the Collins Class.

  43. PoliticoNT

    Rafe – the German OTS options most recently considered did not offer the capability we get out of the Collins Class (albeit that capability was a long time coming and at the primary cost of having no Submarine capability for a decade and a half). Nor did the Japanese.

    Within our current self-imposed restrictions we either went with a home grown Collins Mark 2, or a foreign supplier. The French, while imperfect in every regard, offered us everything we wanted. Build/capability outcomes will be dependent on the quality of our political and departmental stocks.

    The timeframe, like that for the future frigates, is meaningless – and is adhered to by the collected idiocy of the inner-circle of Defence only because they’ve been allowed to get away with it to date. See my previous comment about Sheridan. Once he gets the concept the build timeframe will shrink. Although unlikely to happen during Reynolds’ tenure as she is only marginally less useless than the previous incumbent. (See also the newly appointed Minister for Defence Industry – holy Jesus – now that’s a story I’d like explained.). Until you have a Molan/Hastie combo in Defence not much progress on the building maritime platforms in a sensible timeframe front is going to be made.

  44. John Constantine

    The catastrophists did get a bit complicated with the bomb triggering wave thing. Unless there was a knife edge sub-sea landslip waiting for a trigger, it would be simply more destructive to have the robot drone speed up to withing a few miles of a port city and detonate the Tsar Bomba directly ‘On The Beach’.

    Robot drone torpedoes, nuclear powered and armed, can now be fired from thousands of miles away and patrol self-aware for years, sorta bypassing the whole submarine as manned launch platform concept.

  45. John A

    The NBN debacle will be dwarfed by the submarine project.

    So what’s the bad news?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.