While waiting for its nuclear submarines, Australia is reluctant between repairing or buying conventional submarines

BFM Business

After the cancellation of the submarine contract with France, Australians must provide an interim solution so as not to lose their naval capabilities and secure jobs.

Will Australians ever have the nuclear submarines they dream of? Yes, but not for many years, but, this gear change can be very expensive. The agreement has not been signed and Canberra has not yet decided whether it will be signed with the United States or the United Kingdom. Initially-and if all goes well-deliveries can only begin in 2040, after the six Collins-class submarines currently in service are retired.

Australia is now looking for a solution so as not to leave without naval protection for a few years. Refers to multiple avenues considered Financial analysis. The government originally wanted to lease a British or American nuclear-powered submarine until the first of the new boats was delivered. The route has been rejected because neither the United States nor the United Kingdom can reduce their fleet.

A working group

To reach 2038, Australians planned to extend their drownings by 10 years, hoping the new models would be delivered on time. But experts point out that upgrading ships at the end of their lives doesn’t cost much cheaper than buying new Collins-class submarines.

“Building a new Collins-class submarine would give greater capability and keep personnel in Adelaide. You can’t ask a 40-year-old submarine to do things that aren’t designed, ” a source told the site.

A working group has been created to evaluate the best path, but things will not be simple, regardless of the option. Improving Collins will require between $ 4.3 billion and $ 6.4 billion in investment, says Markus Hellyer, an analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, and signals it will be difficult to find compatible components as suppliers have stopped producing them.

Canberra in “a worst case scenario”

The order’s path to new conventional submarines could be particularly positive, as according to experts, it would ensure orders for local companies penalized by the cancellation of the French submarine program. Faced with this dilemma, Marcus Hellyer believes Canberra is in “a dire situation.”

When asked by the Americans or the British to help “temporarily” defend its maritime territory based on the Treaty of Agus, would this cost increase force Australians to order fewer submarines than the 12 initially issued in the treaty with the Naval Group? It will ultimately be a blow to Australia’s defence sovereignty.

Meanwhile, the Australian government wants not to waste time on its nuclear models. Defence Minister Peter Dutton has signed an agreement authorising British and US diplomats to exchange “information about naval nuclear propulsion” between their countries. It was the first agreement signed and made public after the three countries of the Agus agreement, a new security alliance of three countries in the Indo-Pacific, was announced in September.

Pascal Samama

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