Tuesday 25th of June 2024

le sub...

le sub

I believe the specs got changed between the Abbott request and the Turnbull decision. Considering the Abbott Minister of canoes could not get anything build in Australia, there must have been some new instructions on the spreadsheet: build in Australia or else. Only the French managed to get across the line. Their shipyards are expert in building big things including the two Queens for Cunard. They build their own nuke subs and they build aircraft carriers for the Russians, until the F*&^%$#ing embargo imposed by the yanks...

mr pyne, your seat has been saved...

A French company has beaten competitors from Germany and Japan to secure the contract to build Australia's next fleet of submarines, with the Federal Government promising thousands of Australian jobs will be created.

Key points:
  • Australia's next fleet of submarines will be built in Adelaide
  • The project will create 2,800 jobs nationwide
  • The design will come from French company DCNS


The much anticipated $50 billion contract has been settled in the febrile, pre-election period and ensures the 12 new submarines will be built at Adelaide's Osborne shipyards.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull flew to Adelaide to make the official announcement, confirming French company DCNS had won the bid to build a modified version of its nuclear submarine called the Shortfin Barracuda.

He was flanked by his Defence Minister Marise Payne and local cabinet colleague Christopher Pyne, who holds a marginal South Australian seat.

read more:


100 years of anzacs in france...

He was then welcomed at the Palais-Royal, once the personal residence of Cardinal Richelieu, welcomed by the French Minister of Culture Audrey Azoulay. There, Australia's National Archives director David Fricker was pinned with a green medal signifying he was now a 'chevalier de l'ordre des artes et des lettres', literally a knighthood (though a junior one).

There was much talk in the speeches about shared history, faithful friendship and genuine mutual respect.

And there was to be much more such talk at the Elysee Palace on Tuesday evening, at a state banquet amid opulent luxury.

According to diplomatic sources, the French were "sick with worry" before the announcement of the tender winner.

They needn't have worried.

Their diplomacy, like their submarines, is force to be reckoned with. Beneath the surface, it was tracking its target all along.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/submarine-deal-smooths-sir-peter-cosgroves-french-connection-20160426-gofot4.html#ixzz46y5EjkK9
Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook

Plus saving Pyne's political arse and everything is fine in the best of the worlds... Candide would be impressed. 

a 50 year marriage...


After the announcement by Australia of the choice of the French industrial group DCNS to build twelve submarines, Tuesday, April 26, Hollande praised the "historic choice" on Twitter. 
Several questions arise on an already qualified agreement "contract of the century".

DCNS, what is that?
The industrial group DCNS, specializing in military shipbuilding industry is on a large part held by the State (64% share) and Thales (35%). The latter 's stock grew over 2% on Tuesday in the Paris Stock Exchange.
Until 2007, DCNS was DCN, Directorate for shipbuilding, itself born of French arsenals and the Directorate of Naval Construction and Weapons (DCAN). Changing the agreement with Australia was paramount for the future of DCNS. Especially as its German rival TKMS was also competing.

Is the contract really signed between Australia and DCNS?
No contract is signed for the time between Australia and the French industrial group. But following the announcement by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Australia and DCNS will enter exclusive negotiations for its signature.
Discussions should be completed in early 2017. year and the commissioning of the first submarine is planned for 2027. On Europe 1 on Tuesday morning, the French Minister of Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian, announced that he will travel to Australia in a few days "to establish the roadmap of the final contract in the coming weeks, "he said.

A contract for 8 billion or 34 billion Euros?
The budget of the military program is the largest defense contract by Australia. It is estimated at 34.3 billion euros and includes design, technology transfers, production, and maintenance system for twenty-five years.
If signed, the contract also provides for an overall budget of fifty years for infrastructure, maintenance and crew training. The twelve submarines will replace the current fleet of six Collins class submarines. According to Turnbull, Australia can count from 2027 on the new generation of submarines "the most sophisticated in the world."
But if the contract is estimated at 34.3 billion euros, the share of French industry is estimated at 8 billion euros. "Part of this money will be invested in Australia since Australia wishes, and understandably, ensure its security and industrial sovereignty. But a significant portion will return to France, "said Mr Le Drian.

How many jobs are affected in France?
With this future agreement, the defense minister said on Europe 1 that "it will be thousands of jobs in France. It is a very long-term contract. We are married with Australia for fifty years. "
Specifically, in France, the contract will mobilize more than 4 000 people for six years at DCNS and its 200 subcontractors, mainly at the sites of Cherbourg, Nantes and Lorient. Yet difficult to say at this stage how many of these jobs will be created for the occasion.
If the market is won by a French company, the construction of submarines, however, will be in Australia, in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia State which has the strongest country in the unemployment rate (7.7% in February). This contract will also allow the creation of 2 900 jobs in Australia.
Canberra sought in effect to obtain assurances that a large part of the manufacturing process would be conducted in Australia to maximize participation and employment of Australian industry. And a few months early due to parliamentary elections in July.

What were the DCNS competitors?
While the selection process was launched in February 2015, DCNS has long been considered a mere outsider. The Japanese consortium led by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, was party favorite, closely followed by the German TKMS. But several factors helped the French to take it to the wire.
The Germans, who also proposed to build the submarines in Australia, had the handicap of never having designed buildings of the class of 4000 tonnes requested by Australia, almost double the size of the units they currently produce. As for the Japanese, the doubts concerned their ability to perform outside their country on such magnitude.
Australia also wished to conclude a long-term partnership, what France can guarantee, with its own guaranteed submarine program over the next seventy years. The panel's recommendation to study the offers was "unequivocal," said Turnbull.

Why Australia renews its fleet of submarines?
These twelve submarines will replace the six conventional submarines that date from the 1990s and are expected to no longer be used from 2026. To justify this doubling, Malcolm Turnbull highlighted "the complicated maritime environment" in the region, particularly the rise of China.
Beijing constructs huge operations islets embankment, transforming coral reefs ports, airstrips and other infrastructure in South China Sea.

Translation from Google Translate....
Now NO contracts have been signed and no construction will begin for about two years.
"The most sophisticated subs in the world" is already obsolete as of yesterday (whether German, Japanese or Russian subs). By 2027, sub technology will be completely useless.
"The complicated maritime environment" due to the Chinese is a very poor excuse to sink cash on such as scale. All this will do is make the Chinese laugh.
"And a few months early due to parliamentary elections in July." is a euphemism for buying votes with cow bells...


real subs in operation now...

The US Navy is facing better and more numerous Russian submarines capable of taking out aircraft carrier groups. The service can’t ensure full awareness of Russian sub activity, CNN reported, citing American admiral.

"The submarines that we're seeing are much more stealthy," Adm. Mark Ferguson, commander of US Naval Forces in Europe, told the news channel. "We're seeing [the Russians] have more advanced weapons systems, missile systems that can attack land at long ranges, and we also see their operating proficiency is getting better as they range farther from home waters."

Russian deployments of attack and ballistic missile submarines are currently at levels unseen since the Cold War, he said. The US has 53 submarines in service and the number will drop to 41 by the late 2020s due to budget constraints, Ferguson added.

Even with the current numbers, the Pentagon can’t monitor all Russian subs, according to retired Adm. James Stavridis, a former NATO supreme allied commander.

"We cannot maintain 100 percent awareness of Russian sub activity today," he said. "Our attack subs are better, but not by much. Russian subs pose an existential threat to US carrier groups."

Ferguson acknowledged that Russia invested years and billions of dollars into upgrading its submarine fleet because it sees NATO as a threat to its security.

"NATO is viewed as an existential threat to Russia, and in the post-Cold War period, the expansion of NATO eastward closer to Russia and our military capability they view as a very visceral threat to Russia," he said.

The Russian submarine deployments are “focused on protecting the maritime flanks of Russia” and on “denying NATO the ability to operate” in areas such as the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea.

For 20 years Russia has been complaining that NATO's eastward expansion poses a military threat. The US and the alliance have steadfastly denied this, attempting to justify the policy as one designed to ensure the security of Eastern European nations and dismissing Russia's concerns as unfounded.

The US claimed the anti-ballistic missile system the US is deploying in Europe protects NATO allies from a possible attack by “rogue nations” such as Iran and North Korea. Moscow maintains it undermines its missile deterrence.

This week, the Pentagon argued before the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee that the Missile Defense Agency should get the funding it requests “to deny Russia offensive capabilities.” It also listed war-battered Syria as a source of growing ballistic missile threat to the US


lesubs vs u-boots...

Our world philosopher in residence, Piers Akerman tells us in this morning Sunday Telegraph (1/5/16) that the submarine bid from the Germans was cheaper than the Union driven French LeSub. Which means that we could have got 13 Germanic engineered U-Boots for the same price. Of course one has to demand where he got his valued info from since so far the bids were secret. And as far as I am concerned, we are prepared to pay 50 billions for twelve subs, not more nor less so if you have cash leftover after the technological construction, just splash the cash on the captain's cabin to make it look like a Bavarian castle.

But Piers is not impressed about the old coats of paint on the Collins Class subs either, which of course were badly designed by a socialist country, Sweden, badly built by a socialist state, South Australia and ordered by a real bad socialist prime minister, Bob Hawke. 

Apparently, according to our Sunday Aristotle, due to the eagerness of the Japanese to enter the world weapon trade, they would have build the subs for next to nothing in record time. But Piers is quite impressed by the French ability to milk the Australian political landscape as this deal of the sub-century is designed to prop up Mr Hollande. The French spruiked their nuclear sub so well, we apparently bought the concept that the reactor could be replaced by a strong elastic band, the winding of which can be performed by a small diesel engine as required. 

But Piers soap box sweet success here is that he is able to bash unions and Turnbull (plus Pyne and Maryse) while singing the indirect praises of someone called Abbott. I have forgotten who Abbott is and I hope the said Abbott wont try to make us remember... 


diving for nothing...


You can have submarines instead

Diving for dear life
When we could be diving for pearls

– Elvis Costello, ‘Shipbuilding’

As I write this, many Australian artists and small to medium arts organisations are waiting on tenterhooks for funding notifications from the Australia Council. Some have already heard. In the wake of multi-million dollar cuts made in the 2014 and 2015 federal budgets, there’s barely a brass razoo to go round. Artists will find out they have lost jobs; companies will be forced to close. In what has been described by former Australia Council CEO Michael Lynch and others as the worst funding environment for 40 years, state-level cuts totalling $8 million have added insult to injury for South Australian artists. For us, the busker’s hat raided by George Brandis has now been kicked over. Stoicism and camaraderie will be in abundance as the phone calls come in – my peers and friends in the industry are well practiced – but grief and anger will rightly obtrude. Set this against the highest unemployment rate in the country, and you could be forgiven for thinking there’s never been a less exciting time to be a South Australian.

But, just as when the Falklands War reinvigorated northern England’s moribund shipbuilding industry, we are now led to believe that the construction of military hardware – in this case 12 submarines built at a cost of at least $50 billion – will rescue us from a bleak, post-industrial spiral of joblessness and anomie. According to the Government, the building of these submarines, to be shared between South Australia and Western Australia, ‘will directly sustain around 1,100 Australian jobs and a further 1,700 Australian jobs through the supply chain’. For the record, that’s about $18 million per job, or a still eye-watering $4 million if calculated using the inefficiency premium as the base. Unless you count the test-firing of torpedoes sometime around 2030 – when the first of the submarines is expected to be completed – the submarine deal promises little bang for buck. And that’s to say nothing of the cost blowouts that, judging by the notoriously mismanaged Collins class build, are inevitable.

In Dwight D. Eisenhower’s nationally televised farewell address of 1961, the former general decried the growing enmeshment of the country’s manufacturing industries with its armed forces, in the process coining a lastingly useful phrase: the military-industrial complex. However, in a less celebrated speech made eight years earlier to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the President had put the case against ever-growing military spending even more potently, and with a poetics and moral conviction that seem to belong not so much to another age as another planet:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people… This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

Take a moment to try to imagine any current Western democratic leader (or her opposition for that matter), let alone one belonging to a right wing party as Eisenhower did, expressing such a view. In the present, bitterly divided political landscape, news of increased defence spending scarcely elicits comment much less debate. In Australia, true bipartisanship across the major parties is rare as hen’s teeth – except where the military is concerned. With the support of Labor and the Coalition, $32 billion will be poured into defence this year, a figure that, according to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Mark Thomson, will rise to around $50 billion by the middle of the next decade. Compare the dearth of scrutiny such sums receive with the protracted, torturous debate over education funding.

So we will have our guns, but not our butter. The belief that we can have both – indeed, that military investment can underwrite as much butter as we want – lies beneath the submarines announcement. But this ‘military Keynesianism’, to borrow a phrase from historian Andrew J Bacevich, is a military-industrial castle in the air. To take one pertinent example, the Collins class build, awarded to South Australia in 1987, was supposed to have produced all sorts of spillover benefits from technological innovations to skills training that would guarantee the market competitiveness of future shipbuilding in the state. Instead, American expertise had to be brought to bear on near-disastrous software problems, and it is amply clear that economic sense has less to do with having the submarines built in South Australia – it would have been far cheaper to do so overseas – than it does with an impending, close-fought election.

And come 2030 – or 2040, or 2050 – when the region’s geopolitical environment will look very different than it does today, what will the submarines actually be used for? With a mere eight paragraphs devoted to this question in the 2016 Defence White Paper, and nothing more than ‘jobs and growth’ vapidities from the Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, the answer can only lie in the subjunctive. Writing for The Drum, Terry Barnes wryly imagined the submarines surfacing off nameless hostile coasts to drop covert landing parties, and torpedoes ripping through enemy ships just as HMS Conqueror had done to Argentina’s ARA General Belgrano in the Falklands. And there, finally, in Barnes’ mind’s eye, was a stubbly John Mills, gazing steely-eyed into a periscope like out of We Dive at Dawn (1943), the Nazi battleship Brandenburg firmly in his sights.

Who will be in ours? The Chinese? Terrorists? Nobody asks; nobody says; in truth, nobody knows. This is the basis on which billions of dollars of federal money is shovelled into the raging furnace of the military-industrial machine. Conversely, our painters, writers, editors, and directors must endlessly, and minutely, articulate everything they do in the increasingly forlorn hope of securing even a small amount of funding from an ever diminishing pool. After discussing Labor’s education policy with Bill Shorten and Kate Ellis this week, primary school principal Louise Wilkinson remarked that ‘it’s about time defence did some chook raffles and sold tea towels.’ Fat chance. That’s for our hospitals, schools, and libraries; for our small theatres, mental health support services, and low-income earners.

Eisenhower knew this when, in his farewell address, he told his viewers that the cost of a vast military establishment had a ‘total influence – economic, political, even spiritual’, one that could be ‘felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government.’ Many of our finest artists are feeling the cold hand of this influence on their shoulders today; tomorrow it will be another group of dreamers, helpers, or elders. It will be more Duncan Storrars. If this is what Malcolm Turnbull’s vision of ‘innovation’, ‘agility’, and ‘excitement’ consists in, he can keep it. Not that it will make any difference come July 2, whichever way the wind happens to be blowing that day – it’ll still smell of gunpowder and fear.

Ben Brooker is a writer, editor, critic and playwright. He is the author of many published short stories, poems, essays and reviews and has written for New MatildaNew InternationalistAustralian Book Review and his blog Marginalia. He lives in Adelaide.



leaky subs...

Malcolm Turnbull has taken a notably tougher line than his defence industry minister, Christopher Pyne, about embarrassing data leaks relating to the Scorpene submarine, flagging Australia’s concerns with the French president, François Hollande, in two separate encounters at the G20.

The prime minister telegraphed publicly the concerns he was in the process of expressing to Hollande on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Hangzhou on Monday, telling Australian-travelling reporters the leaks were “very very regrettable”.

But earlier in the morning, back in Australia, Pyne was playing down the significance of the leaked material.

Pyne told the ABC “they were not top-secret documents, which would obviously be very serious, but the Scorpene class of submarine built by DCNS is their export model of submarines, it’s the same submarine bought by several different countries around the world, it bears no relation at all to the Barracuda submarine which will be built for Australia which is a unique submarine”.



These leaks are irrelevant considering these subs will be obsolete on the day of delivery...

leakiy plans

The Indian Navy’s new $3 billion fleet of submarines – said to be the quietest in their class – may have been compromised after 22,400 pages of top-secret files detailing the vessels’ stealth capabilities were reportedly leaked from a French shipbuilder.

The leak describes in detail vital features of six Scorpene-class submarines that the French state-owned shipbuilding company DCNS designed for the Indian Navy, according to the Australian – which published a number of redacted documents on its website.

It could become an intelligence gold mine for India’s rivals such as Pakistan or China, given the potential use of the data to detect, identify and destroy the French-built submarines in wartime.

A DCNS spokesperson said the company is unsure if the information is correct, adding: “the competition is more and more hard and all means can be used in this context.”

read more: 


miniscule subs...


A "minuscule number" of overseas workers are needed to teach the Australian team building the country's next submarine fleet, Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne has said.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Defence Minister Marise Payne and Mr Pyne have toured Adelaide's Osborne shipbuilding yards to mark the release of a 114-page document detailing Australia's largest ever shipbuilding and sustainment program.

The Naval Shipbuilding Plan outlines more than $1 billion in infrastructure upgrades at the Osborne shipbuilding facilities and Western Australia's Henderson shipyards.

Mr Pyne said the Government had been "cracking on" with its naval shipbuilding plans in the 14 months since the release of its Defence White Paper.

That includes awarding the submarine project to France's DCNS and closing tenders for offshore patrol vessels.

read more:



Read from top...


learning from the ruskies...

Air-independent propulsion system tests for Russia's fifth-generation non-nuclear submarines should conclude by late 2021, the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) told Sputnik on Wednesday.

KUBINKA (Moscow Region), (Sputnik) — Igor Ponomarev, the USC vice president for military shipbuilding, said at the Army-2017 forum testing should be completed before the end of 2021 "since we are all interested in carrying out the Navy's plans for the construction of non-nuclear fifth-generation submarines.

Ponomarev noted that a decision was made for the Ministry of Industry and Trade to create the propulsion system's prototype fitted to a testbed.

"At the present time, the corresponding terms of reference are being formed," he added.

Air-independent submarines are quieter than conventional diesel-electric boats and do not have to surface or use snorkel tubes to breathe air, thereby avoiding exposure to radar and other sensors.

read more:


sinking le sub...

The Government has grown so frustrated with the French company selected to build Australia's next fleet of submarines that Defence Minister Christopher Pyne refused to meet with top officials visiting the country this week. 

Naval Group was selected in 2016 to build 12 submarines for the Australian Navy, in the country's largest-ever defence contract worth $50 billion. 

The ABC understands Mr Pyne will only meet with the chief executive of the majority French state-owned company once a crucial document, the strategic partnering agreement (SPA), has been signed.

Negotiations on that document have stalled and it is feared they may not be resolved before next year's federal election.


Read more:



See toon at top.


French sub circa 1910:


From Gus' collection of old thingies, including post cards...

propeller extra...

The first of Australia's new submarines could arrive late and cost substantially more than expected as Defence attempts to finalise the terms of the $50 billion project.

Key points:
  • Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull selected the French company in 2016 to replace Australia's ageing Collins Class fleet
  • Defence officials and Naval Group have been locked in tough negotiations since to produce the 12 submarines
  • Retired deputy Defence secretary Kim Gillis was recruited to lock in the Strategic Partnering Agreement


The ABC understands Defence recently offered a two-year extension to the French company building the future submarines as it tries to lock in a crucial final agreement.

Senior sources confirmed the "unprecedented" offer to allow an extra two years and 25 per cent cost increase was initially rejected by the French owned shipbuilder, Naval Group.

It instead wanted a three-year schedule delay and for an allowance of a 30 per cent increase in delivery costs, but the company later backed down.

The ABC can also reveal that negotiations between Defence officials and Naval Group became so tense that a former senior bureaucrat was hired in a bid to help resolve protracted disagreements.

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull announced Naval Group, then known as DCNS, had been selected for the lucrative project in 2016.

The French bid was successful in a competitive evaluation process (CEP), beating rival offers from Germany's TKMS and the Japanese Government.

Unlike a regular military tender process, the CEP did not involve detailed commercial contracts being submitted to the Defence Department.


Read more:



By 2030, the technology will be obsolete as it mostly is now, even if you can reach speeds of 50 knots and carry nukes. Replacing torpedoes with flying drones might be a better way to conduct warfare, since it appears we're unable to drive peace. But the best for these LeSub would be to have no armament at all (or 21 blanks for salutes), stay in port to only parade on special bunted and flagged occasions, for brassed admirals to review the "fleet" on a great Sydney sunny day. What could be better than that? 


Read from top.

атомные подводные лодки...

Two nuclear-powered submarines — Kazan and Knyaz (Prince) Vladimir — will join Russian Navy before the end of the year, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday. Russian Embassy in the United States posted a video showing the upcoming ships in its Twitter account.

Speaking at a meeting in Severodvinsk, Shoigu said that the new submarines will "define the future image of [Russian] submarine navy; allow to increase the defensive potential and strengthen Russia's positions in the World Ocean."

Read more:




And in Aussieland, we fiddle with French subs equipped with elastic bands as propulsion. Lucky, the crew is not obliged to spin the props like in the early submarines...




Read from top.






not smoko... but a three-course meal with vin rouge...

After securing the so-called "contract of the century", the French company chosen to build Australia's future submarines has conceded it's having cultural clashes with its $50 billion customer, with lunch and meeting times proving problematic.

Key points:
  • The ABC has been told of numerous frustrations between French and Australian officials working on the contract
  • One official said Australians needed to understand the sanctity of the lunch break — not just a sandwich snatched at the screen
  • The French Naval Group is developing "intercultural courses" for French staff being posted to Australia


In 2016, former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull announced French company Naval Group, then known as DCNS, had been awarded the lucrative contract, beating rival bids from Germany's TKMS and the Japanese Government.

Since that time the ABC has been told of numerous difficulties and frustrations between French and Australian officials, although a long-awaited strategic partnering agreement was finally signed earlier this year.

In a series of candid interviews with the defence industry publication SLDInfo.com, Naval Group officials have now offered insights into the problems the French company is facing in dealing with Australia.

"Not everyone thinks like the French," explained Jean-Michel Billig, Naval Group's program director for the project to build 12 new "attack class" submarines.

"We have to make a necessary effort to understand that an Australian does not think like a French person, and that it's not better or worse, it's just Australian."

He cited the barbecue as an example of Australian culture, which is an important part of fostering good work relations, but said there was a reciprocal need for Australians to understand the French sanctity of the lunch break — not just a sandwich snatched at the screen.


Read more:




As well, the French pension age for the travailleurs is slowly going towards 62 like an escargot trying to escape the midday sun, while the Aussie Loafer's pension-benefit has been hopping mad towards 70 years of age like a kangaroo jumping fences at dusk, unless you are a female.


Read from top. And let's face it, if it had not been for the Australiens Diggaires, the French would be speaking Teutonic — or read Karl Marx in Rusky instead of Moliaire... Meanwhile In Brexitland, the Poms are starting to realise that the world does not need them any more, in the same way as we don't need more subs to rule the undersea

regrets about 潜水艦

Former prime minister Tony Abbott has spoken of his "regret" his government did not finalise a submarine deal with Tokyo, while praising Japan's growing military relationship with Australia. 

Key points: 
  • Tony Abbott said he was disappointed Australia was not pursuing its original plan to buy Japanese submarines
  • The former prime minister said he had been "unable" to establish a partnership during "[his] time in government"
  • A senior Defence official has dismissed Mr Abbott's comments, saying the former leader had the opportunity to finalise a deal


In his first public remarks since losing his seat at the May election, Mr Abbott told a gathering of diplomats and national security figures he wished Australia was purchasing Japanese submarines, instead of the $50 billion French-designed future fleet.

Speaking inside the Japanese embassy in Canberra at a reception marking the country's Self-Defence Force Day, Mr Abbott reflected on the modern state of relations with Australia.

"The bonds between Australia and Japan are closer than ever, our economic relationship is extremely strong, our people-to-people is strong and growing, and obviously the defence and security relationship is growing all the time," he said.


Read more:



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forget le sub... go for peace....

A new report by veteran military analyst Derek Woolner, and fellow researcher David Glynne Jones, is urging the Defence Department to urgently embrace cutting-edge lithium-ion battery propulsion for its future submarines.

Their report concludes that Australia's objective for the $50 billion Attack-class program to produce a "regionally superior" submarine is "now under challenge". 

"By the time HMAS Attack [the first of the new submarines] hits the water in the early 2030s, it's going to be obsolete," Mr Woolner has told the ABC. 

The former government advisor said HMAS Attack would be built with a heavy metal main battery, as part of a process already initiated under a contract signed by France's Naval Group company and MTU Friedrichshafen for diesel generator sets. 

"A number of countries in the region are already proceeding to build boats around lithium-ion batteries that promise something like five to six times the submerged stealthy performance and a great deal more high-speed performance than you can get from a lead-acid battery submarine".


Read more:




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le sub for schoolkids...

"The closer I came to the centre of power in Canberra the more I appreciated how the decisions — or indecisions — of government today can make a crucial difference to the fate of our country..."

Peta Credlin... who seems bitter about her own self-importance being reduced to a yapping fiddle on SkyNews and a column on one of Uncle Rupe's ragsheets...


Here comes Peta, the puppet master of Tony Abbott, who crashed any hope of CO2 emission reductions for this fair sunny country. One wonders if la madam Credlin sleeps on a bed of hot coals — or eats coal for breakfast, lunch and dinner, like our Scummo. Yes, Running a country is a full blown coal affair. The crudity du jour concludes:


"It's simply impossible to run a modern economy on wind and solar power because batteries are expensive and not universally practical. Assertions that the technology will come good might comfort schoolkids who've been brainwashed about the dangers of climate change but they're no basis for running a country."


And in the middle of all this authoritative rubbish — herself brainwashed by the coal industry— la madam incredible Credlin finds literary detours to blasts Labor for not having had the foresight to commission submarines for her COALition of power-nuts to play with, now. Had Labor decided to spend 50 billions then on subs, during the GFC (which never happened of course in her tiny brainfart) Rudd and Julia would have crashed the economy and madam Credulity and her COALition Turdy puppet would still be pulling strings in Kanbra... blaming Labor for the economy... Er, they still do, don't they?


Yes, the brainwashed schoolkids of today will have to come to realise the glory of burning coal for power when their own grandchildren will end up schooling underground (or in subs, underwater) because of the gloriously high temperatures on the surface of the planet. 





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oh, stop bleating peta...

On the same page where she chastise schoolkids for trying to protect their future from our coal climatic folly (read comment above this one), La Credlin goes full blast against the present Prime Minister of New Zealand, reminding us that Peta knows about history by telling us the NZealanders refused to join the glorious Australian Federal crucible in the 1890s... Smart... The beef with Jacinda Ardern is that Jacinda wants Australia to keep the misbehaving NZealanders in Australia, in Aussie prisons — something that the Potato with eyes has decreed they shall be sent back to NZealand. 

At this stage, Peta approves deportation. It sounds a bit of sour grapes, as the Kiwis (NZ) regularly thrash us at Rugby Union, despite our glorious team employing contract-breaking Samoan Christians until recently. And a few days ago the Kiwis won the World Netball Cup from under our noses... Bugger. Not only that, should the referees not have made a "mistake" on the interpretation of the rules, regarding runs, the Kiwis would have won the Limited Over Cricket World Cup as well against the Poms... Bugger again. What's in the NZ waters? Fresh air? French spies?

But Jacinta has something far worse to complain than about those few misbehaving Kiwis in Australia. Aussies with guns killing Muslims in Nzealand. On this score, Peta should shut up — or stop "bleating" as she claimed Jacinta wuz doin'...

Peta is a disgraceful erroneous spruiker of righteous opinions with no grace nor any sense of reality — but she knows everything — including about manholes.


Read from top.

nearly world champions!...

Figures compiled by the renowned Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) show Australia last year fell from the world's 18th largest military exporter to now be ranked 25th. 

At the same time Australia jumped from being the fourth-highest weapons importer in 2017, to the world's second biggest military purchaser in 2018

In 2018, payments for expensive new aircraft such as Joint Strike Fighters as well as French work on the Future Submarine project are believed to have helped push Australia close to the top of global defence import rankings. 

Last year the Turnbull government launched a bold plan to make Australia one of the world's top 10 exporters, with a new loan scheme for defence companies that wanted to sell their products overseas. 

"We expect that in the next nine years because of the investments of this government we'll move to being in the top 10 defence exporters in the world, and so we should be," former defence industry minister Christopher Pyne predicted when launching the strategy. 

One of the country's leading defence analysts, Andrew Davies, says he is not surprised Australia is struggling to overtake other nations. 

"Getting up that league table is actually really hard, and I don't think there's any realistic prospect of climbing into the top 10," he said. 

"Not moving up the table doesn't mean that the defence sector isn't expanding, because everybody's trying to sell more, so it's entirely consistent that Australia could be exporting more and not moving up the table."

Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price, who is this week flying to the United States to promote the work of Australian military companies, has questioned SIPRI's figures and insists the Coalition's export goals remain on track.

"The Stockholm International Peace and Research Institute system for measuring defence exports does not capture a large amount of Australian industry defence exports, particularly our niche capabilities in sustainment and upgrade services," Minister Price told the ABC in a statement.

"Becoming a top-10 global defence exporter is an ambitious target.

"A strong, exporting industrial base generates economic growth and creates jobs, which is why we're striving to be in the world's best."

Dr Davies agrees there are some legitimate doubts about the figures but believes they can be relied upon to observe global trends in the weapons trade.

"I think everyone who uses those figures realises that there's some issues with the methodology but they use the same technique every year, so I think in trend terms it's fair to draw inferences from it," he said.



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telling secrets to all and chinese sundries...

Chinese naval officers have flown to Sydney to monitor high-level military discussions and examine cutting edge technology being adopted by the Australian Defence Force. 

Key points:
  • Eighty nations are attending the Australian Navy's biennial Sea Power conference
  • Defence confirmed six Chinese naval officers are present, while it is understood other Chinese military officials were denied access
  • French company Naval Group said Australia's $50 billion Future Submarine program was of interest to Chinese visitors


The People's Liberation Army-Navy (PLA-N) delegation is among more than 80 nations represented at the Australian Navy's biennial Sea Power conference being held on Darling Harbour. 

Defence has confirmed a total of six PLA-N officers are attending this year's event, although the ABC understands several other Chinese military officials were denied access.

"PLA-N delegations have attended in similar numbers in recent years," the Defence Department told the ABC in a statement.



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rigid finnish rubber duckies friction...

Australian defence companies were overlooked for a $55 million military boat contract at the same time the Federal Government was spruiking a similar local product.

Key points:
  • A Finnish company supply 41 inflatable boats for Australia's offshore patrol vessels
  • The $55 million contract has annoyed senior figures within the Federal Government
  • Defence defends the contract as delivering the best design, cost, risk and timing


In a decision that has caused "considerable friction" within the Morrison Government, the Defence Department last month confirmed it would purchase 41 Finnish rigid-hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) to be placed on Australia's next fleet of offshore patrol vessels.

The Royal Australian Navy's contract with Finland's Boomeranger Oy company was finalised without a competitive tender during October's PACIFIC 2019 military trade show in Sydney.

Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price had earlier visited the international maritime exhibition to promote Australian companies, and to publicly unveil a new locally designed tactical watercraft known as "Whiskey Alpha".


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the flying lemon exploded...

The Australian taxpayer will foot the bill for a $85 million (AUS$125 mn) Growler fighter jet that burst into flames on the runway due to an engine fault. The US Navy will not reimburse Australia for the “dud” warplane.

Boeing’s engineering woes are not limited to the civilian field. Before design flaws sent two of the Seattle firm’s 737 MAX 8 aircraft diving into the ground, before the company was accused of carrying out “shoddy work” on its flagship 787 Dreamliner, and before the fuselage of its upcoming 777X failed critical pressure testing in September, one of Boeing’s military aircraft also suffered a dramatic mishap.

A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing EA-18G Growler aircraft burst into flames while attempting takeoff during a joint exercise with the US Air Force in Nevada last January. As the plane’s pilot gunned it down the runway at full power, a high-pressure compressor inside one of the engines broke into three pieces, which tore the jet to pieces as they exploded out of the engine housing. The airplane came to a halt engulfed in fire and beyond salvage.


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sinking le sub?...

Defence secretly considered walking away from the $50 billion French submarine deal during protracted and at times bitter contract negotiations, and started drawing up contingency plans for the new fleet.

Key points:
  • Advisory group told Defence to consider alternatives
  • Extending the life of the Collins-class submarines was one suggestion
  • Future governments have the option to walk away from the current deal if it is delayed


The revelations are contained in a new report by the auditor-general that also confirms the program is running nine months late and that Defence is unable to show whether the $396 million spent so far has been "fully effective".

According to the report, the Federal Government's handpicked advisory group told Defence in 2018 to "consider alternatives to the current plan", when negotiations over a key contract appeared to be breaking down.

The Commonwealth and Naval Group, chosen to build Australia's future submarines, were at loggerheads over the Strategic Partnering Agreement, which would provide a framework for the complex and costly project.

Behind the scenes, the Naval Shipbuilding Advisory Board told Defence to start drawing up alternatives should the negotiations fail.

According to the auditors, Defence began examining whether it could extend the life of the existing Collins-class submarines and "the time this would allow to develop a new acquisition strategy for the Future Submarine if necessary".


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row row my little sub....

In for a penny, in for a pound: $90 billion for an obsolete submarine fleet



By BRIAN TOOHEY | On 19 October 2020

So much for Australian sovereignty. We are locked out of repairing key US components of our subs’ computer systems, and the Coalition has committed our submarine fleet to the extraordinarily dangerous role of helping the US conduct surveillance in the South China Sea.

It is hard to believe that a government genuinely committed to defending the nation would sign a contract to buy 12 ludicrously expensive submarines that would not be operational for at least 20 years, with the final submarine not ready for nearly 40 years. The fleet will be obsolete before its delivered.

But this is what the Turnbull government did when it announced in September 2016 that the majority French government-owned Naval Group would build 12 large submarines in Adelaide. The first sub is unlikely to be operational until the late 2030s and the last one until well after 2050.

It is even harder to understand why Turnbull endorsed the extraordinarily dangerous role for Australian submarines of helping the US conduct surveillance and possible combat operations within the increasingly crowded waters of the South China Sea.

And while the Morrison government repeatedly claims that Australia’s defence force has a “sovereign” capability, in reality we are locked in “all the way” with the USA. US secrecy prevents Australia from repairing key American components of both the Collins and Attack class submarines’ complex computerised systems.

Ominously, an earlier Coalition government gave Lockheed Martin the contract to integrate these systems into the Attack subs. This is the same company that wasted billions on a dud computerised system for the US made F-35 fighter planes.

Called the Attack class, the conventionally powered submarines to be built in Adelaide by Naval will rely on an unfinished design based partly on France’s Barracuda nuclear submarines.

Their official cost has already blown out from an initial $50 billion to $90 billion. It was revealed earlier this week that Defence officials knew in 2015 that the cost of the fleet had already blown out by $30 billion to $80 billion, yet continued to state publicly that the price tag was $50 billion. Life-cycle costs are expected to be around $300 billion.

Current tensions about maritime boundaries in the South China Sea may well be resolved before the fleet is delivered. Further billions will also have to be spent closing the gap in capability created by the retirement of our six Collins class submarines due between 2026 and 2038 – well before the first six Attack class are operational. Australia’s expenditure of $90 billion will be enough to put just one Attack class submarine in the South China Sea at a time.

The other submarines will be making the 13,000-kilometre trip up there and back, being repaired and refurbished, or be committed closer to Australia.

Australian subs in the South China Sea will be integrated into US forces and will be relying on them for operational and intelligence data. In an escalating clash, accidental or otherwise, they will be expected to follow orders from US commanders. Again, so much for Australia’s sovereignty.

There is no compelling strategic reason why Australian submarines should travel that onerous distance to support the US in the South China Sea. Contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of Australia’s trade with North Asia does not go through the that Sea. Nor does China impose barriers to commercial navigation, much of which involves its own trade.

China has adopted a defensive anti-access/area denial strategy to control approaches to its homeland, building up an array of forces and sensors. This is in response to the US deploying sensors below and above the sea to prevent Chinese forces passing through choke points in the area to the broader ocean. While China’s actions are seen as aggressive, the US would never tolerate China laying sea-bed sensors and deploying submarines around its naval bases on the West Coast of America.

The Pentagon focuses on always knowing the whereabouts of all Chinese submarines, especially its two nuclear-armed ballistic missile-carrying subs based at Hainan Island. The Americans’ goal would be to destroy these subs at the start of any potential war. However, China’s nuclear armed missiles on land or sea are essential as a deterrence because the US has not ruled out first US first nuclear strike.

Australia’s submarines aren’t nuclear powered, which means they have to come to the surface to charge their batteries every few days. This leaves them open to being detected by increasingly sophisticated sensors and then destroyed. This risk can be greatly reduced by using air independent propulsion; for example, fuel cells, meaning submarines don’t have to resurface for up to six weeks.

But the Australian Navy stubbornly refuses to use this lifesaving technology. It also resists using modern batteries that are lighter and go further than lead acid ones.


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working like clockwork

the bubbles of corruption...

The arms company at the centre of a deadly criminal saga and numerous global corruption scandals, Naval Group, was selected by the Australian government to build our new fleet of submarines – a deal heralded as ‘one of the world’s most lucrative defence contracts‘. How did this happen?

A car packed with explosives drove into a bus of engineers in Karachi, Pakistan, in 2002, apparently in revenge for unpaid bribes, killing 15 people, including 11 employees of French shipbuilder DCN, now Naval Group.

The French investigation into the bombing – known as the Karachi Affair – began in 2002 and uncovered a web of corruption that by 2010 appeared to involve then French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

In June this year, 18 years later, a Paris court secured the first convictions in the case. Six men were found guilty of charges involving kickbacks on deals signed in 1994 for the sale of submarines to Pakistan and frigates to Saudi Arabia. They include three former French government officials and the former head of the International Division of Naval Group.

Investigations into arms trade corruption take years, often more than a decade, due to multiple countries being involved, layers of offshore shell companies hiding the money trail, and the senior people implicated. Court cases and convictions are rare.

The Karachi Affair resonates in Australia today because despite this high-profile and deadly criminal saga – and two other corruption scandals, in Taiwan and Malaysia, which also involved murder – the company at the centre of all three, Naval Group, was still selected by the Australian government in 2016 to build our new fleet of submarines. A deal heralded as “one of the world’s most lucrative defence contracts”. Naval Group is 62.25% owned by the French government and 35% by French multinational Thales (a global top 10 weapons-maker).

The French case continues. In January, the former French prime minister Edouard Balladur and his defence minister will stand trial. It is alleged the kickbacks helped fund the PM’s failed 1995 presidential bid. Both men deny any wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, in Australia, the submarine deal continues. In February last year, after two years of negotiations, the government signed a ‘strategic partnership agreement’ with Naval Group. The signing took place despite the emergence of two more investigations into Naval, including alleged corruption on a 2009 submarine deal with Brazil and a significant security breach where complete plans of the new Scorpène submarines Naval had provided to India were apparently leaked from within Naval.

Back in 1994, the payment of “commissions” (aka bribes) was legal in France, although kickbacks certainly were not. Commissions were outlawed in 2000 when France signed the OECD’s anti-bribery convention (Australia signed in 1999). President Jacques Chirac stopped the bribe payments to Pakistan, which is thought to have led to the bombing. But clearly the anti-bribery message didn’t get through as Naval’s Malaysian and Brazilian deals were signed after 2000.


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Just as an aside, please note that the lines of articles on yourdemocracy.net.au, provide a clear chronological development of issues and ideas. No website around the world has this easily accessible history of the bullshit we have to deal with from governments, institutions and businesses. This is why we tend to write "Read from top" at the end of each posting. And if you are brave enough, make stickers of image below, to be placed on authorised positions...



the price goes up...

The Morrison government is verging on a breakthrough on its troubled $90 billion submarine program after months of tense negotiations with French company Naval Group over cost blowouts, delays and local content requirements.

After reports Australia was willing to walk away from the multibillion-dollar deal, new in-principle agreements all but lock in the French company to building 12 new attack submarines to replace the ageing Collins-class fleet.


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Do you know the true story of a brand new German U-Boat that sank because a novice crew member did not understand how the valves of the toilet worked? He got the inlet mixed up with the outlet and the sub sank...


Meanwhile, every time one writes a new article on the French/Aussie sub-standard sub that will float/sink by 2035 or 2043, the price goes up by another $10 lousy billion... The firm contract was for $50 bils originally, now it's approaching double the price without counting for inflation nor the tantrumic French neurosis... The French would see the Aussies as "bonne poire" would say my friend Jules Letambour, meaning "ready to be plucked naive dudes". 


Do we need submarines? Submarines that use the old diesel-electric system from WW1? You can answer the question without Gus telling you what to think...


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sinking more money into submarines...

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds could be forced to front a Senate estimates hearing next month to answer questions over the build of Australia’s $90 billion submarine fleet after the Morrison government and Naval Group reached a critical deal on the project.

The government and the French company announced on Tuesday they have reached a formal agreement, which has not been publicly released, to spend at least 60 per cent of the submarine program in Australia.

Labor will now push for Senator Reynolds, who is on leave this week as the submarine project is due to be scrutinised in Senate estimates, to front a spillover hearing after she returns after April 2.

The new agreement follows more than 12 months of mounting concern about whether Naval Group would meet its local content requirements under the biggest defence contract in Australia’s history.

The strategic partnership agreement will now be amended to insert Naval Group’s commitment to spend at least 60 per cent of the contract value in Australia over the life of the program to build 12 new Attack-class submarines.

Under the agreement, Australian content will be agreed for each stage of work and Naval Group will be liable for not meeting certain thresholds.

The acting Defence Minister Marise Payne said the agreement includes commitments to maximise Australian industry involvement in all phases of the program.

“Today’s announcement builds on the opportunity for industry to participate in the manufacture of equipment designed by Naval Group worth hundreds of millions of dollars across the 12 boat fleet,” she said.




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das boot...


The Navy has begun quietly examining whether German-made submarines could provide an interim capability for Australia before a future $90 billion French-designed fleet is due to enter service in over a decade.

Key points:
  • A French designed fleet is due to begin entering service in the 2030s
  • The Defence Department is refusing to confirm or deny whether a senior naval officer is examining the Type 214 submarine produced by Germany's TKMS
  • Another confidential Defence review has recommended more research into drone submarines and bringing forward upgrades to Australia's existing Collins Class fleet

The Defence Department is also considering several other drastic options, including faster upgrades to Australia's existing Collins Class fleet, which would mean lucrative submarine maintenance work would likely remain in Adelaide.

Department sources said Navy's Director-General of Submarines, Commodore Timothy Brown, recently began a preliminary study of Type 214 submarines manufactured by German company TKMS, although Defence is refusing to confirm or deny the activity.

The Type 214 is a diesel-electric submarine operated by several navies, including South Korea, Portugal and Greece, but does not meet Australia's full requirements for a future fleet to eventually replace the ageing Collins Class submarines.

One Defence figure, who spoke to the ABC on the condition of anonymity, said Commodore Brown's scoping study was being conducted solely by the Navy and separate from the department's Capability and Sustainment Group (CASG), which oversees Australia's military acquisitions.

It is understood Commodore Brown is exploring if it would be possible for the Navy to modify a Type 214 submarine for Australian purposes, well ahead of when the future French submarines are expected to be delivered.


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