Submarine Matters provides an expanding database on submarines worldwide. Australia should contract in 2016 to only buy a batch of 6 Shortfins - then, in the 2030s, decide whether to buy: 6 more Shortfins or 6 Barracuda SSNs or 4 Virginia SSNs. With increasing numbers of Chinese, Russian and Indian SSNs in Australia's region Australia's Shortfins cannot attain any 2016 Defence White Paper goal of being "regionally superior". Australia would need to buy SSNs to be "superior".
Note the four thruster propellers which improve manoeuvrability and station keeping in tides or currents.
For military uses AUVs are much less labour intensive and cheaper to operate than deep diving submarines like Russia's Losharik and the now decommissioned US submarine NR-1. However AUV/UUVs are too small to rescue people in sunken submarines (in a Kursk like emergency scenario).
For secret missions AUVs can be carried by smaller, less specialised, submarines than BS-64 Podmoskovye (in the previous article). A submarine can deploy a large diameter/displacement unmanned underwater vehicle (LDUUV) like the Klavesin, through a vertical or horizontal multi-purpose lock (tube) or using a detachable pod (dry deck shelter) usually on the back of a submarine behind the sail. Military uses for a LDUUV include intelligence gathering, using claw-arms for submarine cable tapping , "borrowing" sea-floor sensors or breaking sea-floor oil-gas pipelines (in wartime).
The Teledyne Gavia Defence AUV (see website) supplied to Russia.
Russia has not developed UUVs all by itself. The UUV market it highly internationalised. Many Western companies have supplied UUV technology to Russia. One is Teledyne Gavia Iceland - which has supplied the Gavia
Defence AUV. The Gavia AUV is
described by Naval Drones as:
“a modular, man-portable autonomous underwater vehicle
(AUV) produced by Teledyne Gavia Iceland. The AUV's batteries and
payloads are field swappable. Payloads include side scan sonar and
"Naval applications include mine counter measures (MCM),
anti-submarine warfare (ASW), environmental assessment, surveillance, Search
& recovery, and port security. In 2013-14, the RussianNavy acquired a total of eight Gavia
AUVs for 744.244 million rubles [US$13.2 million]”.
The US is probably the leader in LDUUV developments. See Submarine Matters articles on US developments including: