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".
November 17, 2015
Australia to have "2 + 2" Talks with Japan and Germany, but not with France (so far)
Australian Prime Minister Turnbull meets German
Chancellor Merkel. From left, Australian Finance Minister Senator Mathias
Cormann, German State Minister (in Foreign Office) Maria Boehmer, Prime
Minister Turnbull, German Chancellor Merkel, Lucy Turnbull and German
politician Volkmar Klein (Photo courtesy AFRweekend)
Turnbull and Merkel share a joke during Turnbull's mid Nobember 2015 visit to Berlin.
“Japan and Australia sharing the same region gives Japan
an important advantage over the French and German competition for the Future
Australian submarine sale. The annual
"2 + 2" talks between Japan and Australia cement the ongoing defence
Now a pivotal article
Australian reveals that when Australia’s Prime Minister Turnbull met
Chancellor Merkel, in Berlin last week, Australia also negotiated Defence
Minister and Foreign Minister “2 + 2” talks with Germany.
This development is of
major significance if Australia does not negotiate equivalent 2 + 2 talks with France
during the life of the Australian future submarine Competitive Evaluation
Process (CEP). The CEP may extend into late 2016 until a winner is picked or at
least one contender is eliminated. As Australia now has 2 + 2 arrangements with
Japan and now with Germany this may (or may not) be an indicator that France may
create a new defence and foreign affairs compact with Germany under a deal
between Malcolm Turnbull and his counterpart, Angela Merkel, that dramatically
broadens a $17 billion economic relationship, with an eye to huge export
growth as well.
In the Prime
Minister’s first major foreign policy initiative, the two countries will set up
a new strategic partnership including annual summits of defence and foreign
ministers and a joint effort to combat terrorism.
spans defence, trade and economic policies to act upon a high-level report from
an advisory group including [Australian] Finance Minister Mathias Cormann [originally from Belgium and speaks German fluently] and more than a dozen prominent
individuals from both countries.
…A key finding
of the report, obtained by The Weekend Australian, is that the
two nations should start a “2 plus 2” strategic dialogue between defence and
foreign ministers along the lines already in place with Britain.
This is being
put in place and is the first agreement of its kind between Australia and any nation
in continental Europe.
…Government figures said the breakthrough
agreement reflected an elevation in the Germany relationship, recognising it
has been the “odd one out” when Australia had “2 plus 2” co-operation with the
US, Japan and China, as well as Britain.
defence ties are a boost for Germany in its bid to help build the next fleet of
Australian submarines, a delicate political issue in South Australia with
competition from Japan and France to do the work..."
Along the lines of a "2 + 2" - within the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Brief on relations with Germany"the establishment of a high-level strategic
dialogue involving foreign and defence ministers" is mentioned under
"Significant recent developments".