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".
Australia's Christmas (being Southern Hemisphere) is the hottest time of year. Temperatures average around 30ºC (86ºF) during the day and 17ºC (63ºF) at night. Christmas feasts are frequently at midday on December 25 and often seafood (especially prawns/shrimp on the barbie), ham and turkey, duck or black swan (yummy :)
a collins sub enjoys a tropical sunset at christmas ---
The beach on a hot christmas day
a typical australian christmas carol ---
aussie christmas 1958 australia was more british then
--- Santa's submarine sleigh is pulled by 6 ravenous great white sharks, known as "boomers" (Photo courtesy) ---
In CommentsAnonymous [Dec 18, 8:49AM] asked “I was wondering whether you would comment on a recent story that a Chinese submarine conducted a simulated attack on a CVN. What would in your view constitute a simulated attack from a submarine?"
It has been reported that the aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (late October 2015) sailed from the south, through the Tsushima/Korea Strait, north into Sea of Japan. The Chinese submarine may well have been already in (moving slowly) in the Tsushima Basin (Sea of Japan) as attempting to follow Reagan (at 20+ knots) might be too untactically noisy or impossible (for an SSK) at 30+ knots.
It is highly likely that a South Korean Type 209 or Type 214 submarine would also be in that Strait for several reasons including keeping an eye on the Japanese sub.
Either the South Korean or Japanese submarine may have detected the presence of the Chinese submarine first - then informed via satellite Command Centers in Seoul or fleet HQ Busan and/or Tokyo or fleet HQ Yokosuka naval base (or copied in all of them). Message realtime relayed to Washington DC, USS Reagan and Reagan's surface escort(s) and a US SSN in the area of Reagan. The US SSN may usually be home based at Guam. The surface escorts and SSN may have separately detected the Chinese sub.
Other platforms may have detected the Chinese sub including P-3 or P-8 patrol aircraft with sonobuoys, ASW helicopter with dipping sonar, Tsushima Strait's possible undersea sensors, or a combination of several platforms.
A simulated missile attack from a Chinese submarine on USS Ronald Reagan?
The certainty of a missile simulation might be defined by default as "out of range of torpedos" eg. in Klub/Sizzler ASCM range but out of known Chinese torpedo range.
The simulation may have perhaps begun with a Chinese satellite or Chinese naval base 1. sending targeting information and orders (S Korea, Japan or US picking up traffic) on VLF or ELF radio frequencies intendeed for the Chinese sub.
Presence of Chinese submarine may include:
2. sonar feedback off the hull revealing sea-space location
3. electronic emissions (eg. mast mounted fire control radar) voices, mechanical sound from/in the
4. opening torpedo tube hatches
5. flooding torpedo or cruise missile tubes (less likely as this may be too close to an imminent launch)
6. Chinese submarine surfacing in vicinity of the Reagan, if Chinese Captain assumes his simulated
The Mediterranean light, and perhaps an artist's "colourised" enhancements, makes Papanikolis (Y-2) an unusually pretty sub :) (Photo courtesy)
It has been reported
that Nikolaos Tasiakos, the
last surviving member of the crew of Greek submarine Papanikolis (Y-2), died in
mid-December 2015, aged 101.
The French built, Papanikolis (Y-2) had an outstanding
career sinking Italian ships and sailing boats in WWII. Dropping and recovering
British, New Zealand and Greek agents/commandos against German/Italian held islands was
another of Papanikolis (Y-2)’s major functions. Some specs for this sub include 580 tons (surfaced), 30 crew, 7 x 533mm torpedos, 4
Despite her age and mechanical
problems, she participated in the 1940-41Greco-Italian
Warunder the command
of Lieutenant CommanderMiltiadis Iatridis, carrying out six war
patrols in theAdriatic.
During one of these, on 22 December 1940, she sank the small Italian motor shipAntonietta, and, on the very
next day, the 3,952-ton troop carrierFirenzenearSazan Island.After theGerman invasionof April 1941, together with the rest
of the fleet, Papanikolisfled
to the Middle East, from where she would operate during the next years,
carrying out nine war patrols in total.
Under the command of CommanderAthanasios Spanidis, the former
captain ofKatsonis, she
participated in two patrols in theAegean
Seain 1942. During the first, in
June 1942, she sank six small sailing vessels between 11 and 14 June, and
proceeded to disembarkSOEagents
inCreteand receive a team of 15 New Zealand
commandos.During the next patrol, from 31 August to
15 September, she unsuccessfully attacked an 8,000-ton oil carrier, and
disembarked two mixed British-Greek commando teams atRhodes, which succeeded in attacking
the island's two airfields and destroying a large number of Axis aircraftin "Operation Anglo".
Coming under the command of
the submarine went into another patrol in November, offloading men and
equipment at Crete. On 30 November,Papanikolissuccessfully ambushed and sank an
8,000-ton cargo vessel at the Alimnia islet, near Rhodes.On 17 January 1943, after carrying agents
and equipment toHydra,
she captured the 200-ton sailing vesselAgios
Stefanosand manned her with
part of her crew, which sailed her toAlexandria,
while the next day, she sank another 150-ton sailer.During subsequent patrols in March and May,
she sank further 4 sailers, totaling 450 tons.
Papanikolissurvived the war and returned to Greece
after liberation in October 1944. However, she was severely outdated, and was
decommissioned in 1945. The ship'sconning
towerwas preserved and is on
display in the Hellenic Maritime MuseumatPiraeus."
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Australian counterpart, Malcolm Turnbull, hold bilateral summit talks Friday at the State Guest House in Tokyo. (Photo and description courtesy AFP-JIJI via Japan Times)
Following Prime Minister Turnbull's short trip to Tokyo to meet Prime Minister Abe, December 18, 2015, Reiji Yoshida for The Japan Times, same day, in part reported:
..."According to Japanese officials, during the closed part
of the meeting, Abe explained Japan’s proposal for joint production of a
modified version of Japan’s latest Soryu-class submarine, which experts say is
one of the world’s best and quietest nonnuclear submarines.
Turnbull thanked Japan for its proposal but only said
Australia will make a decision in the first half of the next year, the Japanese
France and Germany have proposed their own plans to
export submarines to Australia. Canberra is set to choose one model through a
competitive evaluation process.
In the joint statement, the two leaders also expressed
“strong support for the United States rebalance” policy to maintain it military
presence in the Asia-Pacific region.
The U.S. is believed to be supporting Japan’s bid to
export submarines to Australia, hoping it will further strengthen trilateral
military cooperations in the region." Ends - see WHOLE ARTICLE.
The Bulava (Russia's latest SLBM) is much lighter and shorter ranged than the Trident D5 (on left) - I wonder why?
Does the Trident D5 need to be longer ranged when launched from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, traveingl over the Russian landmass (much larger than the US) then hit missles in their silos in central Russia?
Presumably the Trident is also much more accurate than the Bulava?
Predictably the Bulava has MIRV capability.
A Russian Borey-class nuclear submarine successfully test-fired a Bulava strategic missile, the Russian Defense Ministry said. The ballistic missile was launched from a submerged position with all 16 rockets onboard the sub during the test. ---
Defence Minister Payne (red-orange top) next to Japan's Defence Minister Nakatani at the 2 + 2 talks, November 22, 2015. In front is Foreign Minister Bishop (white top) next to Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida. (Photo courtesy The Australian).
Insider Briefing, Adelaide, December 17
Meanwhile, in Adelaide, December 17, Defence Minister Marise Payne indicated/implied to industry insiders that the 2016 Defence White Paper, which will frame many submarine issues, will be released in early 2016. No submarine contender is likely to be chosen until after the 2016 Australian Federal Elections.
The Turnbull Government would lose votes if it indicated which States or electorates would Not be involved in the submarine build. So instead the Government can imply, before the Election that all may benefit. The hard decisions of saying which contender wins (which in turn favours the Australian companies the contender has formed alliances with) are best made after the Election.
In Australia elections typically fall in the Southern Hemisphere Spring (the weather is warm and people positive). The most popular month is September - see Background on Next Australian Federal Election. Turnbull is a popular leader, whose Liberal National Party Coalition is very likely to hang on to power.
South Australia seems the most expectant and sensitive State on this issue. Hence all three contenders have rolled out promises that they will make Adelaide a submarine building and maintenance hub. After the Elections the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) a small submarine fixated party from South Australia, may become more powerful, at the expense of the Turnbull Government.
It was easy to pick Japan as the winning contender when Abbott ruled, but under Turnbull the winner is a well kept secret. Either that or the Australian Government (and the US) have simply not decided yet.
In late November 2015 BBC journalist Rupert Wingfield-Hayes was conducting a BBC private Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP) near Mischief reef claimed by China. Wingfield-Hayes recorded the (late Nov or a week later voice...?) of an Australian RAAF airman whose Orion maritime patrol aircraft (see Youtube below) had been contacted by a Chinese Navy chap on an island. Wingfield-Hayes published an article on Dec 14-15, 2015 describing the encounter:
""China Navy, China Navy," the voice said.
"We are an Australian aircraft exercising international freedom of
navigation rights, in international airspace in accordance with the
international civil aviation convention, and the United Nations Convention on
the Law of the Sea - over."
We heard the Australian message being repeated several
times, but did not catch any response from the Chinese side.
The purpose of such flights is to demonstrate to China
that countries like Australia and the US do not recognise its newly
But they do exist and China is already enforcing a
12-nautical-mile exclusion zone around them, or trying to. At Fiery Cross the
warnings began at 20 miles..."
Late November 2015 BBC journalist Rupert Wingfield-Hayes' BBC FONOPs near Mischief reef when he recorded an Australian Orion aircraft talking to the Chinese Navy. A longer explanatory Youtube is here.
The blue dots are some of the Spratly islands/reefs China is building up/fortifying in the South China Sea. Mischief reef is particularly contentious as it is only about 200 km from the Philippines island of Palawan (the BBC private aircraft FONOPS took off from Palawan then landed there). Philippine fisherman have long shared waters around the reef with Chinese and other fisherman, but now the waters are "China only". Strategic position and suspected undersea oil are worth more. (Map courtesy Philippine Government via BBC).
Australia under Operation Gateway conducts periodic Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPS) near islands that China is fortifying in the South China Sea. China has not been publically complaining about the Australian FONOPS because Australia has not been publicising the FONOPS. So like much of diplomacy all has been at a low key, unstated, non-confrontational level.
Australia clearly did not want to escalate the FONOPS to a fully publicised USS Lassen style confrontation. So a rhetorical device was constructed of a UK journalist (conducting a BBC FONOPS...) just happening to pickup an Australian-Chinese radio discussion (during a vague multi-day period).
Anyway China subsequently commented, but none too severely.
"Q: According to the BBC, an Australian military aircraft
might have taken part in a freedom of navigation flight in the South China Sea in
late November or early December. Is the Chinese side aware of that? What is
A: We have made our solemn position clear on many
occasions. I would like to stress again that there is no problem with
navigation and overflight freedom in the South China Sea. We hope other
countries, especially those outside the region, will watch their words and
actions, rather than bringing up troubles and deliberately complicating the
situation in the South China Sea.
Q: In late November, BBC journalists took a civilian
aircraft around four reefs built by China in the South China Sea. They were
warned off by the Chinese navy each time and they were further than 12 nautical
miles from these reefs. Given that the United Nations Convention on the Law of
the Sea says that artificial islands do not have maritime territorial rights,
how does that qualify as freedom of navigation being unaffected by China’s
A: China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha islands. While exercising freedom of navigation and overflight in the South
China Sea in accordance with international law, relevant countries should
respect China’s sovereignty and security."
This October 2015 Youtube (above) displays the Shortfin
Barracuda Block 1A.
This second Youtube (of 2014) gives an idea of what a modern submarine can do. It depicts the "SMX OCEAN" concept.
"Australia’s Future Submarines
The Future Submarine Program will deliver Australian an affordable, regionally superior, conventional submarine capability, sustainable into the foreseeable future.
Australia must have the ability to operate, sustain, maintain and upgrade Australia’s submarine force on an enduring basis. Australia’s Future Submarines project will be the biggest defence acquisition in Australia’s history, valued at $50 billion.
Building the submarines will be a mammoth task – at least twice the size of the Collins Class program.
On completion, the Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A will be the most technically complex artefact in Australia.
As one of the largest and oldest defence materiel constructors in the world, DCNS has the technical capability to deliver the highest quality submarines for the Australian Navy and the Australian public.
DCNS is the only submarine design company in the world to have design competencies in nuclear and conventional submarines, safely delivering submarines ranging from 2,000 tonnes to 14,000 tonnes to navies all around the world.
In the Western World, alongside the United States and France, France belongs to the very exclusive club of nuclear nations. DCNS designs, builds and maintains the French Navy’s nuclear submarines, and as such, control the most complex and sensitive technologies in our shipyards. It is with this in mind that DCNS has prepared the proposal for Australia’s Future Submarine Program.
The Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A
The Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A, designed specifically for the Royal Australian Navy, is the world’s most advanced conventionally powered submarine.
Cutting-edge technology, direct from France’s nuclear submarine program, pushes the submarine’s stealth capabilities into a new realm.
Pump jet propulsion replaces obsolete propeller technology. Hydroplanes can retract to reduce drag and noise.
The Shortfin Barracuda will field the most powerful sonar ever produced for a conventional submarine.
As new technology is developed between France, Australia and the United States, upgrades can be easily made via quick-access technical insert hatches.
The Shortfin Barracuda is 97 metres in length and displaces 4,500 tons when surfaced. It is a magnificent, inspiring submarine which will remain state-of-the-art until the 2060s.
In adopting this technology, Australia will join an elite club which includes only the United Kingdom, the United States of America and France.
Australia and France have enjoyed a close friendship across many generations. The Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A marches that friendship well into the future.
DCNS will present three strategies to build Australia’s future submarines. For
The first option is to start the project in France and build all the submarines in Cherbourg, France.
The second option combines the capacity of two shipyards, one in France and one in Adelaide.
The third option is to start the project in Australia and build all the submarines in Adelaide.
Each option has different costs and benefits, and ultimately the choice of how the submarines will be built is a decision for the Australian Government to make.
For both options, dedicated programs and measures have been designed to transfer technology, expertise and knowledge to Australia. This technology transfer will prepare Australia for the future operation and maintenance of the submarines.
DCNS has the capability and resources to deliver either Australian build option.
Full transfer of stealth technology
France is offering the Australian Government complete access to the stealth technologies utilised on board French nuclear-powered general-purpose attack submarines (SSNs) and ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs).
These technologies are the “crown jewels” of French submarine design and have never been offered to any other country. The very nature of these stealth technologies and the decision to release them to the Australian Government is a significant demonstration of the strategic nature of this program for the French authorities.
The United States will be responsible for supplying integrated combat systems to the Future Submarines, as well as the submarine’s weapons.
The collaboration between Australia, France and the United States will see DCNS providing design, technology and expertise within this sovereign framework.
DCNS intends to attract and work with the local Australian defence industry across the design, construction and sustainment phases of the Future Submarine Program.
We view Australia’s Future Submarines Program not only as an opportunity to share our expertise and systems, but also to work in partnership with Australian naval shipbuilders to further develop the technical skills of the naval manufacturing workforce.
Our success as an advanced technology company is not only built on meeting customer needs by deploying exceptional know-how and unique industrial resources; it is also driven by our ability to develop innovative strategic partnerships with the countries for whom we build.
Current tensions between Russia and Turkey would be making Turkish naval commanders tense. Turkey's medium sized submarine service (13 subs) may give Turkey a useful intelligence tool and make some Russians apprehensive, but ultimately Russia would win a confrontation. Turkey is in NATO so that may give Turkey a little confidence.
Tensions have included:
- Turkey's suspected soft handling of ISIS. Shared Sunni religion would be part of this. About 80% of Turks would be Sunni Muslim. ISIS is all Sunni Muslim. Also corruption in Turkey is high and the allure of blackmarket ISIS oil is high.
the Turkish Type 214 will have a significant amount of Turkish indigenous
systems on board, this variant of the Type 214 will be known as the Type 214TN
(Turkish Navy). Germany's TKMS-HDW will preassemble structural and mechanical parts of the
submarine in Germany, or classified elements such as the AIP and
propulsion system and will then ship them to Turkey. All electronic and weapon
systems (including the Combat System) will be of Turkish production. Cost of the contract is 2 billioneuros and may last ten years or more.
The Type 214 submarine is derived
from theType 212but as an export variant it lacks
some of the classified technologies of its smaller predecessor, the most
important of which is probably the non-magnetic steel hull, which makes the
Type 212 submarine impossible to detect using amagnetic anomaly detector. [Is TKMS offering Australia non-magnetic steel hull in the CEP?]
improvements in the pressure hull materials, the Type 214 can dive nearly 400
The six 214s, known as Type 214TN (for Turkish Navy) will replace the early Atılay class (209s) around 2020. Details of the 214TNs include 1,690 t surfaced / 1,860 t submerged, endurance 84 days 214TN's Armament: 8 x 533mm torpedo tubes,
2.500km Roketsan GEZGIN-D Land Attack Cruise Missile [Tomahawk like?] IDAS small missile anti-aircraft capability Harpoon anti-ship missile and land attack Mark 48 torpedos This shows the Australian Navy hierarchy that US weapons with an indigenous combat system, can be fitted to German submarines.
Russia's S-400 anti-aircraft missile system (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) now in Syria, would
be making Turkey nervous, as well as NATO and Western coalition pilots who are bombing targets in Syria. The S-400 could also hit aircraft 300-400 km over
the border into Turkey or Iraq. Like Israel, Turkey dislikes the realities of being in the Middle East.