Trainee Australian Submariners - After a few years difficult to retain. (Photo courtesy RAN via NavalToday)
reports in Australia's Canberra Times, February 4, 2016 http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/hello-sailor-navy-offers-50000-per-man-in-bid-to-keep-sub-fleet-afloat-20160203-gml880.html:
"Hello sailor! Navy offers $50,000 per man in bid to keep sub fleet afloatSailors on Australia's submarines will be given annual lump sum payments of up to $50,000 just for staying in their jobs as navy bosses grow increasingly desperate to keep crews on the boats.
The navy's high command hopes the big money offer will end their long struggle to hold on to enough sailors to maintain Australia's vital submarine warfare capability.
The unprecedented offer of different pay and working conditions to one arm of a Defence service follows a frank admission by top naval brass that the ranks of Australia's submarines crews are under-strength and fragile..." see WHOLE ARTICLE
Its no use buying and maintaining submarines that cannot be crewed. Continuing shortages of Australian submariners (meaning only 2.3 subs can be crewed?) suggest two courses of action:
1. Australia should only buy 8 or even 6 new submarines because Australia constantly has problems crewing even 6 Collins.
2. Buy the submarine that uses more advanced labour-saving automation meaning fewer crew can operate it. This may be the TKMS Type 216. The 216 may require as few as 33 crew for short missions at least. The Japanese and DCNS subs may need more than 50 crew.