For "regionally superior submarines/boats" see Defence White Paper (A.) pages 19, 21, 90, 91 and 115. (Poster sourced via The Guardian)
Australia's 2016 Defence White Paper has been published today - see the Homepage at http://www.defence.gov.au/whitepaper/ .
It consists of the traditional:
A. 2016 Defence White Paper document (large PDF of 10 MB), 191 pages (itself quite long): http://www.defence.gov.au/whitepaper/Docs/2016-Defence-White-Paper.pdf
But what makes it a huge reading and assessment task is that its 191 pages and there are two additional documents (published with it) which are:
B. 2016 Integrated Investment Program (PDF 5MB) http://www.defence.gov.au/whitepaper/Docs/2016-Defence-Integrated-Investment-Program.pdf, 123 pages, and
C. 2016 Defence Industry Policy Statement (PDF 5MB) http://www.defence.gov.au/whitepaper/Docs/2016-Defence-Industry-Policy-Statement.pdf , 79 pages.
Today I'll just stick to highlighting/extracting mentions of submarine(s) with some bolding and [Bracketed comments on particularly curious parts].
Mid next week I'll comment more broadly on A. though with special mention on naval issues, missiles and jets. Might write on electronic intelligence (if the authorities have spared me still).
Then comment on following weeks on subs, naval, missiles and jets in B. and C.
Writing an overall assessment of all three documents would be better published in late March 2016.
Between White Paper writing will be the usual writing on subs, missiles and jets from around the world as they hit the news.
A. 2016 Defence White Paper (large PDF of 10 MB), 191 pages: http://www.defence.gov.au/whitepaper/Docs/2016-Defence-White-Paper.pdf
One way to analyse it is keyword search to identify frequency of hits and where they are:
Hit Ctrl + F for keyword search, which yields:
70 references to submarine(s) (of which 13 “anti-submarine” have been excluded). Most submarine(s) are in “Chapter Four: The Future Australian Defence Force” pages 83 to 115. Particularly in the Submarine section, pages 90 to 92.
REFERENCES TO SUBMARINE(S) include:
The submarine force will be increased from 6 to 12 regionally superior submarines with a high degree of interoperability with the United States.
The Government will ensure that the future submarine project provides a regionally superior [better than China's SSNs?] capability and value-for-money for Australian taxpayers while maximising the involvement of Australian defence industry. The competitive evaluation process, which is underway, will provide a clear pathway for Australian defence industry to maximise its involvement in the project, without compromising capability, cost or the project schedule. More detail on the Government’s shipbuilding plans are set out in Chapter Four
2.11 China’s Navy is now the largest in Asia. By 2020 China’s submarine force is likely to grow to more than 70 submarines. China also possesses the largest air force in Asia, and is pursuing advanced fifth-generation fighter aircraft capabilities. China’s military modernisation includes more-capable special forces, aviation and command and control networks and it is also investing in new technologies including space and cyber capabilities.
2.41 Within the broader Indo-Pacific region, in the next two decades, half of the world’s submarines will be operating in the region.
On Page 90 begins the key Section “Submarines” including:
4.25 Submarines are an essential part of Australia’s naval capability, providing a strategic advantage in terms of surveillance and protection of our maritime approaches. The Government has determined that regionally superior submarines with a high degree of interoperability with the United States are required to provide Australia with an effective deterrent, including by making a meaningful contribution to anti-submarine warfare operations in our region. The key capabilities of the future submarine will include: anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and support to special operations.
4.26 The Government will increase the size of the submarine force from six to 12 boats. The doubling in size of the submarine fleet recognises that Australia will face a more challenging maritime environment in the decades ahead. By 2035, around half of the world’s submarines will be operating in the Indo-Pacific region where Australia’s interests are most engaged. Australia has one of the largest maritime domains in the world and we need the capacity to defend and further our interests from the Pacific to the Indian Oceans and from the areas to our north to the Southern Ocean. Submarines are a powerful instrument for deterring conflict and a potent weapon should conflict occur.
4.27 Australia’s new submarines will be supported by upgrades to enablers and facilities such as wharves and port facilities [does this mean extra facilities up north in Broome or Townsville?], as well as simulators, training and submarine rescue systems. The key strategic requirements for the future submarines include a range and endurance similar to the Collins Class submarine, sensor performance and stealth characteristics which are superior to the Collins Class, and upgraded versions of the AN/BYG-1 combat system and Mark 48 MOD 7 heavyweight torpedo jointly developed between the United States and Australia as the preferred combat system and main armament. The new submarines will have advanced communications systems to link with other Navy ships and aircraft to conduct anti-submarine warfare operations.
4.28 The acquisition of the 12 future submarines will commence in 2016 with the first submarines likely to begin entering service in the early 2030s. Construction of the 12 new submarines will extend into the late 2040s to 2050 timeframe. The length of the construction process will mean that Australia will need to be planning the follow-on submarine well before the last new submarine enters service. To ensure no capability gap and the ability to progress development of a replacement submarine in the 2050s, the Government has decided to implement a rolling acquisition program for Australia’s submarine fleet. A rolling acquisition program will ensure that Australia is able to maintain a fleet of 12 regionally superior submarines as submarine and anti-submarine technologies develop over the coming decades. [Note that Japan's building style is more "rolling" with slight upgrades to each sub, rather than European batch building.]
4.29 During the long life of the new submarines, the rapid rate of technological change and ongoing evolution of Australia’s strategic circumstances will continue. As part of the rolling acquisition program, a review based on strategic circumstances at the time, and developments in submarine technology, will be conducted in the late 2020s to consider whether the configuration of the submarines remains suitable or whether consideration of other specifications should commence.
[If a "review based on strategic circumstances" means that an increased China threat then demands SSNs, then SSNs may be appropriate].
4.30 The future submarine program is the largest defence procurement program in Australia’s history. The Government has already committed to maximising Australian industry involvement in the submarine program, without compromising cost, capability, schedule or risk. The Government will announce the results of a Competitive Evaluation Process in 2016.
4.31 The Government will also continue to make appropriate investments in the existing Collins Class fleet, including priority capability enhancements, obsolescence management and fleet sustainment, to ensure Australia’s potent and agile submarine capability is maintained until the introduction of the future submarine fleet. This will include upgrades to the Collins Class communications and sensor capabilities.
4.32 This investment will build on recent improvements to Collins Class availability. In 2011–12, Collins Class availability was about half that of the international benchmark and in the past there had been up to three submarines undergoing long-term maintenance. Following the 2012 Coles Review and implementation of a comprehensive and innovative transformation plan, there has been a major improvement in the availability of the Collins Class, and Defence is on track to reach the international benchmark for submarine availability by mid-2016. By mid-2016, the submarine HMAS Farncomb will have completed the first two-year full cycle docking in Adelaide – a maintenance activity that formerly took over three years to complete. From then onwards only one Collins Class submarine will be in Adelaide for full cycle docking. Defence will continue to work closely with industry to implement reforms to optimise Collins Class availability, reliability and capability.
[Improving the overhaul-sustainment rate will be good. Having more than 5 Commanders to Captain the subs (+ other hard to keep crew members) would also be good. Thinking 8 Commanders for a rolling 8-9 subs will be important.]
[end of submarine only section]
4.108 . Innovation also includes developing new and more efficient ways of maintaining ADF equipment, such as transforming the management of the Collins Class submarines to maximise their availability for operations.
4.118 The Government has already announced 500 dedicated jobs in the new submarine program for combat system integration, design assurance and land-based testing.
4.121 France, Germany and Japan, are participating in the future submarine Competitive Evaluation Process, which will assess their ability to partner with Australia to deliver the future submarines. These potential international partners have been invited to provide options for an overseas, Australian or hybrid build program, and to seek opportunities for Australian defence industry participation in the future submarine Program. A decision on which international partner will be selected will be made in 2016.
Pages 114 and 115
4.122 The Government will also ensure a long-term industrial capability to deliver support to Australia’s submarines in both construction and sustainment. A rolling acquisition program for the submarine fleet means managing the acquisition of submarines to ensure Australia maintains, over the long term, a fleet of 12 regionally superior boats that are fit for purpose in the period in which they will be operating. A rolling program of acquiring submarines will provide long-term planning certainty for Australian industry, allowing those Australian companies involved in the submarine program to invest in the capabilities needed to support their involvement in the construction and sustainment activities.
[Again returning to the very rolling nature of Japanese sub building (from the 1960s to the present). Part of that is due to shorter submarine operational life - maybe up to 22 years, but not the US-European standard of 30 years. In view of this how long subs can last (must they last 30 years?) is a major issue.]
…with further growth [in ADF positions] beyond the decade to operate the larger submarine fleet in particular. The generation of crews with the appropriate mix of skills and experience must be carefully managed to meet the challenging growth needed to operate Navy’s new submarines and surface ships. [Indeed]
7.25 Proper planning for the acquisition of complex equipment and systems takes years of analysis and careful decision-making before acquisitions can commence. This is only proper for the expenditure of billions of dollars involving decades of effort. New submarines and frigates, for example, will be brought into service from the 2020s until well into the 2040s and will operate into the second half of this century.
8.12 As Chapter Four and the Integrated Investment Program accompanying the White Paper highlight, substantial new investment will be required in the first half of the 2020s, including for the acquisition of the future submarines and frigates, which will be major drivers of Defence expenditure. The majority of the additional funding to 2025–26 will be provided from 2019–20 to meet these requirements.
Happy to report that Submarine Matters, over the last 18 months, has coincidentally, been very much across these issues raised in Defence White Paper A.