April 13, 2016
Australia's hot SEA1000 Future Submarine website
The Australian Department of Defence's "SEA1000" Future Submarine website is surprisingly interesting.
At http://sea1000.gov.au/ click GET STARTED
“THE PROGRAM” at http://sea1000.gov.au/the-program/ introduces some bold claims of "affordable" and more puzzling "regionally dominant".
Dominant over who?
Click "MENU" towards top left corner to navigate around the site.
Click http://sea1000.gov.au/submarine-essentials/faqs/ scroll down and you’ll see
"WHAT'S NEEDED IN AN AUSTRALIAN SUBMARINE?
· These areas of importance to Australia’s sea borne trade and historically central to its defence, involve operations at great distance from Australian bases and support facilities.
· To support such operations, Australian submarines will need to deploy further forward and earlier than surface fleet units if they are to build strategic deterrence of an opponent’s plans, as was done by the sinking of the ARA by HMS
· This means that Australia’s submarines will have to go a long way to carry out their missions be able to stay for periods of weeks to attack the enemy in times of war, to inform on developments in times of tension and to provide intelligence to support national security objectives in times of peace.
· Existing off-the-shelf submarine designs cannot perform effective operations that comply with these requirements. Even at very slow speed for best fuel consumption they can barely reach pivotal operational areas in the South China Sea and the interface between the Pacific and Indian Oceans and even then can then stay for only a day or two.
· These existing submarine designs can travel to distant bases only with extensive pre-planned logistics support. The recent deployment of a German submarine over the 8,500 kilometers from its home base to the east coast of the US could only be undertaken with an accompanying logistic ship in support.
· In contrast, the larger Australian Collins class submarines regularly deploy the 12,000 kilometers from Fremantle to Hawaii (the distance from Washington to Athens) as a routine training operation. Last year, HMAS completed a 37,000 kilometer deployment that included high tempo multi-national exercises off Hawaii.
· Optimum operational performance under these conditions can be provided only by a submarine design considerably larger than the off-the-shelf designs. Crew must be large to ensure performance over long, intensive missions. As a rule of thumb, each crew member represents one day of mission endurance – the Collins crew is around 60.
· Unsurprisingly, the off-the-shelf designs, with crews of around 30, are usually sent by their operating navies on deployments of less than 30 days.
· To sustain larger crews, Australian submarines need the ability to provide, without replenishment, larger outputs of power, food, water and fresh air over long periods. Cooling demands in warm tropical waters require increased electrical capacity. Performing roles such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance requires equipment for which there is not enough space in the off-the-shelf designs.
Evil enemy sub sinks peaceful passing steamer.
Posted by Peter Coates