August 18, 2017

Australian Naval Shipbuilding Essential In So Many Ways

Comments (of 6/8/17 1:39 AM and 11/8/17 1:20 AM) below Submarine Matters' article Could Australia be Pyne's major weapons exporter? Unkikely. have prompted me to write about the advantages of building major weapon systems (eg. ships, subs, tanks and jet aircraft) in Australia. Advantages include:

-  employing workers and management in Australia rather than overseas means all their living
   expenses are spent in Australia. The resulting money multiplier effect benefits surrounding
   communities, eg. Adelaide. If living expenses are spent in Adelaide it doesn't matter if the
   workforce carry the corporate identity of Naval Group, ASC, RAN, Lockheed Martin or other
   entities.

-  providing the skills to undertake major overhauls of weapons and repair major battle damage
   in wartime building and overhauling weapons in Australia can be done more safely than exposing
   them to enemy interference on long range journeys to foreign shipyards
-  maintaining skills (like designing and welding) for other manufacturing sectors including civilian
   shipbuilding. For background here is the Australian Manufacturing website and Defence Teaming 
   Centre Inc

-  Federal money spent on weapons building in specific states promotes national unity and equity for
   disadvantaged regions or states.
-  spending large amounts of money has inherent political dimensions eg. winning sufficient Federal
   seats in South Australia enabling the Turnbull Government to win the 2016 Election.

-  a production run of weapons built in Australia creates efficiencies for each successive unit built
   with resulting economies of scale for 
more competitive sales to foreign countries
-  domestic production runs also spawn more competitive sales of components to foreign countries

-  exporting weapons built in Australia has terms of trade benefits and diplomate benefits (eg. Pacific
   Patrol Boat to small island nations and larger vessels to New Zealand).

Are not these arguments compelling?  


The timeline/graph above (Courtesy Defence Teaming Centre Inc), is now out of date but the "Valley of Death" concern still applies. The Valley of Death applies to the downturn in AWD shipbuilding in Adelaide 2018-2021 that will not be totally rectified by the Federal Governments project to build 2 much smaller OPVs in Adelaide. The closing of the last car factory in Adelaide in October 2017 is an example of a different manufacturing sector contributing to Adelaide's manufacturing "Valley of Death".
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Timeline courtesy the Australian Government's Naval Shipbuilding Plan May 2017, page 15. This illustrates the continuous shipbuilding strategy which will particularly benefit South Australia, Western Australia and all other states to a lesser extent. Canberra (ACT) also benefits.
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Naval Shipbuilding Timeline Australian Government Budget 2016-2017. This more centralised government document also demonstrates continuous shipbuilding (and also overhaul) strategy.
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Pete

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mention at the start of your article.

There are a few other advantages.

Government taxes. Every person with a job pays taxes as does their employer. A person on $100,000 pa will pay around $25,000 in income tax & $2,000 in medicare levy. So every $ the government spends here, they get a significant proportion straight back again. Spend it overseas & you never see it again. The multiplier effect also applies to taxes.

Unemployment costs $. Both directly (social security payments of various types) & indirectly (increased crime, mental health issues, alcohol abuse etc).

This is why governments can afford to pay a premium for Australian made & at times still come out in front & why the cheapest quote is not always the best idea if it comes from overseas (everything else being equal). Although a few in the media & quite a few pollies seem to struggle with the concept.

Nicky K.D Chaleunphone said...

Hi Pete,
Check this article out

Russian Navy Special Forces to Receive P-650 Midget Submarines
https://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php/news/defence-news/2017/august-2017-navy-naval-forces-defense-industry-technology-maritime-security-global-news/5492-russian-navy-special-forces-to-receive-p-650-midget-submarines.html

Any Details you can glean from this

MHalblaub said...

Dear Pete,

according to the recent naval wars there is no time to repair a ship or submarine. So this point is void:
- "providing the skills to undertake major overhauls of weapons and repair major battle damage in wartime building and overhauling weapons in Australia can be done more safely than exposing them to enemy interference on long range journeys to foreign shipyards"

Falklands War, ...

Still I think it is important to understand and operate a system completely. Well, Australia does not need to own the rights to build Diesel engines. It is sufficient to know how to repair them right.

Regards,
MHalblaub

Peter Coates said...

Hi Nicky K.D Chaleunphone

The Russian Navy P-650 at 720 tons is a SMALL multi-purpose PAPER CONCEPT submarine rather than a "Special Forces Midget Submarine". It still needs a navy submariner crew - with Special Forece as passengers.

The article
https://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php/news/defence-news/2017/august-2017-navy-naval-forces-defense-industry-technology-maritime-security-global-news/5492-russian-navy-special-forces-to-receive-p-650-midget-submarines.html
carries a Russian marketing claim that "the P-650 traces its roots to the Soviet Navy’s Project 865 Piranha class midget submarines."

The P-650 doesn't appear related to the Piranha judging from the pictures of the totally different Piranha that I placed on Submarine Matters in 2014 - see http://gentleseas.blogspot.com.au/2014/10/suspected-russian-mini-submarine-in.html

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi Anonymous [at 22/8/17 12:51 AM]

Yes as well as foreign national ship/submarine builders needing to pay living expenses when in Australia (eg. in Adelaide, Perth, Newcastle and Canberra) shipbuilding and designing workers of any nationality will need to pay tax to the Australian Government

with beneficial multipliers effects for Australia.

Regards

Pete

Peter Coates said...

Hi MHalblaub

Ah. But remember the HMAS Hobart of the Vietnam War era being surprise attacked by a US aircraft, damaged, then repaired all in the same war. http://gentleseas.blogspot.com.au/2017/06/australias-only-on-ship-deaths-of.html

USS Stark during the Tanker War https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran%E2%80%93Iraq_War#.22Tanker_War.22_and_the_.22War_of_the_Cities.22

USS Cole damaged in War on Terror https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Cole_(DDG-67)#Al-Qaeda_attack

Regards

Pete

MHalblaub said...

Dear Pete,
It took 2 years to get the USS Cole back at into service. USS Stark was hit in the crew quarters. Not a "vital" part of a ship and easy to repair. HMAS Hobart was hit by Zuni missiles with warhead of just 36 kg explosives while a Exocet carries 165 kg expected to explode.

Every incident was not linked to an especial naval war like the Falklands War. This war was shorter than any repairs you mentioned.

These three ships could have been repaired on any place on the world within their repair time.

Regards,
MHalblaub

Nicky K.D Chaleunphone said...

HI pete
So can the Russian Navy P-650 be looked at as their version of the German' Type 210mod for countries who want a littoral or shallow water submarine.

Peter Coates said...

Hi Nicky K.D Chaleunphone [at 23/8/17 3:06 AM]

Yes. The P-650 appears to be a Russian small submarine sitting in size between the 450 ton TKMS Type 205/206/207 and the 1,100 ton TKMS Type 210.

The P-650 concept may be well suited as a lower cost solution for the short distances of the shallow Baltic and Mediterranean seas. Maybe also the waters around Latin America (mainly on anti-drug missions).

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

MHalblaub

If you want an example from the Falklands war, then I would suggest the Argentine corvete damaged by the Royal Marine detachment in South Georgia. They managed to get it repaired before the end of the war.

The problem for a country like Australia is that alternative shipyards are a very long way away or in or near potential conflict zones. It is often not advisable to undertake long distances accross open water in a damaged ship that may be resticted in its speed, manuverability or ability to handle rough seas. It doesn't have to be war damage to need extensive repairs. There also may be security problems with getting extensive repairs done to high tech warships loaded up with high tech weapons & sensors in many shipyards around the world.

Nicky K.D Chaleunphone said...

Hi Pete
Can you see the P-650 being used for littoral navies who want a sub for coastal patrol and can you see the russians building the P-650 to compete with the TKMS Type 205/206/207/210Mod. Also what uses can the P-650 do for a shallow/littoral water navy.

Peter Coates said...

Hi Anonymous [at 23/8/17 11:05 PM]

Thanks for demonstrating the heroic folly of those doubting SubMats is true and correct in all things :)

I did some research on the Falklands War Argentine corvete damaged during the war and repaired before the end of that war.

The ship in question was ARA Guerrico (P-32), a Drummond-class corvette.

In 1982 she served in the Falklands War, most notably in the Invasion of South Georgia, where she was damaged by Royal Marines small arms fire and 84 mm Carl Gustav anti-tank shells.

The damage led her to spend three days in dry dock for repairs before rejoining the unhappy Argentina fleet. Refs at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_South_Georgia#ARA_Guerrico and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_South_Georgia#Aftermath

Cheers

Pete