November 22, 2017

Hopefully French Submarine Will Perform Better Than Its Tiger Helicopters


Sam Bateman (below), recognises that the pump jet remains a major reason for Australia choosing the French Future Submarine Shortfin over the Japanese and German responses to Australia's 2015-16 "SEA 1000" submarine competition. This is despite Naval Group (was DCNS) seemingly backpedaling on the pump jet promise.

Likely contributing to the choice is that the prospect of 100s/1,000s of Australian Navy, Defence and company personnel living/liaising in France during the Shortfin Program was preferable to living for 2-3 years in Japan or Germany. J'aime Paris!  :)

After all – why was the mainly French built, but defective, Eurocopter/Airbus Tiger helicopter chosen by Australia over the far superior tried and tested SuperCobra or the Boeing Apache? The Tiger has failed in Australian service even though the Australian Army is delaying the conclusion that more than $1.5 Billion has been wasted.  

DEFENCE CONNECT wrote in May 2017 “The [Tiger helicopter] has been under fire since last year, when an Australian National Audit Office report revealed the Tigers are not available in sufficient numbers to give pilots the mandated minimum 150 flight hours a year.
Entry to service was scheduled for 2009 but was delayed by seven years, and replacements of the [Tigers] are already set to begin in the mid 2020s, but Defence maintains there will be no capability void.
...The acquisition of 22 of the Tiger helicopters cost $1.1 billion (2001 price), with an additional cost of $397 million (2001 price) for a through-life support contract.”
So the now replaced DMO searching for problematic, hence bureaucratically labour intensive, weapon systems was not the only reason.

By the way Defence needs to delete its DMO still lives website.


 Pierre Tran for DefenseNews writes:

"How a French firm beat out Japanese companies in Australia’s submarine tender

PARIS ― A lack of Australian confidence in Japan’s defense industry sank an offer from Tokyo in the AUD$50 billion (U.S. $38 billion) tender for attack submarines, while greater stealth [held as a German deficiency] and advanced propulsion technology buoyed a rival French bid, said Sam Bateman, a research fellow at the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security.

Australia’s selection was based on a “commercial and strategic decision,” Bateman told the annual seminar of the Observatory for Southeast Asia on Nov. 17.

The seminar, held at the French War College, was organized by Asia Centre, a think tank of Inalco, a French foreign language institute, and was backed by the Institute for Strategic Research and General Directorate for International Relations and Strategy. The latter two are part of the French Armed Forces Ministry.

Japan enjoyed a strategic advantage, as there was “some U.S. pressure” on Australia to pick a Japanese submarine, Bateman said. But after an exhaustive study, there was “some uncertainty about Japanese ability to deliver,” he added. The lack of confidence stemmed from Japan’s little experience in defense sales in the wake of Australia’s multibillion dollar program.

“France is greatly involved in military sales,” Bateman said, adding that there was an offer for a better submarine in terms of stealth and a forced jet propulsion rather than a conventional propeller...”




Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Japan’s lack of experience in denfense business is well known fact from before the tender. If RAN is so unconfidence in Japan’s defense export, it should not have requested Japan to participate in the tender.

Submarine specialists of JMDMS and TKMS point out superioty of propella for conventional submarine. If Dr. Bateman introduces reports/researchs where advantage of pump jet is proved fluid-dynamically, it wil be grateful.


Ztev Konrad said...

Japan dodged a bullet over the submarine contract, even though their in production boats were a best match for the RAN requirement s along with the lowest financial risk, but Australia DOD and the RAN especially are the worst customer, hugely bureaucratic and inflated views about what local suppliers can make. Any issues would harmed Japans reputation for production ability and quality.
French submarines being highly modified for the RAN- what can go wrong, it will make the Kockums debacle seem like a picnic

Anonymous said...

One of the obvious reasons for including Japan was the simple fact there are not many options out there. There are only 4 proven submarine designers available to Australia when it comes to d/e subs. Kockums haven't designed & built a full sub in some time. So if you knock out Kockums, that just leaves 3. Japan had changed their rules, so they were available to compete. They had a sub in the water that might suit, but needed modifying as range was far too short & living space too cramped (even Japanese sailors were complaining). The problem for Japan was fourfold - they have not exported military equipment of any sort since before WWII let alone an overseas build of one of the most complicated pieces of military equipment made, it needed a 6-8 meter plug & associated redesign (no longer MOTS), the companies themselves were not really interested (they were there because their govt told them to be there) & the Japanese sub was not overall superior to Collins (somethings better, somethings worse). We might as well have just built more Collins.