“$100 billion babies: Defence reveals true cost of new submarines for taxpayers”
"Taxpayers will spend $100 billion to build and operate [Australia's future submarines], [Australian] Defence Department officials have revealed for the first time as they also fended off .
How do you count the costs of a submarine program that may stretch to 2080?
A. In 2018 dollars or 2080 dollars or somewhere in between?
B. In Australian Dollars, or factor exchange rate changes in US dollars or, in 20 years time, in Yuan
quarter or a third of the money will go to Lockheed Martin as Combat Systems Integrator.
D. What do you include? Inclusions are vital. Cost of:
- building new shipyard sheds, slips and other facilities
- costs of personnel in Australia's Defence Department, Navy, Army (for some Special Forces)
- cost of building 6 to 12 new submarines? As Australia's Defence Department or Navy try out
higher numbers (say 12, 10 then 8) before settling for 6 (see my 2014 article). Hence 6 Oberons
then 6 Collins submarines in the past.
- "sustainment"(?) does that mean regular maintenance and upgrade costs?
- training costs
- some operational costs, eg. special skills (eg. US Navy may be Off-the-Books).
E. Opportunity costs - for:
- jobs and regional development (outside Adelaide)
- money that could have been spent on sorely needed hospitals, schools, "green" energy and mass
- other Airforce, Army and Naval programs (eg. highly developed, future AUVs).
Setting, recording and publishing huge budgets is more a public relations art form than an accounting science.