Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

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seaspear
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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Post by seaspear »

That estimate was for the French designed gold plated boats

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Cooper
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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Post by Cooper »

JohnM wrote:it’s funny you actually think the US is going to give up a $20+B deal and just give it to the U.K., lol… and even if they were, for some magical reason, where is the capacity in the UK to build it concurrently with Dreadnought? I guess time will tell which one of us is right…

P.S.- The Aussies approached the U.K. to act as a middleman with the US… everyone knows the UK is the junior partner in the group and this is a US/Australia security deal for the Pacific… even the French know it, and that’s why they didn’t pull out their Ambassador to the UK… it was their way of getting that point across (that and some good old “stick it to the Brits”…); it’s all nice and well to be patriotic, but let’s not get delusional here… the only reason the U.K. stayed in the deal was because Biden himself said so… the State Department wanted to drop the U.K.
Ass..talking..out of. :crazy:

Australia has no need for a 'middleman' when it comes to dealing with the US & defence matters.

If it was as clear cut as you seem to think it is, the UK would have had no involvement in this whatsoever.

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Post by jedibeeftrix »

Was there ever any intention to build a late-model Astute with PWR3 to shake-out the new reactor before dreadnought, and might that be the plan here?

Astute is lovely, but its hard to imagine they want to be using a 1980's reactor design in 2060!

n.b. This question of course assumes that there will be british involvement in the design, but taking this for granted it does look like a PWR3 based design (and potentially creating a 'F35' low-cost submarine programme), would get around some sticky proliferation (read: F22) style problems for the US...

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Post by Caribbean »

Cooper wrote:If it was as clear cut as you seem to think it is, the UK would have had no involvement in this whatsoever.
That's a central point, to me. Australia has been sorting out defence deals with the US, and without reference to the UK for many years - why would they suddenly need a middleman? The fact that both the UK and US are involved definitely implies that both UK and US IP is involved in this. Now it may be as simple as the fact that they want to run a competition between the available "products", but that in itself, implies that they see Astute as a potential solution. There are certainly some points in Astute's favour (cheaper, physically fits the existing infrastructure more closely, smaller crew, potentially relocatable production facilities etc, etc), however I don't think either side can claim that their favoured solution is a racing certainty.

Presumably after the 18 month review (something that I believe formed part of the termination conditions under the contract with France), we will get more clarity.
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SD67
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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Post by SD67 »

There’s another factor here - there appears to be increasing convergence between US and UK submarine design. The PWR3 is based on US tech, Virgina class uses a pump jet propulsion made by BAE, who are also building the common missile compartment which will be shared by the future SSBNs.

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Cooper
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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Post by Cooper »

The way I see it is that Australia will go with a new common RN/RAN boat design between the UK & AUS, based on the new SSN(R) for the RN.

Australia can get in on the ground floor and influence the design spec to what it needs. This will also lead to economies of scale, a single class build of (at least) 15 boats, will be of huge benefit to both countries.

The successor to Astute is not going to be some risky, untested design, it will be an evolution of one, based on the best of Astute & the new Dreadnought class, already well under construction.

It will be bigger than Astute, but still smaller and more manageable, than a latest Block V Virginia.

The timescale for Australia wanting their first boat in the water and planned entry into service with the RN, are not actually that far apart, mid 2030's to 2040.

If there is the will, it can be accelerated, using the resources of both countries.

The design of the new SSN(R) will be a FAR better fit for Australia than any Virginia variant, in terms of cost & crewing requirements.

If the Australians were intent on going for a US sourced Virginia class, there would have been absolutely ZERO reason for the UK to have any involvement in a AUS/US defence agreement, whatsoever.


IMO, the US was only involved in this because..

1. Adds the necessary political & military credibility for the Chinese to sit up and take notice.

2. American approval was necessary because of sensitive technology used in the PWR3, which will, without doubt, be the reactor used in the new Australian & British SSN's.

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Post by jedibeeftrix »

i wouldn't entirely discount the possibility of america operating a cut-price "F35" SSN.

the US has existed in an enviroment of exorbitant privelege for over fifty years now, in the realms of dollar financing as well as exquisite military technology.
that exorbitant privelege is disappearing, fast, and it's in america's interest to mitigate that loss by building up capable allies with cost effective common solutions.

this isn't to say that the US won't keep on making exquisite military solutions, just as the seawolf and F22 and B21 programs exist today.

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Post by JohnM »

It looks like I may have been wrong, thankfully… this came out this morning…

https://breakingdefense.com/2021/11/aus ... 1563005072

This would actually be doable if the tooling was transferred to Australia after the last UK Astute is built…

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Post by SD67 »

Cooper wrote:
IMO, the US was only involved in this because..

1. Adds the necessary political & military credibility for the Chinese to sit up and take notice.

2. American approval was necessary because of sensitive technology used in the PWR3, which will, without doubt, be the reactor used in the new Australian & British SSN's.
Also maybe the use of a US CMS and torpedoes?

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Post by SD67 »

JohnM wrote:It looks like I may have been wrong, thankfully… this came out this morning…

https://breakingdefense.com/2021/11/aus ... 1563005072

This would actually be doable if the tooling was transferred to Australia after the last UK Astute is built…
The writer seems to be implying Australia using a PWR2 derivative. IMHO that aint going to happen as it would mean Austraila using a reactor that has been out of service for at least 10 years on day 1 of Australian service.

inch
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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Post by inch »

See if Scott Morris gets a visit to barrow ?

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Post by SD67 »

inch wrote:See if Scott Morris gets a visit to barrow ?
Send him here to seal the deal

https://www.yelp.com/biz/ferry-hotel-barrow-in-furness

£3.40 all you can eat roast on a tuesday night...aah happy days

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Post by Ron5 »

Scimitar54 wrote:ArmChairCivvy Wrote
I seem to remember that the 'hall' can now handle three hulls abreast... so the effective constraints are elsewhere
As indeed I alluded to in my previous post ! :arrow:
We've been repeatedly told more Astutes cannot be built because of physical limitations at Barrow. Is this not true?

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Post by Ron5 »

tomuk wrote:The outcome will be be 'Batch 2' Astutes,
Apparently they've been so slow to build, each one differs significantly from its predecessors as lessons are learned and technology progresses. So each one is its own batch!!

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Post by Caribbean »

Ron5 wrote:We've been repeatedly told more Astutes cannot be built because of physical limitations at Barrow. Is this not true?
Wasn't a complete new build hall added only recently? I seem to remember something about that (though not the details)
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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Post by SD67 »

Ron5 wrote:
Scimitar54 wrote:ArmChairCivvy Wrote
I seem to remember that the 'hall' can now handle three hulls abreast... so the effective constraints are elsewhere
As indeed I alluded to in my previous post ! :arrow:
We've been repeatedly told more Astutes cannot be built because of physical limitations at Barrow. Is this not true?
There were two main limiting factors with Astute build at Barrow :

- PWR2 reactors
- skills

The facilities themselves are fine.

The rundown post-Trafalgar created a terrible skill shortage but for the last 10 years they've been rebuilding the workforce, I doubt that there is still the same issue today.
PWR2 was at the end of a long development life and increasingly difficult to support, PWR3 based on US tech should fix that

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Post by Ron5 »

Presumable PW3 is even bigger? Astute looks fat enough already.

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Post by jedibeeftrix »

Ron5 wrote:Presumable PW3 is even bigger? Astute looks fat enough already.
where i was leading at with my comment earlier about a late-build Astute to shake-out PWR3 - would it still be an astute?

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Post by BB85 »

Ron5 wrote:
tomuk wrote:The outcome will be be 'Batch 2' Astutes,
Apparently they've been so slow to build, each one differs significantly from its predecessors as lessons are learned and technology progresses. So each one is its own batch!!
There was a long delay in Audacious entering service 4 years between launch and commission Vs 2 for the other subs. That was put down to it being first of a batch 2 upgrade rather than slow build. It sounds like they had a lot of issues that they did not want to disclose.
Hopefully the final 3 meet their in service dates. I can understand Astute having long delays and QC issues but by boat 4-7 they cant put it down to a skill shortage.
If there is capacity it would be fantastic to build two more Astutes at barrow at full pace instead of these artificially long lead times to keep production going between SSN and SSBN subs.

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Post by tomuk »

BB85 wrote:
Ron5 wrote:
tomuk wrote:The outcome will be be 'Batch 2' Astutes,
Apparently they've been so slow to build, each one differs significantly from its predecessors as lessons are learned and technology progresses. So each one is its own batch!!
There was a long delay in Audacious entering service 4 years between launch and commission Vs 2 for the other subs. That was put down to it being first of a batch 2 upgrade rather than slow build. It sounds like they had a lot of issues that they did not want to disclose.
Hopefully the final 3 meet their in service dates. I can understand Astute having long delays and QC issues but by boat 4-7 they cant put it down to a skill shortage.
If there is capacity it would be fantastic to build two more Astutes at barrow at full pace instead of these artificially long lead times to keep production going between SSN and SSBN subs.
Sorry I should probably have said Flight III or IV in American parlance. :D

AIUI the first three were built in parallel to try and catch up earlier design delays. When Astute began testing further issues were found so lots of rework was need on Astute and boats 2 and 3. Further changes were made to boat 4 onwards.

On the reactor front PWR2 as fitted in the Astutes is the last in a long line of reactors going back to 1959 and the one given to us by the US.
PWR3 as to be fitted to Dreadnought is based on the Virginia Class reactor. It is very unlikely you will get anymore PWR2 after Agincourt. And yes PWR2 does make Astute 'fat' fitting a VLS to SSNR would give better proportions.

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Post by serge750 »

Would they not be called OZTUTES :D cant really see any more being built at barrow if they are going striaght to the SSBN...

If the Qz gov are serious wont they want to build them themselves in Oz in their shiney new yard with lots of help from some of the skilled people ( & the tooling ) from barrow on loan until they get up & running ? im sure a lot of the staff would be up to working in Oz for a while :thumbup: :wave:

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Post by BB85 »

I don't think Oz would be able to build the first sub on their own without serious delays and mistakes. The first two will either be built in the UK or US with a lot of Australian contractors to gain the required knowledge and skills with the remaining built in Australia. Time is really not on Australia's side when it comes to replacing the Colin's boats.

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Post by Bring Deeps »

serge750 wrote:Would they not be called OZTUTES
When friends are expecting a new arrival it is of course traditional to helpfully suggest some names. The Collins class are named after famous RAN sailors so perhaps the time has come to celebrate Australian culture. In the spirit of UK/Oz friendship can I suggest:

HMAS Fosters
HMAS Barbie
HMAS Vegemite

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Post by Bring Deeps »

To be known as the 'Beach Class'.

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Re: Astute Class Attack Submarine (SSN) (RN)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

BB85 wrote: Time is really not on Australia's side when it comes to replacing the Colin's boats.
They are getting the mid-life facelift anyway; not cost effective, but the only alternative.

Time is not on our side, either, due to the deadly combination of the Cameron gvmnt and its 2010 review: the Dreadnoughts were pushed another 5 yrs into the future. So now, let's suppose that the oldest v-boat will be retired when the rest of the class will all have had their deep maintenance cycle done.That will be in 2030, several years before the first Dreadnought comes into service, and the oldest (HMS Vanguard) will be 37 years old making its service life one and a half times of what it was designed for.
- how do we get to Astutes from here?
- well they stand 'in the way' - if not in any other way than being in competition with the Dreadnoughts for reactors & cores for them. No room for slippage; and even without any such we will be down to 3 SSBNs for a while even though such a scenario was to be avoided with a class of 4 in both generations
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