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Big questions remain about Australia’s nuclear submarines, but it’s a massive financial gain for nuclear corporations

The possibility of a submarine deal with Australia came at an opportune moment. It provided Biden with a chance to demonstrate support for a close ally and boost its military strength. For Boris Johnson it could show that
relations with the US had not fallen apart because of the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal, and it validated claims that the UK can play a prominent security role in the Indo-Pacific region.

For Australians it provides reassurance that it is still backed by its oldest allies. Having abandoned a “forever war”, the US and UK have signed up to what the Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, has described as a “forever
partnership”. The test will lie in this submarine project being more successful than the French-backed one it has replaced. This is not something that can be taken for granted.

The big questions about the boats’ design and manufacture will not be answered until 2023. The value
of the contract will be massive, and we should expect the competing claims of all three partners to be pressed hard when they are deciding their contributions. Instead of building diesel-powered submarines with the French, Australia upgraded its requirement to nuclear-powered submarines. These are quieter, can spend more time at sea and can travel greater distances, but they are fiendishly difficult to construct. Although the UK’s Astute-class programme is now running reasonably smoothly, with each boat costing almost £1.5 billion, the first vessel was almost five years
late and massively over budget.

 Times 19th Sept 2021

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/the-submarine-deal-is-a-real-downer-for-china-x6t89v022

September 20, 2021 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA, business and costs

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