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3

Technically speaking, a contemporary diesel-electric submarine is extremely quiet when submerged. However, and this is critical: a modern nuclear sub, especially one out of a US shipyard (that build the quietest nuclear subs), has a much greater range that it can travel undetected, and a much greater array of options in an actual conflict. A diesel-electric ...


14

I agree with @Fizz's answer, but there is an important detail to add. Australia was buying secret military technology. The project includes a Pump-jet drive that the French claim is more silent than American and Russian similar propulsion. Plus there are all the electronics and control systems. Given how advanced the project was it is possible that some ...


28

I don't have all the accounting details, but one reason supposedly was that 60% of the money was earmarked to go to the local Australian suppliers. Unlike many of the other examples you gave, which were built in foreign docks, these French-tech subs were supposed to be built in Australia. Apparently that also involved building an entirely new construction ...


8

The estimates of the per-unit costs of the original bids seem widely off. They refer to off-the-shelf submarines delivered to other navies, not any of the options Australia had on the table when they awarded the contract. There are at least three factors that can account for the cost difference between those and what Australia was loooking for: design ...


-2

They weren't, period. The initial cost estimate was MUCH lower, but over time crept up and up to the point where it became an utter joke. Remember this program started in 2009 and by 2021 not a single sheet of steel had been cut. There are strong suspicions (and that's putting it mildly) of large scale corruption and fraud in the program (just google it, I'...


3

There is a realistic fear that China could use Australia's deployment of a nuclear submarine force so far from Australia's shores as a justification to push its own capabilities further. Because of historic reasons the Chinese people see themselves as being the victims of foreign aggression, rather being an aggressive people themselves. As a direct ...


12

Because the use of nuclear reactors on warships blows a giant hole in the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT): There is already a military reactor loophole in the NPT. Article III.1 provides that: Each non-nuclear weapon state party to the Treaty undertakes to accept safeguards, as set forth in an agreement to be negotiated and con- cluded with the International ...


6

From the point of view of other countries located between Australia and China, IMO the issue is not specifically with the power source or performance of the submarines, although if you faced the risk of another country's attack sub sunk in your local waters, you would probably wish it were not nuclear powered. But more so, the larger issue is that the focal ...


9

There is a major difference between a nuclear powered submarine and a PET scanner. New Zealand doesn't ban PET scanner but they do ban nuclear power plants and that is what powers a nuclear submarine. A sufficiently bad malfunction of a nuclear power plant can lead to a Chernobyl kind of event. A PET scanner cannot. One can of course discuss how high the ...


19

US nuclear-powered submarines use highly-enriched uranium (HEU) as their power source. (The UK ones also use HEU, sourced from the US, but processed locally into cores.) So, critics say/claim HEU-powered submarines are similar enough to a floating dirty bomb, which they don't want entering their waters. See for example this complaint/claim from a NZ group. ...


51

There are two aspects to this - nuclear powered submarines can stay on station for essentially an indefinite period of time, which means that your nuclear-weapon-armed ballistic missile carrying submarines have a greater chance of being "lost" by your opposition's attack boats. But this benefit also applies to your opposition's attack submarines - ...


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