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The Australian government should consider building up to six conventional submarines to bridge the gap before the nuclear-powered submarines under the Aukus plans are ready, a new report says.
Under the trumpeted Aukus partnership, the US and the UK have promised to help Australia acquire eight nuclear-propelled submarines, but Scott Morrison has indicated the first of these might not be in the water until about 2040. The government plans to extend the life of Australia’s ageing Collins class submarines in the meantime.
Despite extending the life of the Collins-class submarines by 10 years, they are projected to be withdrawn from service at 24-month intervals from 2038. From a strategic and operational standpoint, the RAN could be left with no submarines capable of being deployed, leaving our armed forces with a significant capability gap. This conflicts with Australia’s increasingly high strategic threat and would undermine national security.
The order of up to six conventional submarines will take one to two years to complete detailed planning and achieve government approval before contracts can be awarded. Within two years of the contract being signed, manufacture of the submarines should start, which would be in 2026.
In the wake of the recognition of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) by the Russian Federation, Ambassador Alexey Pavlovsky was summoned to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to be presented with a strong protest. At the same time, the Australian government announced a new package of unilateral sanctions.
In this respect, the following should be noticed. Contrary to what the Prime Minister of Australia asserted today, Australia does not always stand up to the bullies.
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