l am further mystified by recent Abbot Govenment thinking on the Collins Class replacement project.
The question needs to asked is this: Is the idea of using a Japanese design more to do with dangling a carrot to sweeten the pot in an free trade agreement? Going on the reaction of various professional evidence to the Senate commitee, it is the only logical conclusion one can draw.
Serious questions would have to be asked on compatibility of Australian requirements in systems we already use to any future Japanese systems. The "Empty Shell" princple would still include the Japanese propulsion system and compatiblity with any intergated control systems that the Australian Navy wishes to employ would need to be clearly demostrated as been compatible before going ahead with this idea.
While l can see clear advantages in utilizing the Japanese hull form as a starting point, saving years of design workhours from limited stock of domestic Australian design engineers. ( One reason l never took up the idea of doing it for a job. Limited opportunity within Australia and working outside Australia was never a desirable option).
Still l cannot see why the modularity of the USS Virginia design is not feasible option.
Surely a conventional powered version wouldn't be all that hard to design? Even if again we were to use a modified hull form in a 'Empty Shell' option.
Then again how feasible is the 'Empty Shell' idea in the first place? Specially considering the complex nature of the internal design of modern the submarine.
Otherwise we would be just repeating history as one of the early problems reported with the Collins Class was making the US weapons systems, the swedish Sonar system and the Engine Systems ( Garden Island = Australian?) communicate with the one intergated control system.
Another example of inter-country operability is the seemly endless problems with the HMS Upholder/HMCS Victoriaq conversion. Are the problems localized specifically with this vessel type or indicative of problems in general of converting Submarines to another combat system?
One further area of interest will be to see where various government minsters and other interested parties inside the various minsteries of government end up been employed after they finish with government service and move into the private sector.
The saying "Don't bight the hand that feeds you" could be more accurately applied as " Why bight the hand that will feed you in the future?"
The behaviour of the government is beginning to become the laughing stock of military procurement around the world. It is clear that the only reason for their laughable antics is is that they have made a back room deal for a free trade agreement.
During parliamentary question time one morron minster let the cat out of bag when refering too Korea's trade negotiators refusal to talk to the last labour government cancelling part B of land17 SPA procurement of which the K9 SPA systems was short listed. It is perfectly obvious that the current government is willing to for go accepted standard tender processes to obtain favorable foreign trade deals just so they can have their place in history.
I am still wondering how we are going to crew the 6 minimum vessels that would be operating at any one time.
Maybe our foreign made subs will be crewed by foreign citizens? Why not ? This government is perfectly willing to push the boundaries of acceptable international behavior, so why not go there?