Current requirements

The stated requirements for the replacement class for the Collins class ssg subs are displacemet of 4,000 tons , land attack capablity and be conventional powered with the possibilty of AIP system.

The only variable options for development are an off-the-shelf design or new design.

Nuclear is out as we do not have a nuclear industry to support this type.

Although designed to be retorfitted with a AIP system, collins class has not as yet being ear marked to do so; This pobablly because the AIP systems avaiable all require the storage of oxygen on board which adds to possible on board dangers

The average extra weight. is 308 tons and 8 to 9 meters long section to be added.

Land attack would require either a verticle launch section to be added or extra space to the weapons storage area which means extra weight and length.

Let us look at the off-the shelf options. Currently there NO off-the shelf options that meet the requirments without exstensive modification to the orginal design; Sounds farmilar yes? That development path is just a repeat of the Collins development process.

Therefore why not take a design in which we are very farmilar with and modify that design; Yes I mean the Collins class itself.

Take the HMAS Collins off line and replace the problemmatic diesel motors with newer more reliable type, Add a strilling type AIP system which should replace one of the three required diesel engines and upgrade the electric system and batteries. Add extra space to weapons storage and there you are. If it works you retofit the other five existing boats and biuld 6 more new units.

This is the most cost effective as development time would be reduced.

Currently the Collin's fully submerged time is between 6.7 hours to a massive 120 hours dependant on the speed.

The other problem is with an of-the-shelf option is they are ALL European Designs ( I have not heard that Japan has made their current Design avialable) and the USA will not share weapons tech with European companies. QED of-the-shelf option is no option at all with current possiblities.

New design is a problem in that we are already 5 years behind in this option to commission a new boat by 2025 and 12 boats is complete nonsense as we can not crew that number of boat until we improve the operational availabity of our current 2-2-2 arrangement.( 2 in deep maitainance, 2 in training / basic maitainance & 2 in operational status).

We only just have three maybe four crews as of this moment and it has been stated that as we have had only one boat operational at many times it has put unreasonable pressure on the crew members and reinlistment of personal is becoming a pipe dream for the navy.

Why we do not operate a blue and gold crew system is behond me and if we do have four crews now we can implement this system if we can keep two boats operational.

The crews not on opeational deployment can train on the 2 boats not in deep maitainance and be home for the weekend ( ha little pun there 😀)

There is one option we could look at and that is taking a leaf from the French who have replace the nuclear power plant with an AIP system that spins the turbine instead.

This leads to a as yet little mentioned option of taking the USS Virgina class and doing the same? No need to share tech.
Fig. 7 Possible Collins class replacement. Not ment to represent any existing design but a logical conclusion if we were to design a new hull form.

Government Shinanigans?

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?

Fig 8. Internal view (see below)

Other Designs

More detailed design. This time SGGN design study. With addition internal details.
An typical Amercian layout.  
Fig 9. sub study SGGN.


Fig.10 SSG concept.

Your headline

Fig. 11 internal

Macca 03.04.2015 13:07

Just found your site-very cool. Also agree with your views regarding government decision processes, all about looking after their arse after they're booted out

jmccormick 19.01.2015 08:39

Detailed answers on blog page.

Alexander Judzewitsch 18.01.2015 08:11

For security reasons we need the most capable submarine money can buy. When the defence of our country is at stake can we afford to accept anything less?

jason mccormick 18.01.2015 00:53

Study the requirements ( qualifications) for watch keeping of the 'tea kettle'. ( reactor ). It would be simpler to offer the US a base for their Submarines.

jason Mccormick 17.01.2015 23:37

No we don't need nuclear subs. Our boats give the US navy the willies now. Not need and too expensive.

jason McCormick 17.01.2015 23:32

For security reasons you want it to be domestical base industry. By & by industry means working infrastructure ( companies & businesses) participating .

Alexander Judzewitsch 16.01.2015 21:12

Why do we need a nuclear industry (whatever that means) to operate nuclear powered submarines that do not need refuellig for more than 30 years?

Alexander Judzewitsch 18.01.2015 00:27

Virginia class boats don't need to be refuelled for 33 years. That is considered to be the life of the boat at which time we would simply return it to the USA.

jason McCormick 17.01.2015 23:27

The obvious answer is twofold, Both in reference to a domestical built reactor. Firstly to design & build the thing and secondly to maintain it.

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Latest comments

19.05 | 15:01

Good point! I was thinking Helo pads but never got around to it. The design thought been why not have full port or base resources including dry dock and repair

19.05 | 11:44

Why is there no airport on top of the base?

03.04 | 13:07

Just found your site-very cool. Also agree with your views regarding government decision processes, all about looking after their arse after they're booted out

19.01 | 08:39

Detailed answers on blog page.