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Subject: Alternatives to a future submarine
Aussiegunneragain    9/21/2009 7:21:46 AM
Since there is a snowflake's chance in hell of us ever getting nuclear submarines, I'm wondering what people think about some sort of fast, stealthy, long-ranged surface ship which is also submersible to shallow depths to improve on the capabilities of the Collins Class when it eventually retires. I'm thinking a 3000 tonne class ship with either multiple hulls or single hull with a hydrofoil, which can move into an AO at high speed (30kt+) on the surface, but which can submerge by flooding the hulls and patrol at low speed once in the AO. Armament would consist of lightweight torpedos fired from remotely piloted asw vehicles, VLS-launched SSM's, LACM's and SAM's and a gun.
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Volkodav    BMT SSGT   9/21/2009 7:32:34 AM
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Aussiegunneragain    Volkodav   9/21/2009 11:18:17 AM

Ta, that would do us. I wonder if the Brits are looking at getting it or whether it is just a private venture? It could be a good design for the ASC to buy and re-export completed hulls, like we didn't manage to do with the Collins.
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FJV       9/21/2009 1:24:02 PM
Not convinced the requirements for fast travel and stealth above water can be applied without negatively impacting the requirements for fast travel and stealth below water. And the other way around.
My hunch is what is good for above surface will be bad for below surface.

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gf0012-aust       9/21/2009 6:27:20 PM
not convinced by the BMT.  IMO there are already far better concepts with deliverable capabilities under development.

the new drivetrain tech may not be nuke comparable, but it makes AIP look a bit passe.  In fact, we should sidestep AIP because it's already able to be surpassed.

ditto for weapons solutions.  the emphasis is on conformal pack solutions, swimmers, AI hives etc.... the sub is more about what it can manage in the future than what it can deliver as a single entity weapons and sensor platform
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Nanheyangrouchuan       9/22/2009 1:32:46 AM
Semi autonomous squadrons of UUVs launched/dropped by planes may be a useful way to achieve range and potency at a lower cost.
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gf0012-aust       9/22/2009 4:46:03 AM

Semi autonomous squadrons of UUVs launched/dropped by planes may be a useful way to achieve range and potency at a lower cost.
UUV/USV's have already realised a 400% increase in autonomous range in 5 years.

the reality of a sub managing a hive of dismounted weapons is far closer than we think.

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Volkodav       9/22/2009 6:30:14 AM
New batteries with close to diesel energy density permitting the replacement of the diesel generators and their fuel with a bigger battery. End result, an electric only submarine that can complete a full transit and patrol, submerged on a single charge. You want to extend the subs endurance, simple, rig our new generation support ships, which would likely be diesel electric themselves, to recharge the subs at sea.
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cjskinner    some snowflake!   9/23/2009 1:43:10 AM
G'day mate. In case you feel that it is hopeless that the light will dawn in Oz just like it has in PRC and Brazil recently that for submarine mobility and dived endurance the answer is nuclear propulsion then let me give you some hope for reason to prevail:
1. The Australian antipathy for nuclear energy is based more on the dependence on coal and LNG exports than it is on the inherent dangers in nuclear energy
2. Most of the world accepts that nuclear energy, notwithstanding the special measures needed to process and store waste products, is still a a carbon-neutral energy source and does not require any where the scale of carbon capture and storage [CCS] investment that will be necessary for the remaining years of fossil fuel consumption
3. So IMHO it is only a matter of time and compartive costs and risks before we wake up to the need to use the uranium for energy in the same way the countries to which e export are already doing
4. Once we commit to nuclear energy then we will need the safety and regulatory regimes to manage it safely. We might even do it as a profitable undertaking if we agree to accept the waste products back from the countries to which we export. We have ample geologically-stable areas in which to store the waste products underground, and at less cost and uncertainty than for CCS
5. Then there won't be any remaining problem with acquring nuclear submarines
So the solution boils down to the argument that uranium is a cleaner and safer fuel then diesel (let alone coal!)
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gf0012-aust       9/23/2009 2:39:00 AM
there has been discussion about nuclear powered subs as opposed to nuclear weaponised subs.

the general public seem to automatically associate one with the other, so rational debate is somewhat challeneged
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gf0012-aust       9/23/2009 4:10:10 AM
It could be a good design for the ASC to buy and re-export completed hulls, like we didn't manage to do with the Collins.
we could have done it circa 2000-2002 except that we had a gutless government
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