Last week, the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom announced the signing of a security deal already known as AUKUS. One of the effects of this decision was the termination by the Australian government of the contract to purchase French submarines, which caused a real diplomatic scandal. However, military experts say turning to more advanced nuclear ships from the US and UK is a better option for Australia.
- The recently concluded trilateral military agreement between Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom violated Australia’s contract for the purchase of French submarines.
- And instead of conventionally powered ships, Australia will receive nuclear ships from the United States
- Here is a comparison between British, American and French submarines
- More information can be found on the Onet.pl homepage
The unexpected decision of the Australian government to break the contract with France for the supply of conventionally powered submarines and the decision to acquire nuclear submarines from the United States and the United Kingdom provoked a strong reaction from Paris .
Australia It intends to replace its fleet of Collins-class attack submarines. The original plan was to buy a dozen Shortfin Barracuda boats from France, powered by a diesel engine. However, Canberra has entered into a military deal with London and Washington, according to which, among other things, was entered into to acquire submarines equipped with nuclear propulsion.
It is not yet clear whether Australia will have access to certain military technologies from the United States and the United Kingdom, or just one of these countries, under the agreement.
Here is a comparison of submarines from France, USA and UK:
The USS Virginia submarine.
Virginia class submarines
The US Navy has Virginia-class submarines armed with Tomahawk missiles, Mk-48 torpedoes and UGM-84 Harpoon maneuver missiles.
The latest ship model, the Block V, will be 137 meters long and nearly 10,000 kilometers long. NS. float. The new version of the boat will not only be longer than its predecessors. Onboard weapon storage will also be increased, allowing the transport of 65 torpedo-sized weapons.
Virginia-class submarines have unlimited range and a reactor core that uses enriched uranium does not require fuel replacement for over thirty years of operation. boat.
American submarines are among the quietest submarines in the world. In addition, it is equipped with high quality sonar, which gives it an acoustic advantage in the reality of an underwater battle.
One of seven Astute-class submarines in service with the Royal Navy.
First class submarines
Part of the British Royal Navy, the Astute-class submarine is a nuclear-powered submarine capable of carrying 38 torpedo-sized missiles, including Tomahawk cruise missiles and Spearfish heavy torpedoes.
The length of the ships of the Astute class is 96 meters, the displacement in the draft is more than 7000 meters. t, give Producer Boat, BAE Systems.
British Astute class ships are slightly faster than American Virginia class ships. Like American units, the Astute also has unlimited range. The nuclear propulsion of the ship was designed in such a way that, as in the Virginia class ships, replacement of nuclear fuel was not necessary for the entire life of the ship (25 years).
The submarine, created for the Royal Navy, was equipped with systems supporting the operations of British special units.
As a result, the Astute submarines are similar in many ways to the ships of the American Virginia class.
The deck of the French nuclear submarine Suffren.
Sovereign and Shortfin Barracuda-class assault ships
The French nuclear submarines Suffren (or Barracuda) were built by the French shipbuilder Naval Group. The units’ armament includes four torpedo tubes and 20 racks that can accommodate heavy torpedoes, anti-ship missiles, cruise missiles and sea mines.
The submarines, designed to operate in oceanic waters, have a length of 99 meters and a displacement of 5.2 thousand meters. flight.
Although Sovereign nuclear submarines have unlimited range, their nuclear reactors must be restocked every ten years.
“In terms of performance, the Virginia-class units are the best,” Brian Clark, a former US Navy submarine officer and now military expert, told Insider. – Immediately behind them, I would have put the British sharpness. He added that Barracuda will take third place on this list.
A contract signed between Australia and France for the purchase of submarines However, it does not apply to Suffren nuclear submarines, but to units with conventional diesel-electric propulsion.
This type of submarine has a maximum submersible speed equal to half the maximum speed of atomic units, lower combat potential and shorter range. These units should also appear frequently. Broken ships are more likely to be discovered by the enemy, especially if they have a large fleet as in the case of menton. Diesel-electric vessels are suitable for coastal defense, but fall behind when operating far from their home port.
The Royal Australian Navy submarine HMAS Sheean.
Therefore, the use of nuclear submarines makes sense
According to Clark, the decision to replace the Collins-class submarines with nuclear-powered boats instead of diesel-powered boats is a reasonable step.
– In fact, a diesel submarine makes no sense because there is a great risk of locating it before it reaches its destination. The expert explains. – This discount will give a better chance to follow the actions SubmarineHe added that when the unit reaches its destination, the enemy will be waiting for it.
According to Thomas Shugart, a former US Navy submarine officer who is currently an assistant professor in the New American Security Program at the Center for Defense Studies, Australia made the right decision to purchase nuclear powered ships, Because it is a better solution to Australia’s defense needs related to the disputed Indo-Pacific region.
– I think this decision is logical, especially considering the prospect of worsening military imbalance in the region – he added. – People familiar with the matter are not surprised that Australia has decided to abandon the units offered under the Shortfin Barracuda program (with diesel and electric engine – Editor’s note) – he added.
Clarke and Shugart also pointed to the flaws of the deal, such as the increased costs of the program (which were not the lowest from the start) and subsequent delays in the supply of weapons intended to increase combat capability. of the Australian Navy.
gatherings. Adam Hugues