The government’s determination to use defence money to buy votes and an insistence on trying to build a long-range diesel submarine are jeopardising Australia’s security. Buying off the shelf submarines instead of the government’s proposed $90 billion Attack Class submarines and save over $70 billion.
There are multiple medium range submarines that would be entirely adequate for operation near Australia if they were distributed around the coast. Any of these can operate fully submerged for several weeks and have enough range to lap New Zealand from Sydney. All can be obtained for under $1 billion each in a few years compared to over $7 billion for the bespoke Attack Class submarine in 15 years.
Here are three advanced medium-range ‘off-the shelf’ submarines that have already been built by other nations:
- Scorpène (Naval Group) See our defence platform.
- Type 214 (Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems)
- Sōryū Class (Mitsubishi / Kawasaki)
We do not recommend Australia obtaining long-range submarines, nuclear or conventional. The task is to defend Australia, not to conduct suicidal attacks on nuclear-armed superpowers in their shallow and heavily defended coastal waters.
- ‘Lost the plot’: How an obsession with local jobs blew out Australia’s $90 billion submarine program (The Age, September 2021)
- Why Australia’s Attack-Class Submarine Program Is in Trouble (Hugh White, National Interest, March 2022)