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Australia’s submarines need east coast base

Posted By on November 4, 2020 @ 11:30

Launching ASPI’s latest special report, Submarines: Your questions answered [1], Peter Jennings interviewed retired admiral James Goldrick on the question of why the Royal Australian Navy needs submarines.

The submarine’s great strength is the extent to which it complicates an enemy’s planning once it’s deployed, says Goldrick. Submarines have played a key role in the protection of Australia since World War I, he says, and now it’s time to consider an additional base for them on the east coast.

On the issue of whether Australia’s manned submarines are likely to become outdated or lose their usefulness, Goldrick says they need to be seen as mother ships from which unmanned craft will be deployed on a wide range of tasks. He says technological advances are unlikely to make crewed submarines obsolete.

Goldrick notes that by opting to build a new fleet of conventionally powered boats, Australia has missed an opportunity to consider a transition to nuclear propulsion. But choosing to build nuclear-powered submarines would have added an additional level of difficulty to the already demanding task of building 12 Attack-class boats.



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[1] Submarines: Your questions answered: https://www.aspi.org.au/report/submarines-your-questions-answered

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