Well,the polar route is becoming a reality now,with the Russians in pole position to benefit from.Finally Russia will have "warm water ports"! Good of AKA to be so prescient. However,for the PLAN,all is not hunky-dory for it.It still has to pass through many chokepoints and run the gauntlet if used, dominated by Russia,the US and NATO nations.
Now Oz is doing some soul-searching about the capability of its Collins' class subs,here by its very own MD & CEO of the ASC,which built the Collins,Hans Ohff.His illuminating view is worth a hard look given the requirement for the In for a follow on sub design for the second line.Ohff says that for Oz,which has similar blue-water operational requirements as the IN,a sub of 3500t is needed.Read the full report.
The future submarine should weigh about 3500 tonnes, come with air independent propulsion, the latest hull shape, engine technology and sensor suite.
Mr Ohff said the new vessels should be based on a current European design, such as a German HDW 214, and could be built in Australia for about $1.5 billion per vessel.
Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-new ... z1neB27C1I
Sinking feeling: our subs 'outdated'
February 28, 2012
HMAS Collins transits through Cockburn Sound at sunrise.
HMAS Collins transits through Cockburn Sound at sunrise. Photo: Supplied
Australia's Collins class submarines would almost certainly be blown out of the water if they were sent into action against the modern submarines that will be operating in the region from the 2020s, says the man who built them.
Hans Ohff, the original managing director and chief executive officer of the Australian Submarine Corporation, told The Canberra Times claims the vessels could be kept operational until 2035 are absurd.
Mr Ohff oversaw the delivery of the six Collins class boats between 1996 and 2003.
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He also says current Australian Submarine Corporation chief executive Steve Ludlam's recent claim the existing boats could be kept operational without new engines is a flight of fancy.
The managing director and chief executive officer of the Australian Submarine Corporation from 1978 to 1992 and the chairman of Australian Submarine Corporation's engineering services until 2002, Mr Ohff said while the Collins was brilliant in its day, the 1980s design had since been overtaken by three new generations of submarines.
''I am very proud of what we achieved [with Collins] but if one of those went up against a modern submarine such as a German HDW 209 or 214, I would rather be in them,'' he said. ''By 2035 you might just as well stay in port - you'd get blown out of the water [if you put to sea].''
Mr Ohff backs a ''military-off-the-shelf solution'' to be developed in partnership with a European submarine company. If the future submarines can't be built in Adelaide for less than $1.5 billion each they should be built overseas.
Australia's most successful submarines, the O-Boats that were in service from 1967 until 2000, were a classic ''military-off-the-shelf solution'' (see graphic).
Mr Ohff likened trying to keep Collins's notoriously unreliable diesels in operation for another 23 years to maintaining a vintage car.
''Collins doesn't have the diesels it should have had from the start; it [the engines] aren't a good fit for a submarine,'' he said. ''You could run the diesels for another 100 years but they are never going to be the best solution - they will always be less quiet and less reliable than they should be. It wouldn't be efficient.'' He poured cold water on the current push by the Australian Submarine Corporation, Defence Minister Stephen Smith and Defence Materiel Minister Kim Carr and a Defence faction to keep Collins alive and well until 2035 to allow the development of an ''evolved Collins'' that would be designed and built in Adelaide.
Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-new ... z1ne9i83Gk