Robert Bond Director Citizens for Defence
CITIZENS FOR DEFENCE
Abbott & Johnson drowning in sub fiasco
The submarine Australia hopes to acquire in the next decade is more and more turning into a tangled mess where Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Defence Minister Senator Johnston are way out of their depth. These politicians are dogmatically standing by outdated concepts such as diesel electric propulsion that will ultimately lead to another 50 years of virtually nonexistent undersea defence for a nation that has vast oceans and seas surrounding it.
Britain and the US only use nuclear powered submarines and doesn’t this tell our flat earth politicians something. They are not interested in wasting everyone’s time by designing a last century relic that will have to hide in the shallows if a nuclear attack submarine is anywhere within a thousand miles of it in a conflict.
Have our politicians even approached the US or Britain about the supply of nuclear propulsion units or submarines? The US supplied Britain propulsion units for their first nuclear submarines. Why aren’t any deals put up to the US or Britain made public so that we taxpayers and concerned citizens can judge how wisely our defence dollar is being spent?
Sure, the US and Britain are concerned about their secret technology, and understandably so, but why don’t our politicians put it to them and see where the boundaries are. Just as an outside observer and based on what the US ambassador to Australia has said several times in the past and what US think tanks and analysts are saying the US would be amenable to us purchasing 10 Virginia class submarines to assist US forces in this area of the Indo-Pacific. As an encouragement to the US we could extensively upgrade HMAS Sterling in Western Australia as a joint facility for Australian and US ships. Have any of these proposals been discussed and if so why are they being kept secret?
As English speaking allies and mother countries they are the only nations Australia should be seeking help from and we should accept their designs and technology where it can be obtained. These subs will be defending this nation for 50 years and we will depend on our allies for spare parts accident damage repair and technological upgrades. We can rely on these two nations to be always there for us.
Not so Germany, Sweden, Japan, France or most other countries in the world. They are breaking their necks to design and build Australia 100 year old technology subs designed for the Mediterranean or Baltic Sea which virtually can fit into the Queensland Gulf of Carpentaria. The Japanese submarine is built exclusively for the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan which are just oversized ponds. Yet Australia has the vast Pacific Ocean, the vast Indian Ocean, the Timor Sea and China Seas not to mention the Great Southern Ocean to patrol.
The Swiss, French, Japanese and Germans have never recently built a submarine suitable for such a task and yet Australia seems to be going to let them design and build an unproven dinosaur with no guarantees that it will adequately defend our nation and no guarantees that we will be able to acquire parts and follow up assistance to keep the subs operational. Indeed Sweden caused Australian soldiers to die in Vietnam when it denied us ammunition for their antitank weapons in the Vietnam War because they were morally opposed to us fighting the communists.
The politician’s brainless consideration of completely new designed diesel electric museum piece submarines with the assistance of Germany, France, Sweden, or Japan is going to kill countless Australian submariners as they pit their obsolete submarines against nimble high technology nuclear attack submarines in the decades ahead.
Mr Abbott and Mr Johnston, level with the Australian people and tell us why you cannot make a rational decision on nuclear submarines for the defence of our nation.