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Your views: on submarines

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on ditching the French and going nuclear with a new US-UK alliance.

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Commenting on the opinion piece: Nuclear-level spin masks a massive failure

It would be prudent for the Australian government to inform the Australian people on the strategic, environmental, commercial, and political ramifications and consequences before deciding on the acquisition of nuclear-powered attack submarines.

We need to fully appreciate the issues and complexities associated with the design, assembly, operation and maintenance of nuclear submarines powered with highly enriched (HEU) weapons-grade uranium. We need to understand that the acquisition of HEU-235 fissile material would challenge the spirit if not the letter of the Treaty of Non- Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). We need to be satisfied that we have capacity to develop and deploy the management systems and procedures necessary to safely operate and maintain these vessel at sea and in port. 

I would be pleased to see the Attack Class boat – which is neither fish nor fowl, neither nuke nor conventional submarine – contract cancelled, but not before a meaningful, highly capable submarine replacement program is in place for the Collins Class. Thus, if the government doesn’t immediately commit to six conventional-powered AIP subs that can be in service by mid-2030 the RAN will have no submarine squadron save for a few ageing Collins boats.

Basing a squadron of USN nukes in Australian waters would be – I believe – politically untenable. Nuclear submarines are not deployed in the Baltic for obvious reasons, likewise, deploying 8000t Astute or Virginia-type submarines in the littoral waters of the SCS would be suicidal.‎

I agree entirely with senator Patrick’s comments. – Hans J Ohff, ASC managing director 1993-2002

What bothers me is that this momentous decision was announced without a debate or vote in Parliament and without public consultation. Just apparently a unilateral decision by Scott Morrison and probably his cabinet. – Margaret Dingle

It seems to me that Rex Patrick is allowing his anti-government emotions to over-rule commonsense, and to make his name by conducting a witch hunt.

It’s actually heartening to see any Government admit that changed circumstances mean a prior decision was not good and change direction rather than persist with a flawed choice. To be honest I think the senate is past its use-by date and has just become a mechanism to settle political scores and waste taxpayer money. – Paul Venables

Rex Patrick is spot on. This is a complete distraction from the incompetence of the Morrison government on so many issues.

“Shiny ball, shiny ball …” It’s a joke, a very big taxpayer-funded white elephant. By the time these subs come into operation the old style of conflict will have changed. Cyberwarfare will be far more devastating.

A country can already be paralysed by interrupting essential services such as energy, communications and water. The more we rely on technology to deliver such services the more vulnerable we become. – Steve Rate

With all the considerations of danger and of putting a target on our wonderful state and city, I am convinced the government is making a retrograde move.

Susie Dent on Twitter provided perfect words for today in Australian #politics: “Word of the day is the German ‘Verschlimmbesserung’: an attempted improvement that only makes matters worse. If you’re looking for a more pronounceable English equivalent, to ‘arsle’ is to shuffle inevitably backwards.” Morrison and his mob are very much arsleling (arsling?). – Nicola Stratford

Commenting on the story: Sub workers offered lifeline but no guarantee on local jobs

So, NAVAL Group go through a complex procurement process to modify their French nuclear submarines to diesel, as required by the federal government, only for the federal government to change back to nuclear and hand the procurement to the USA and UK government for an undisclosed price tag. If only Nicolas Baudin had declared South Australia French in the first instance. Viva la France. – Steven Harrison

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