Sunday, October 23, 2011

Still a shortage of crew for our subs

An interesting set of problems. We can barely crew 4 subs (we have 6). Oh wait; one of them is in such a mess it will probably never go to sea again. And some want us to buy 12 subs;  large ones that need big crews.

Yet there are subs out there that only take 27 crew and can defend and attack in the littorals to the North.

But I digress. The most important goal of the Collins-class replacement program is that it becomes a jobs program via an iron-lung government run (or run into the ground) project.

Any attempt to defend the country (as a goal) is secondary.

.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Base them in Sydney, and you would have crew falling over themselves to get a berth.
WA is along away from family.

Anonymous said...

However they they are they will not come that way, too visiable.
Way out in the Pacfic would be the way to go.
Anyway it will be swarming with
F35's flying (invisably)their usual long range sorties, no need for tankers etc, so no problems, submarines not needed.

Graeme said...

Just another reason for 212s - smaller crew size of approx 27 which is just about 1/2 of a Collins.

So we could crew 6x 212s for the crews of 3x Collins.

Atticus said...

And target NZ or PNG before returning to refuel and reprovision. Have a look at your atlas, the Pacific Ocean and how far away Asia is.

Atticus said...

The 212/4 has an advertised range of 12,800 KM. Three weeks endurance advertised.
The Yellow Sea is 9000 km one way from Fremantle, the Japanese Basin 10,000km.
The travel time to the Yellow Sea would be 18 days each way. That is 36 days with no time on station. That is 5 weeks.
Watch the video, would you want you want to be cooped up in that for even three weeks?
The Defence medical professionals would have a great time filling out the discharge forms.
The Collins was designed to undertake such missions. Its problems are a direct result of the inability of DMO to manage anything, except their salary increases and super contributions.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNeHyM4q0pg&feature=player_embedded

ELP said...

Can't get to the Yellow Sea. Big deal. Neither can the Collins unless a war just happens to happen during a time when they aren't broken and tied up to a dock.

Distiller said...

212 is not 214. And 214 has a surfaced range of 10.000nm. It would certainly be suitable for RAN.

Graeme said...

Perhaps it is more important to guard the approaches to our own borders than put our subs off the coast of China.

Sea Denial vs Expeditionary posture.

Anonymous said...

Brazil bought enlarged U209 to cover their coast. U214 has extended range too.

But the big point. It's a tested design. Submarine is not a fighter jet. It takes decades to get the kink out.

Atticus said...

27 crew can not unsertake such a long patrol. Ask the experts. The Collins has had the crew increased from 49 odd to 60 odd.
Your 214 range is incorrect.
If DMO got their ac together there would not be a problem.
Graemem please, ask the experts.

Anonymous said...

train better crew. It's not exactly going to mars and back.

Anonymous said...

But last week, Warren King told the Senate Estimates Committee that he reckons subs are as "complex" as the Space Shuttle.

Go figure!

Anonymous said...

Warren King and predecessors have told the Senate a lot of odd things.

Bushranger 71 said...

China has an economic stranglehold on Australia so it would be counter-productive to antagonize by poking around in submarines within her perceived First Island Chain. It is time also for the US to forego its 'primacy' goal in SE Asia, ostensibly to advantage the huge military industrial industry which soaks up 24 percent of national expenditure.

It does not matter a fig what RAN submarines once did, as their primary purpose henceforth ought to be to deter interference with trade corridors in Australia's near neighbourhood. Operations out to about 1,500 nautical miles from the continental coastline should be adequate, including for covert intelligence gathering, so the German boats would seem pretty ideal.

Given the diabolical technical deskilling of the Navy, which will not be curable for decades, maintaining about 50 percent boat availability for operations would seem a realistic goal. Ergo, a fleet of 6 or 8 submarines should be adequate as the capability would not be cost-effective if say 6 of a hugely expensive fleet of 12 were virtually permanently non-operational.

Graeme said...

Thanks Atticus for the advice, Thanks Bushranger 71 who has actually articulated my position perfectly.

Atticus said...

All, where do you think the submarines poke around now. Further than the first chain, and have done for decades.
Anything would upset the Chinese.
There is a comprehensive misunderstanding of what submairenes are for.
With regards to the thinking behind submarine design and usage, please before we go over the same ground again and again please read the Book referenced. It is enlightening. Warts and all, including the faults.
The Collins Class Submarine Story: Steel, Spies and Spin, Derek Woolner, Peter Yule ,9780521868945Cambridge University Press
Further to that, Submarine Warfare is Offensive, not defensive.

1) The Submarine is involved in Recon of the coast of the potential enemy/enemy. It gathers geospatial information and electronic information, fleet movements, aircraft movements etc. Please study the most recent conflict being the Falklands War. A type 212 does not cut it.
2) Submarines are involved in mine laying off the ports of the enemy. Australia’s potential foes are a long way away. Please study WW2 and the efforts laying mine off the ports of Vietnam, Taiwan etc.American subs(70) were based in Freemantle.
3) Anti-shipping should be conducted close to enemy ports as it shuts them down in conjunction with mine laying. Would you wait until their submrines turned up on your coast? Terrify the shit out of them.
4) Special Forces. Again study WW2, Australia inserted Special Forces a long way from the 200 mile limit. Try Singapore and further North.
5) Anti Submarine Warfare. Again do it off the port of your enemy, not off your own coast.It is easier to find them in a small arc off their coast than the Pacfic.

The 212 has an advertised range of 12,800 KM.
The Yellow Sea is 9000 km one way from Fremantle, the Japanese Basin 10,600km.
The travel time to the Yellow Sea would be about 18 days each way. That is 36 days with no time on station. That is 5 weeks. A lot longer than the three weeks endurance advertised.
In a conflict in the Pacific can you guarantee anything regarding refuelling etc. NO. Life is full of “surprises”. Study history.
In addition you could not put 27 people in a small sub like the 212 for more than three weeks or you would need a need the loony bin when they got back. Find a video (there are a few around)showing the inside of a 212. Makes my Aunts 21 foot caravan seem like a ballroom.
As stated before I believe the 212 is probably one of the best Submarines available, but not for what is required in this region.

Bushranger 71 said...

Atticus; while I admire your enthusiasm for long-range submarine operations, it seems a bit misplaced. These excerpts are from Defence White Paper 2009:

'...To guide defence planning, the Government has decided that the ADF's primary operational environment extends from the eastern Indian Ocean to the island states of Polynesia, and from the equator to the Southern Ocean...'

'...Our military strategy is crucially dependent on our ability to conduct joint operations in the approaches to Australia - especially those necessary to achieve and maintain air superiority and sea control in places of our choosing...'

'...After ensuring the defence of Australia from direct attack (only deterrence is practical in my view), the second priority task for the ADF is to contribute to stability and security in the South Pacific and East Timor...'

'...The next most important priority task for the ADF is to contribute to military contingencies in the Asia-Pacific region, including in relation to assisting our Southeast Asian partners to meet external challenges, and to meeting our alliance obligations to the United States as determined by the Australian Government at the time...'

Having fought in SE Asia, also lived/worked in 2 other nearby Asian countries, I firmly believe that the Australian political dream of 'integration' into that region is alien to their thinking. We have historically had greater affinity with South Pacific States in our 'near neighbourhood' embracing island nations in the Java, Timor, Arafura, Coral and Tasman Seas.

One small bit of commonsense was uttered recently by Senator David Johnston, Shadow Minister for Defence, claiming that the Federal Opposition will generate a replacement defence policy if elected to government, which would of course require update of Australia's strategic scenario by national intelligence agencies. Any objective analysis ought clearly place stronger emphasis on military capacity to operate in the SW Pacific, with lessened involvement in SE Asia so Australia does not become a party to fomenting tensions in that part of the world through an unwelcome and inappropriate presence.

We really do not need to get sucked into more wars beyond our immediate region of the world.

Atticus said...

I rest my case and refer you to history.Submarine battles are fought as far away from your own territory as is possible. The world is full of crazy people, most in Australia are not, and theirin lies the rub.
Your war was regional, and that means no disrespect at all. And at least you had equipment that worked and was suitable.
Therfore, in my opinion your suppositions are incorrect.
Anyway what harm does it have to have the best kit just in case?

Kindest regards

Atticus said...

In addition, re the Collins,in addition the minimum number of Collins to be built was to be 8, however this did not happen.
Basically every 7 years a submarine is rebuilt and this can take up to two years, therefore only having 6 is totally inadequate. Apart from breakdowns you could have two out of action at any one time. Therefore 12 would give you an adequate fleet of at least 8 available. You would not need 12 crews, unless you chose to rotate them like the Patrol Boats. Three crews for two boats.
Then there is the problem regarding support re Europeans, and you BR would remember.I do.

Going back in time, does anyone remember the ban of support and replacement parts for the Mirage Fleet during the Vietnam War.? (Did not make any difference as we built most of them here) Sweden also banned sale of the Carl Gustav.
Leaves you open to politics. It is called the lessons of history.
etc etc.

ELP said...

The screw ups and mismanagement of the Collins program certainly qualify as lessons in history.
Unless DMO is broken up, the build-at-home idea is doomed to failure.

Atticus said...

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/feature/5/129573/a-close-look-at-australia%E2%80%99s-sub-plans.html

ELP said...

People also buy other Navy ships for serious "shooting wars". This is from the same RAN and DMO system who were unable to keep common ships from rusting and not reporting/managing readiness rates.
RAN leadership is short of serious critical thinking and can't even do basic professional level CYA. If you are an Admiral and you have readiness problems with amphib ships you tell the truth, even if that means stating that the DMO are a pack of clowns that don't know what they are doing. I.E. the old professional Prussian military method. You tell the story with the bark on.
So it is hard to take them seriously when they say that Euro-subs won't defend Australia and fall into the rent-seeking methods of not being openly critical stating that:
1. The DMO is a failed experiment
2. DMO works against Navy readiness not for it.
3. Navy leadership does not perform proper ship readiness inspections and instead "paints over" the woes so that it takes a freakin Defence Minister to speak up and state the obvious.

All pretty sad. In the end, when they state that the Euro-subs could not defend Australia, the first response should be not to believe them.

The big plan they have is one of failure.

Unless the DMO is broken up; unless Admirals train their ship captains and staff to properly manage and inform on ship readiness,... there is no hope for a sub building failure that will be an order of magnitude worse than the Collins mess.

Atticus said...

I refer to my previous comments. I agree wiht them in theory.
You are however correct, not breakup the DMO, get rid of it.
Find competent project managers, perhaps even the Europeans or Americans, and design and build the thing to suit.