ASPI’s guide to submarines leaves the biggest strategic questions unanswered

ASPI’s Special Report; submarines, your questions answered aims to “become the go-to guide for authoritative comment on all things to do with the present and future of Australian submarines”. However, rather than clarify the issues around submarine warfare and the Attack class, it raises more questions than it answers. That’s not to deny that there are important contributions in the report from Andrew Davies, Marcus Hellyer, Malcolm Davis, and others.

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Sustaining an undersea advantage: Hudson Institute anti-submarine warfare report

The spotlight is back on Australia’s future submarine program, SEA1000. The Hudson Institute report Sustaining the Undersea Advantage: Disrupting Anti-Submarine Warfare Using Autonomous Systems is an excellent introduction to the history of anti-submarine warfare, and to some recent transformational developments in its conduct. It will help readers understand the long history of undersea warfare and how past experience has made older concepts hard to shift.

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Exaggerated threats and contrived military strategies shouldn’t drive Defence spending: a response to Jon Stanford

In a series of three articles, Jon Stanford has argued that Australia needs “a sound military strategy to deter an attack by a great power and careful analysis of how to design the right force structure to deliver it”. An external, more ‘neutral’ review of Australia’s military strategy is proposed. But it is not clear that Australia needs a new military strategy – let alone one that would require a 50 % increase in the Defence budget.

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The Future of the Undersea Deterrent: A Global Survey

This publication brings together insights of leading international scholars and next-generation expertsto produce a comprehensive and authoritative reference examining the interplay of strategic issues, including nuclear strategy and deterrence; maritime operational issues, including ASW; and technology issues, including new and disruptive technologies and potential game-changers in relation to deterrence.

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The warning that wasn’t: Robert Gottliebsen’s warning to the Australian nation on the Future Submarines

Robert Gottliebsen (‘The Australian’ 12 Feb 2020) claims to have found risks associated with the procurement strategy for Australia’s Future Submarine Program which ‘may even ultimately put the [ANZUS] alliance at risk’. Is there any basis to this claim? Or, more broadly, any evidence that Defence is not managing the project risks effectively?

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A critique of Australia’s SEA1000 Future Submarine project – from the outside

How did the Australian government decide to approve the SEA1000 project? That these decisions are always hidden from wider view by secrecy classifications and need-to-know protocols must be accepted, as must the reality that pragmatic consideration will be given to other important matters like alliance and industry policy. But nonetheless, Tthe decision doesn’t easily stand up to scrutiny.

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Australia’s ‘future submarines’ & future war

Australia’s SEA1000 Future Submarine project is back in the news following a 60% increase in the project’s cost to AUD 80 billion, and a report by the Australian National Audit Office that identified flaws in the acquisition process Mike asks the broader question of the strategic assessment that underpins an investment of this magnitude over an extended, 30-year timeframe. What sort of capability will be produced by the project, and what sort of conflict would the capability serve?

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