Royal Australian Navy Submarines to go Nuclear

Article 20 of the Law of the Sea.
Submarines and other underwater vehicles


Article 22 paragraphs 1 and 2.


Article 22 paragraph 4.


Article 23.


Article 30


Article 2. Note that Indonesia are an archipelagic State.


Article 52, paragraph 2.
PART IV ARCHIPELAGIC STATES


Article 53, paragraphs 1, 3, and 5.



The international laws regarding archipelagic waters were drawn up specifically with Indonesia in mind, so there's not a lot of doubt as to whether they apply in this case.

Here's the sea lanes.

ndonesian-Archipelagic-Sea-Lanes.png

Here's the RAN's interpretation of what all this means.
Semaphore: Indonesian Archipelagic Sea Lanes

In short, Australian submarines can pass through the designated sea lanes submerged, as this doesn't fall under "innocent passage". If they leave the designated sea lanes while passing through Indonesian waters then they must do so on the surface while flying the Australian flag.

However, as noted above in the law of the sea, nuclear powered ships must, even when exercising innocent passage, stick to sea lanes designated for hazardous materials, these being different from the sea lanes mentioned above.

If the international situation starts looking tense, then Indonesia can close the sea lanes and Australia are back to being limited to "innocent passage".

I'm not sure though why Australia would want to operate on the far side of Indonesia when their main concern would apparently be to keep China on the other side of Indonesia.
Thank you for your comprehensive reply. I was aware that Indonesia played a vital role in establishing the principles of UNCLOS and Jakarta is very sensitive to incursions in its maritime territory, even if it has little capacity to do anything about it, as the Chinese coast guard and Vietnamese fishermen prove time and again in the waters of Natuna.

Sending a nuke boat surreptitiously through the narrow and extremely busy Sunda, Malacca or Lombok straits certainly strikes me as risky behaviour, but otherwise what's the point of having subs if you have to sail them on the surface with the flags flying?
 

Fedaykin

Old-Salt
No they don't. They were warned about their reneging on Australian content. They deserved a good kicking.

They didn't have to offer anything or agree to Australia's terms. They then immediately started to screw us over. How did they think we would respond?
You have evidence that they were reneging over Australia content? They were clearly running a troubled programme but you are inferring they had nefarious intent.

Australia set those terms as a prerequisite of winning the contract, France could have offered a nuclear submarine themselves.

You seem to be operating under the illusion that France should be cheerful about losing a multi billion dollar contract and this should have no diplomatic consequences for Australia.
 
....hahahah.... (etc)
"France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called the announcement a "stab in the back". He called it a "brutal, unilateral and unpredictable decision" that reminded him of former president Donald Trump.
French diplomats in Washington cancelled a gala to celebrate ties between the US and France in retaliation."
"It's a very low moment," France's former ambassador to the US, Gérard Araud, told the BBC's World Tonight programme. "The US knew that this contract and this strategic contract were essential French national interests, and the US didn't care."
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki shrugged off the French criticisms.
"There are a range of partnerships that include the French and some partnerships that don't, and they have partnerships with other countries that don't include us," she said. "That is part of how global diplomacy works."

....and hahaha again...
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
But anyway - why not buy a proven SSK design - such as from Italy or Sweden?


SSK's are limited to as far as the SCS and can only do 11 days on Station.
Go up towards the Yellow Sea and its no days on Station.


SSK's can't hunt SSN's
 
....hahahah.... (etc)
"France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called the announcement a "stab in the back". He called it a "brutal, unilateral and unpredictable decision" that reminded him of former president Donald Trump.
French diplomats in Washington cancelled a gala to celebrate ties between the US and France in retaliation."
"It's a very low moment," France's former ambassador to the US, Gérard Araud, told the BBC's World Tonight programme. "The US knew that this contract and this strategic contract were essential French national interests, and the US didn't care."
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki shrugged off the French criticisms.
"There are a range of partnerships that include the French and some partnerships that don't, and they have partnerships with other countries that don't include us," she said. "That is part of how global diplomacy works."

....and hahaha again...

Looks like freedom fries could be back on the menu over the pond
 
And when the Chinese billionaire got sat on recently it was to great sighs of relief from Western bankers who had been sh*tting themselves over how his dodgy banking plans looked like they would lead to another global financial crisis if someone didn't rein him in. That wasn't a sign of political action, rather it was a sign that the financial regulators can do their job even when the person on the receiving end is himself quite powerful.

It was, and remains, political. Chinese banking regulators are an utter joke. There's very widespread corruption among Chinese banks, most of which are technically insolvent.
 
It has been an amusing day. The French complaining about losing a contract where the first sub was light years away from service; the Chinese getting stressed; the BBC/Guardian bemoaning the lack of an EU role...

The only unsettling thing has been reading about Gen Milley (sic) apparently phoning his Chinese counterpart, at the time of the US presidential election, to reassure him that no surprise US attack on China was planned [fair enough - seems sensible], and if an attack was intended, Milley would call China to warn them. I can't get my head around that part.
To be fair, the BBC simply reported the hissy fits the Quay d'Orsai and Brussels are having. I really wonder why the EU think that the UK, US, and Australia should have consulted them before setting up a new Pact. It will be interesting to see whether France seeks legal redress for the cancellation of the contract - which also includes some sub-systems (SWIDT?) from UK manufacturers.
 
This is only partially about boats. It’s part of a new defence pact, the AUKUS pact. Much wider geo-political implications than pissing off the French.

He He He

Rarely have French officials been so acerbic in their statements, toward an ally or a foe. For them, the U.S. under President Joe Biden is still Trumpian, Australia is disloyal and untrustworthy, and the U.K. so scorned as to not even be worth mentioning.


It's always a bonus to piss off the French.
 
You have evidence that they were reneging over Australia content? They were clearly running a troubled programme but you are inferring they had nefarious intent.

Australia set those terms as a prerequisite of winning the contract, France could have offered a nuclear submarine themselves.

You seem to be operating under the illusion that France should be cheerful about losing a multi billion dollar contract and this should have no diplomatic consequences for Australia.

You obviously haven't followed the saga. They started back pedaling the moment the contract was signed. Cost went up rapidly from contract bid price of (AUD) $50 to $90 Billion.

Yes, Australia did. No one forced the frogs to enter a bid.

And just what are the French going to do, diplomatically or otherwise? You seem to be under the illusion that i or most Australians care what the French think. If they had, in any way, acted with integrity things might have turned out differently. How do you think Australia were so easily able to end the contract?

Edit: Add in the ARH and MRH helicopter lies and lack of support and this is what you get.
 
Last edited:

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Not knowing very much at all about submarines other than what I remember from reading Douglas Reeman and Tom Clancy novels, I still believe that this move by Australia is a good one.

Anything which not only p1sses off the Chinese, but also gets the French chewing the rug is by definition a good idea.
 

Fedaykin

Old-Salt
You obviously haven't followed the saga. They started back pedaling the moment the contract was signed. Cost went up rapidly from contract bid price of (AUD) $50 to $90 Billion.

Yes, Australia did. No one forced the frogs to enter a bid.

And just what are the French going to do, diplomatically or otherwise? You seem to be under the illusion that i or most Australians care what the French think. If they had, in any way, acted with integrity things might have turned out differently. How do you think Australia were so easily able to end the contract?

Edit: Add in the ARH and MRH helicopter lies and lack of support and this is what you get.
Yes I have followed the saga and French attempts at backpedalling on what was agreed, they nevertheless hadn't fully reneged on the contract deliverable of build in Australia. My view has always been Australia should have gone down the nuclear route in the first place. Also lets be honest that cost escalation is not purely down to the actions of Naval Group.

No one forced the French to enter a bid but they did and Australia accepted it and went into a multi billion contract with them, it is Australia who have reneged on that contract in a less then diplomatic manner.

"You seem to be under the illusion that i or most Australians care what the French think. "

That is your opinion and an opinion however strongly held is not a fact, YOU don't care but that doesn't mean Australia should not be unaware of the geopolitical consequences of this decision, you certainly don't speak for all Australians. There are things the French can do, a more frosty diplomatic relationship with France does not particularly help Australia. Backing out of multi billion dollar contracts with little warning and very publicly via a shared press conference that announced a new defence agreement that excludes the French is hardly diplomatic or an act that will be endearing to them. To quote the excellent ThinPinstripedLine blog on this matter:

The French will rightly be extremely cross about this – it is rare for the French defence industry to suffer such spectacular knockbacks in this way. They have a track record of building good capable equipment to a global range of customers, and they win business for good reasons.

While it may be amusing to snigger here, that isn’t actually terribly helpful. The French are not only an extremely professional military, but they also have a wide range of strategic interests and territories in the region, and are keen to build a strong defence relationship with Australia and other partners with like-minded interests.

 
If China do invade, they could mobilise 1 Bn AER (Australian Expat Regiment) based in Shepard's Bush and infiltrate from the West.
 
Yes I have followed the saga and French attempts at backpedalling on what was agreed, they nevertheless hadn't fully reneged on the contract deliverable of build in Australia. My view has always been Australia should have gone down the nuclear route in the first place. Also lets be honest that cost escalation is not purely down to the actions of Naval Group.

No one forced the French to enter a bid but they did and Australia accepted it and went into a multi billion contract with them, it is Australia who have reneged on that contract in a less then diplomatic manner.

"You seem to be under the illusion that i or most Australians care what the French think. "

That is your opinion and an opinion however strongly held is not a fact, YOU don't care but that doesn't mean Australia should not be unaware of the geopolitical consequences of this decision, you certainly don't speak for all Australians. There are things the French can do, a more frosty diplomatic relationship with France does not particularly help Australia. Backing out of multi billion dollar contracts with little warning and very publicly via a shared press conference that announced a new defence agreement that excludes the French is hardly diplomatic or an act that will be endearing to them. To quote the excellent ThinPinstripedLine blog on this matter:

The French will rightly be extremely cross about this – it is rare for the French defence industry to suffer such spectacular knockbacks in this way. They have a track record of building good capable equipment to a global range of customers, and they win business for good reasons.

While it may be amusing to snigger here, that isn’t actually terribly helpful. The French are not only an extremely professional military, but they also have a wide range of strategic interests and territories in the region, and are keen to build a strong defence relationship with Australia and other partners with like-minded interests.

Weird - the crux of the matter seems to be that it's their intrinsic cultural unprofessionalism that has scuppered the deal.

I'd suggest the French need to keep their outrage in check lest more details become apparent.

I suppose you could argue the Aussies were naïve in their thinking. A bit like dealing with any other culture and believing you can change them to your way of thinking, it never happens.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
Yes I have followed the saga and French attempts at backpedalling on what was agreed, they nevertheless hadn't fully reneged on the contract deliverable of build in Australia. My view has always been Australia should have gone down the nuclear route in the first place. Also lets be honest that cost escalation is not purely down to the actions of Naval Group.

No one forced the French to enter a bid but they did and Australia accepted it and went into a multi billion contract with them, it is Australia who have reneged on that contract in a less then diplomatic manner.

"You seem to be under the illusion that i or most Australians care what the French think. "

That is your opinion and an opinion however strongly held is not a fact, YOU don't care but that doesn't mean Australia should not be unaware of the geopolitical consequences of this decision, you certainly don't speak for all Australians. There are things the French can do, a more frosty diplomatic relationship with France does not particularly help Australia. Backing out of multi billion dollar contracts with little warning and very publicly via a shared press conference that announced a new defence agreement that excludes the French is hardly diplomatic or an act that will be endearing to them. To quote the excellent ThinPinstripedLine blog on this matter:

The French will rightly be extremely cross about this – it is rare for the French defence industry to suffer such spectacular knockbacks in this way. They have a track record of building good capable equipment to a global range of customers, and they win business for good reasons.

While it may be amusing to snigger here, that isn’t actually terribly helpful. The French are not only an extremely professional military, but they also have a wide range of strategic interests and territories in the region, and are keen to build a strong defence relationship with Australia and other partners with like-minded interests.



The French have been struggling with their Barracuda programme, it took them 13 years from first steel cut to get the first one in the water, and Astutes or Virginias they certainly ain't.
 

Fedaykin

Old-Salt
Weird - the crux of the matter seems to be that it's their intrinsic cultural unprofessionalism that has scuppered the deal.

I'd suggest the French need to keep their outrage in check lest more details become apparent.

I suppose you could argue the Aussies were naïve in their thinking. A bit like dealing with any other culture and believing you can change them to your way of thinking, it never happens.
Again an opinion is not a fact, the French have a highly successful defence industry with many international customers so they appear to have a fair amount of intrinsic professionality. I have lost count of the times people have bemoaned here French export successes and the failure of British industry to match.

The Attack class was pretty much doomed to fail, it was waaay too ambitious a project which is a worrying state of affairs considering nuclear submarines are even more complex.

You are right the details need to come out but expecting the French to quietly simmer in the meantime is going to be a pretty tall order.
 

Fedaykin

Old-Salt
The French have been struggling with their Barracuda programme, it took them 13 years from first steel cut to get the first one in the water, and Astutes or Virginias they certainly ain't.
The UK hasn't struggled with Astute Photex? A rather selective viewing of the situation by your part...
 
Again an opinion is not a fact, the French have a highly successful defence industry with many international customers so they appear to have a fair amount of intrinsic professionality. I have lost count of the times people have bemoaned here French export successes and the failure of British industry to match.

The Attack class was pretty much doomed to fail, it was waaay too ambitious a project which is a worrying state of affairs considering nuclear submarines are even more complex.

You are right the details need to come out but expecting the French to quietly simmer in the meantime is going to be a pretty tall order.
Fair enough.

Something else that I'm sure will emerge is that the French seem to think this was a 'sudden' thing - I bet if they slag off the Aussies enough, the numerous contractual breaches and strains will emerge and it will not do the French any favours.
 

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