Australian sub plan finalized

The U.S. Navy intends to sell Australia used nuclear-powered submarines in 2032 and 2035, followed by a new one in 2038, according to an updated timeline of an arrangement which also involves Britain. The Virginia-class boats are designed to have 33 years of service life. [node:read-more:link]

Defence challenge Down Under

The former head of the Australian Army says his government is “ripping the heart out of defence” and leaving its military “less able to meet the options that might be required in the future.” The criticism by Peter Leahy, now a national security professor at Canberra University, comes as the U.S. Congress debates changes to export controls so that Australia can buy and build nuclear-powered submarines. [node:read-more:link]

Russia tests sub-launched ICBM

Just days after formally withdrawing from the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Russia confirmed that it had test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile from one of its newest submarines November 5. U.S. officials said it was launched off Russia’s northwest coast and struck a target thousands of kilometres away in the country’s remote northeast. [node:read-more:link]

U.K. commits sub funding

BAE Systems, Babcock Marine and Rolls-Royce have received British government contracts worth nearly £4 billion combined for development of nuclear attack submarines for the Royal Navy and its Australian counterpart. It’s the latest phase of the AUKUS program, announced last March, which also involves the U.S. Delivery of the first British boat is expected in the late 2030s. [node:read-more:link]

Domestic subs for Taiwan

Taiwan has high hopes for a planned fleet of at least eight submarines, the first of which is being readied for seat trials in October. “If we can build up this combat capacity, I don’t think we will lose a war,” says Admiral Huang Shu-kuang, the program coordinator and national security advisor to President Tsai Ing-wen. [node:read-more:link]

Accident aboard Canadian sub

One of Canada’s four submarines, HMCS Windsor, is back in Halifax for repairs after a “flooding” at sea in which three sailors suffered minor injuries. The navy says the September 10 accident involved “sea water stored in a tank inside the sub while at safe depth” 40 nautical miles from Halifax and that it took about 10 hours to return to base. [node:read-more:link]

Going Dutch on submarines

Shipbuilders in France, Germany and Sweden have submitted proposals to supply The Netherlands with four diesel-electric submarines to be equipped with U.S. cruise missiles. A decision on the multi-billion procurement is expected in the first quarter of 2024. [node:read-more:link]

French build a “Frankensub”

Group Navale’s shipyard in Toulon, France, has delivered a nuclear-powered Rubis-class submarine to the French Navy in what the company says is a first. It’s comprised of the back half of the 26-year-old Perle, damaged during a 2020 refit, and the front half of a sistership, Saphir, decommissioned in 2019. [node:read-more:link]

Titanic submersible loss confirmed

Five civilians aboard a U.S. submersible visiting the Titanic wreck 700 kilometres south of Newfoundland were confirmed dead today after debris from “a catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber” was found at a depth of 3,800 metres. The day before in Ottawa, the federal government, responding to complaints on social media, defended the use of Canadian military and Coast Guard resources in the multinational search effort [node:read-more:link]

Missing submersible search ongoing

Sonobuoys deployed by the crew of an RCAF CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft detected “underwater noises” believed to be from a submersible missing with five persons aboard in the Atlantic southeast of Newfoundland. Communication with the mothership was lost shortly after the submersible began a dive to the wreck of the Titanic. [node:read-more:link]

North Korea threat response

The U.S. plans periodic nuclear submarine deployments to South Korea in response to the North’s escalating nuclear threat. The U.S. also agreed April 26 to involve the South in its nuclear planning operations in return for a commitment that it would not develop its own nuclear weapons. [node:read-more:link]

Aussies commit to nuclear boats

In a development China says is walking Australia, Britain and the U.S. “further down the path of error and danger”, the three western allies unveiled details March 14 of their plan for a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines to counter China’s growing Indo-Pacific influence. U.S. President Joe Biden said the British-designed boats, to be based in Australia in the 2030s, will not carry nuclear weapons. [node:read-more:link]

Canada seizes Chinese buoys in Arctic

Chinese monitoring buoys in the Arctic, located and retrieved by the Canadian Armed Forces, adds to a list of pressing concerns about Beijing’s interventions in Canadian affairs. The buoys were spotted during Operation Limpid, an ongoing effort to provide early detection of potential security threats. [node:read-more:link]

The “Russian Arctic Threat”

Despite Russia’s commitment of apparently dwindling resources to its invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s Northern Fleet’s ballistic missile submarine and strategic bomber capabilities remain intact, according to a report this week from the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington. its authors note that the Arctic remains “of great strategic value”, especially the Kola Peninsula as a gateway for attack and ballistic missile submarines to reach the Atlantic. [node:read-more:link]

USN drydocks shut for seismic review

The U.S. Navy is suspending submarine repairs at four dry docks in Washington state due to concerns about their possible vulnerability to seismic activity. Stressing that there is “no immediate risk,” the USN says the decision enables a team of experts to assess three drydocks at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard drydocks in Bremerton and one at the Trident Refit Facility in nearby Bangor. [node:read-more:link]


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