Jobs alarm over plan to buy Japanese submarines

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“Labor, if elected, will build submarines in Australia – unequivocally,” he said. “Why on earth is the Abbott government exposing … an island nation like Australia, a proud nation, in uncertain times of international security, to not having the best possible submarines with the best possible security and jobs for Aussies?”

But Mr Johnston accused Labor of neglecting shipbuilding in Australia while it was in office. He said the government had not yet made a decision on submarines and that any decision would be made on the “advice of Australia’s defence chiefs”.

Fairfax Media understands that instead of the submarine-building work, the government is looking at fast-tracking work on the next generation of Navy frigates at Australian shipyards, including Adelaide. This would be done by building them on the existing 6500-tonne Air Warfare Destroyer hull design, effectively creating super-frigates.

The new submarines would also be maintained in Adelaide, meaning some work would continue there.

Experts have questioned the strategic implications of buying Japanese submarines given it will bind Australia to Japan militarily and is likely to raise hackles in Beijing.

Mark Thomson of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute told ABC radio: “That would alarm [the Chinese] … It would be seen in the context of a closing of US allies in the region, which would heighten [Beijing’s] already substantial fears of containment,” he said.

Critics point out that the range of the Soryu is just 11,000 kilometres – half that of the Collins class. But it is understood the government is considering using Darwin, Broome, or even ports in friendly regional countries such as Singapore, as stop-off points to replenish the boats and extend their range.

One former senior defence official with close knowledge of the submarine program called the decision “just insanity”.

“We’re going substantially backwards in terms of capability – that’s what they’re doing,” he said.

Terry Roach, a retired Navy commodore now with the Submarine Institute of Australia, said the Japan proposal was “a bad idea”, and that there was “uncertainty about the performance of the Soryu”.

Rowan Moffitt a retired Navy rear admiral who headed the navy’s future submarine program, agreed, saying that too little was known about the Japanese boat.

“We don’t know what the mission is that the Soryu is designed to do,” he said.
















Source Article from http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/jobs-alarm-over-plan-to-buy-japanese-submarines-20140909-10ekcu.html
Jobs alarm over plan to buy Japanese submarines
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/jobs-alarm-over-plan-to-buy-japanese-submarines-20140909-10ekcu.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/rss?p=Japanese%20Class
Japanese Class – Yahoo News Search Results
Japanese Class – Yahoo News Search Results



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