The option of not building ANY submarines was not considered, nor whether we actually NEED submarines, nor whether submarines today are OBSOLETE and alternative weapons systems being more useful, such as unmanned drone aircraft. The idea to continue with submarines is political decision to maintain a technical work force in the area which still has a Labor held State Government. You could of course more usefully decide to build Egyptian-style pyramids somewhere and boost the tourism and quarrying industry for a change. Our defense capability would be the same.
The present six diesel powered Collins Class submarines built at Adelaide have been a disaster and are essentially useless. The Minister of Defense, Stephen Smith was asked on ABC News what the score was. He replied that two submarines were in for long term modifications, two were having extensive repairs and the other two were sometimes operational, although they really have a full crew for only one submarine. The Submarine Corporation will be busy for the next 5 years keeping one or two submarines operational.
The idea of leasing or buying 1 or 2 operational submarines from other navies, such as from Spain, France or Greece, seems not to be contemplated. While extolling the supposed wisdom of building more homemade submarines at great expense, the PM warns that Defense Department is earmarked for cuts of several billion dollars to bring the Budget into balance. So its all SPIN, SPIN and SPIN, none of which makes any logical or economic sense. We are expected to swallow it all without comment.
Meanwhile our friendly neighbor India, last year completed and launched its first nuclear powered submarine of Russian design and is building another. In Australia the present ruling Federal Labor Party is so anti-nuclear that nuclear power stations are forbidden, so too are nuclear waste dumps. The good news is that Federal Labor is long over due to be tossed out of Government never to be returned for decades.