Security Challenges
Volume 9, No.4 (2013)

An Astute Choice: Anglo-Australian Cooperation on Nuclear Submarines in Historical Perspective

This article assesses the strategic dilemma posed by the decision to acquire twelve submarines for the Royal Australian Navy. It evaluates the history of US and British collaboration with Australia with respect to submarines, noting the US commitment to supporting allied surface fleets, but not necessarily submarine capability. It challenges the argument that the submarine should be conventional and suggests that any attempt to create a hybrid using Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) is likely to see an expensive re-run of the Collins problems. There could now be scope to leverage a long association with Britain and utilise that country‘s work on nuclear attack submarines.

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