On October 2nd, the British Defense Ministry awarded $4.9B to provide nuclear submarines to Australia by the late 2030s. This news comes after Richard Marles, Australia’s defense minister, stared down grass-roots Labor opposition to the project. The opposition asked how sustainable is the nuclear submarine program for Australia. Is it Australia’s best defense option?
NPEC and the Hudson Institute held a workshop on September 13th to get the answers. It featured Admiral (Ret.) Robert Thomas, former commander of the 7th fleet based in Japan, and Mark Gunzinger, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Forces Transformation and Resources. Their answer to the two questions was “no.” Instead, they recommended Australia buy non-nuclear submarines from Japan or South Korea. They also recommended working with Australia to build a large arsenal of long-range stand-off munitions that Bombers could deliver against as many as 100,000 Chinese military targets (see their briefs segmented in clips).
Their recommendations are radical. However, it is essential to the future of the AUKUS defense collaboration model and its further expansion that whatever defense projects we collaborate on with Australia are as effective and successful as possible. Debating the merits of nuclear submarines is essential to ensure this result.
October 4, 2023
AUKUS is Primarily About Promoting a New Model of Defense Collaboration in the Pacific, Not About Pitching Particular Weapons
Nuclear Submarines for Australia: Yesterday’s Technology at Tomorrow’s Prices
Two AUKUS Sub Challenges for Australia: Retaining the Nuclear Shipmen They Train Up and Dealing with the Public Relations Issues of Operating Several Reactors in the Ports of Large Australian Cities
How America’s Air Strike Requirements Differ from Those of China and Recommend Focusing on Non-Hypersonic Weapons in the Near-Term
How Our Need to Hit 100,000 Chinese Targets Cannot Be Satisfied with Long-Range Hypersonic Weapons and Nuclear Submarines
Q & A Part 1
Q & A Part 2
Q & A Part 3