Why should Australian submarines prowl off the coast of China?

Mar 6, 2023
Radar Navy sonar

Jon Stanford’s response to Brian Toohey’s criticism of his promotion of nuclear submarines for Australia deserves a response.

Firstly, Stanford claims that Australian submarines must prowl off the coast of China.

This begs the question: Why?

Answer: To do the intelligence gathering bidding of the US.

As Toohey rightly says this task could be done by Japan or South Korea, or for that matter the US itself.

If as Stanford suggest, intelligence can come from the Five Eyes group, let the US do it itself and pass the information on to us.

Stanford also ignores the point that nuclear submarines, which in reality are large kettles boiling water to generate steam to propel them, must release large quantities of hot water which can easily be detected.

Stanford’s point that we do not have Northern bases, where we could harbour conventional submarines, is also easily countered. Having saved billions of dollars in not purchasing US nuclear submarines, we could use some of the funds to build an appropriate conventional submarine base in our North.


For more on this topic, P&I recommends:

SSNs for the RAN: A response to Brian Toohey

Australia’s national security strategy: no room for peace, arms control?


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