back to article This is AUKUS for China – US, UK, Australia reveal defence tech-sharing pact

Australia, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom have signed a new defence and technology-sharing pact. Dubbed AUKUS, the headline item of the pact is assistance from the UK and US to help Australia build nuclear-powered submarines that are interoperable with their own fleets (but do not carry nuclear weapons). …

  1. Denarius

    buy gold now

    <rant> if previous Oz Defence "purchases" are any guide, just buying a standard item off the shelf is too quick, simple, easy and cost effective. The beancounter civilians would have no input, and thus not able to stuff up any design considerations made by engineers. Senior manglement will want bells, whistles and irrelevant changes in contract midstream, especially if poms involved. All changes gold plated and with ridiculous performance requirements. I doubt Oz will have anything launched and in service before 2040 if the SA ship yards previous performance is any guide. Finally, the Oz Navy cant keep submariner crews. Long trips breakup too many families, low pay does not help either. Nuclear boats have bigger crews than conventional subs. I do feel the frog sub contract was a disaster in keeping with anything Talkbull did but doubt this is a wise decision. In meantime, the hysterics that masquerade as environmentalists will have a ball predicting instant death, annoyance of the democratic, peaceful, non-threatening Asian country some distance to Oz north and mass deaths every time a sub arrives in port, even if they have to sink it to prove their point </rant>

    1. james 68

      Re: buy gold now

      Whilst I agree with almost everything you wrote, I feel the need to point out that as Australia is a democracy then people have every right to protest, however daft said protests might be. Otherwise it would be a tad more similar to China than you might like. Besides, if memory serves its the various world governments that sink protesters ships in dock, even going so far as to set off bombs in the buggers.

      1. techy8866

        Re: buy gold now

        To be fair, the greenpeace cult had it coming.

        1. neilo

          Re: buy gold now

          Under what circumstances do you feel that French agents entering the harbor of a peaceful nation they are not at war with, sinking an unarmed boa and murdering those on boardt is remotely justified?

          France committed an act of war against New Zealand that day. That NZ did not retaliate is due to the level-headedness of that country's government.

          There are things to admire about Greenpeace, and things to despise. Neither justifies murder.

          1. AlexHilbertRyan

            Re: buy gold now

            Complete bullshit. NZ did not retaliate because well nz is a small country with little weaponry, i wonder what exactly could they do ? Seems you are talking crap, everybody knew nz would do nothing.

      2. Potemkine! Silver badge

        Re: buy gold now

        Australia is a democracy then people have every right to protest, however daft said protests might be

        Yeo, that the difference between democracies and dictatorships.

        In dictatorships, the motto is "shut up"

        In democracies, the motto is "keep talking".

        1. martinusher Silver badge

          Re: buy gold now

          Australia seems a bit weird at the moment. It should be like Canada -- a handful of large provinces (states) with a relatively tiny Federal government -- but it wants to be like the US with a powerful Federal government able to dictate both domestic and foreign policy. Its not only nothing like large enough to carry this off but the Federal government seems to operate without even the nominal checks and balances that we have in the US -- reports of what their Federal Police get up to (and want to do) makes our FBI seem like a bunch of wimps.

          I'm pretty sure its going to end in tears.

          1. Clunking Fist

            Re: buy gold now

            "a powerful Federal government able to dictate both domestic and foreign policy." Are you telling us that Canadian Provinces set foreign policy? Does each province have its own navy?

            1. martinusher Silver badge

              Re: buy gold now

              It might be my jaded US perspective but Canadian foreign policy seems to be mostly outsourced to Washington.

          2. Clunking Fist

            Re: buy gold now

            "makes our FBI seem like a bunch of wimps."

            General Flynn called, he wants you to read about his treatment by the FBI. Start with the video of Chris Wallace interviewing former FBI Director James Comey. Comey does a good job explaining how the FBI works.

          3. PMES

            Re: buy gold now

            Australia, although superficially similar to the US, is in reality an evolving bureaucratic and surveillance state.

            Our prison colony foundations, class system and bureaucracies were never abandoned.

            The 'state', in its various manifestations and at all levels, has extensive and intrusive powers. Many more powers than are evident in the UK, let alone the US.

            For example the state dictates the minimum amounts that workers must save and even when and at what rate, they can spend those savings.

            For those on social welfare support, the state dictates which goods, and what quantities, can be purchased.

            A separate judicial structure - called the arbitration system - dictates the wages that workers will be paid, and it applies a variety of passing moral imperatives to wage structures.

            A vast superstructure of bureaucrats and woke do-gooders runs this system - and most of the provisions are mandatory.

            Top bureaucrats have vast powers - and, quite often are openly contemptuous or their political 'masters'. The top bureaucrats are now, as one would expect, paid vastly more than the leading politicians.

            It is a weird and whacky system. Perhaps the oddest thing is that it seems to work to the satisfaction of many.

      3. Denarius

        Re: buy gold now

        James, if demonstrators knew anything about the subject of their displeasure, (see Adam Brandt burble about nuclear subs being Chernobyls today) or were treated evenly by the courts, your comment would have merit. As it stands, XR can run riot and get a slap on wrist or be allowed, whereas merely standing in street praying outside an abortion clinic, driving a tractor alone in a paddock in Victoria or just posting skeptical comments on faecesbook gets the book and big fines thrown at one. In Oz as in the merkin hellholes, only approved demonstrations are allowed. Dissent is strongly discouraged in this country. Ask any Oz whistleblower, if you can find one not jailed by a secret court. Regrettably, I must disagree with your comment.

    2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

      It points out it has not fired a shot in anger for decades

      They are right. The Tiananmen Square massacre was 32 years ago.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shenzen, Shanghai, Beijing

    Posturing with nukes. Oh fook off.

    China manufactures most of your economic goods, I bet the steel in these nukes even comes from China.

    It has major mega-cities doing the manufacturing and they are easy to hit major targets. Big cities with lots of *people*, working *hard* to raise their *families*, to make their *lives* better.

    You lot make nothing. 2 of 3 of your economies run a massive losses and 'growth' in those is an accounting trick. Only Australia trades positive and that's basically digging up minerals and selling it to China to turn into manufactured goods.

    So lets not pretend you fear a Chinese military ATTACK. What you fear is Chinese economic SUCCESS.

    Yeh China being successful sucks if you lived off easy money. Tough, you made your countries into cunt-ries, and business went elsewhere.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shenzen, Shanghai, Beijing

      Looks like a CCP troll...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shenzen, Shanghai, Beijing

        Looks like a 5 eyes troll...

      2. Denarius

        Re: Shenzen, Shanghai, Beijing

        Meh, not even an original one. Another case of not a person having an idea, but an idea having a person. Ideologically imprisoned. I wonder how well it pays ?

      3. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: Shenzen, Shanghai, Beijing

        I don't think so. It amuses me to think that all these wannabe Cold Warriors are ensconced in their offices plotting the latest anti-China moves are actually working in an environment where practically everything from the office furniture through the computing equipment and even the coffee machine was made in China.

        I suppose we could substitute local products but here in the US after the diktat came down that we "weren't to use Chinese drones" until we found that the few made locally are not only functionally inferior but a whole lot more expensive (causing a partial retraction of the order on the Q/T). So I just have this mental image of "Brazil" as being the modern, China-free, information economy.

        Yes, I know things are made elsewhere but as we've found out the hard way in the last year or so practically all supply chains go through China at some point. So the obvious first step would be to remedy this -- but its not got the same short term profit chops as building a piece of useless military hardware.

        ...and no, I'm neither a PRC troll or apologist. I just live in the real world.

    2. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: Tiananmen, Hong Kong, Uyghurs

      @AC I celebrate Chinese economic success. I'd just like my Chinese friends to be able to ask certain questions, commemorate certain events or practice any religion without persecution.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tiananmen, Hong Kong, Uyghurs

        I too want a perfect world where people are equal and free and can enjoy life.

        That extradition treaty forced onto Hong Kong, that lets China extradite without providing substantive evidence reminds me of something. That anti-muslim crap reminds me of something too. That mass surveillance against their own people reminds me of something too. I'm sure the Chinese have their own "Dr Ling Levy" spying into everyones conversations too, backdooring everything too.

        But, given USA, Australia and the UK are not under plausible military threat from China, how does pretending they are get you that?

        Where do you nuke that will achieve that perfect world you seek?

        The reality here, China has big major targets and is more vulnerable than the West, because China actually makes goods and has factories. The West can inflate its currency from a little man on his yacht in the middle of the Med, editing his spreadsheet.

        This crappy posturing is a fail.

        Reality needs to sink in.

        1. Casca Silver badge

          Re: Tiananmen, Hong Kong, Uyghurs

          How nice of you to keep being AC and keep proving that under China you have to be AC to make your poiint.

          Maybe start to stand for your point without the AC? Nice rant anyway...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Tiananmen, Hong Kong, Uyghurs

            And how "Casca" does your comment make any sense at all?

            Ad-hominen attacks don't work against an A/C, "Casca" you have to address the substantive of what I said, because there is no "hominen" with an AC. The credibility of what I said rests in the comment's value alone, not the person saying it.

          2. FlamingDeath Silver badge

            Re: Tiananmen, Hong Kong, Uyghurs

            I've literally been shadowbanned on this forum, maybe this post will be allowed, maybe it wont.

            Kind of ironic considering all this talk of having to be anonymous to be able to freely express oneself

        2. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

          Re: Tiananmen, Hong Kong, Uyghurs

          You really don't know the first thing about China, do you?

        3. Clunking Fist

          Re: Tiananmen, Hong Kong, Uyghurs

          "Where do you nuke that will achieve that perfect world you seek?"

          Dude (or dudette): is it a nuclear POWERED sub, not a nuclear ARMED sub. As they say up north: calm down.

        4. PhilipN Silver badge

          Re: Tiananmen, Hong Kong, Uyghurs

          Respectfully suggest a checking of facts. There was no extradition treaty. It was draft legislation to be adopted by Hong Kong unilaterally - and therefore in law COULD NOT HAVE WORKED - originally aimed at enabling the extradition of a Hong Kong murder suspect to Taiwan.

          The legislation was withdrawn.

          Oh and by the way it did include a whole series of hurdles to be dealt with to enable any extradition,

          But to repeat without counterbalancing legislation in Taiwan - or China - (there is none in either territory) it could not have worked.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shenzen, Shanghai, Beijing

      The subs are to be nuclear powered, not nuclear armed. Which means they can stay at sea and underwater far longer than a diesel/electric sub can, but any warheads will be conventional chemical warheads. Which is all a hunter-killer sub (a sub designed to kill other subs) needs to do its job

      And frankly, given the capabilities of modern technology, I'd''ve thought that even ballistic missiles with non-nuclear warheads (were such to be deployed) would give potential enemies pause for thought. They might not be capable of as much widespread indiscriminate devastation as nukes, but their capacity for localised targeted unpleasantness is quite good, and the threat to civilian populations, if used against them, ought to be enough to make any government think again about unnecessary warmongering.

      1. eldakka

        Re: Shenzen, Shanghai, Beijing

        And frankly, given the capabilities of modern technology, I'd''ve thought that even ballistic missiles with non-nuclear warheads (were such to be deployed) would give potential enemies pause for thought.

        Off the top of my head, ballistic missile can't (currently!):

        • surreptitiously drop off special forces/recon/infiltration teams onto a foreign shore;
        • surreptitiously resupply said teams;
        • surreptitiously shadow ships/fleets/other subs for weeks on end to see what they are up to;
        • perform boarding operations;
        • surreptitiously lie in wait for weeks on end to pick off selected targets;
        • conduct underwater surveys (either openly or surreptitiously);
        • surreptitiously exfiltrate assets/goods from foreign shores;
        • deploy a range of weapons - torpedoes, submarine launched SSM/SAM/CM, mines - on a single mission depending on the circumstances the boat encounters;
        • perform border/economic operations such as customs interception, fisheries control, etc.;
        • perform SAR and CSAR operations;
        • conduct extended patrols/area denial while doing all of the above.

    4. Tom 38

      Re: Shenzen, Shanghai, Beijing

      Chinese steel is made with Australian iron.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shenzen, Shanghai, Beijing


        And the end goods are branded and sold world wide as Western goods. i.e. the trade approach is the correct way, not this warmongering fist waving crap.

    5. Denarius

      Re: Shenzen, Shanghai, Beijing

      nah, we Ozzies dont give a stuff about anyone's success or failure. Would interrupt the BBQs. Claiming bits of rock 1000Km from your shores to build airbases on them does bother others concerned with something called maritime law though. Though I note the approaching collapse of a Chinese building company is causing some sweated brows in Chinese banks, among other places. Thats the mark of real capitalist success, boom and bust cycles.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shenzen, Shanghai, Beijing

      ...and the iron in the Chinese steel comes from Australia.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shenzen, Shanghai, Beijing

      Who is posturing with nukes? Australia is just buying nuclear powered submarines, they will not have nuclear weapons. China has those.

      Perhaps if China stopped threatening its neighbours, making ridiculous territorial claims and using trade to score points with countries that won't shut up and do as they are told by the great and glorious Xi then perhaps countries like Australia wouldn't feel the need to upscale their military.

      However, they are, along with crushing dissent in Hong Kong and persecuting their own people in Xinjiang.

      1. AlexHilbertRyan

        Re: Shenzen, Shanghai, Beijing

        Since when is reclaiming land illegal under international law ?

        You seem to be repeating without thinking or checking your facts. Take the UN building, go look at a photo its on the waters edge and guess what major portions of Manhattan are itself reclaimed land. If reclaimed land is illegal, waiting for your proof, then guess what all UN statements themselves are void because the building itself shouldnt exist.

        Everybody reclaims land, the Opera house in Sydney is reclaimed land, half of Monaco is reclaimed, major airports around the world are built on reclaimed land.

        I hate china but they did what others didnt, they went and reclaimed and built up those islands, anybody could do the same but they didnt.

    8. Graham Jordan

      Re: Shenzen, Shanghai, Beijing

      China builds 100+ new nuclear silos. Fly's bombers capable of dropping nukes over Taiwan almost daily. Has threatened Japan with a first strike nuclear war over their support for Taiwan. And just yesterday threatens the US with war over re-naming the Taiwan embassy.

      Yeah sure, there's absolutely no reason to fear war with China. It's all about economics.

    9. A random security guy

      Re: Shenzen, Shanghai, Beijing

      Naah, what we don't like is China threatening its neighbors. All its neighbors. Except for Pakistan and N. Korea.

      And declaring a whole sea their private property. Would you be happy if the Arabs claimed the Arabian Sea, the Persians claimed the Persian Gulf, the Indians claimed the entire Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal, the Thais claimed the gulf of Thailand, etc.?

      Plus China has been sending aircraft into Taiwan's and Japan's airspaces.

    10. The Central Scrutinizer

      Re: Shenzen, Shanghai, Beijing

      Xi Jinping, where you been hiding? We've missed you!

    11. AlexHilbertRyan

      Re: Shenzen, Shanghai, Beijing

      I couldnt care less if China is an economic success any more that i fear or care if Bezos, Musk or anybody else is a Billionaire or trillionaire.

      People who are jealous of others be it a person or country over money are pathetic. Life is short, money is not the meaning of life and it shouldnt be a priority. Most Australians i think are closer to what i describe than worshipping the goddess money.

  3. Empire of the Pussycat

    Airstrip Two is much bigger than Airstrip One

    Plenty of secluded bang bang testing space and nice beaches too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Airstrip Two is much bigger than Airstrip One

      I predict US crewed subs based in Australia to cover the period during which the current fleet are decommissioned and the new ones are delivered. I hope they welcome their new star-spangled overlords.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Airstrip Two is much bigger than Airstrip One

        I think maybe you're projecting European attitudes to yanks onto people who don't have them. Remember there were more septics in Northern Australia than people (or sheep) during WW2 and Australia were alongside them in Vietnam.

        1. teknopaul

          Re: Airstrip Two is much bigger than Airstrip One

          At least we all agree that septics are not people.

          We will have to agree to disagree, that they are not sheep.

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Airstrip Two is much bigger than Airstrip One

        I hope they welcome their new star-spangled overlords.

        There's a huge difference between the US and China (or Russia). Which is that countries actually want US troops to be based there. It's generally a sign of security.

        The Iraqi government kicked US troops out ten years ago, and the US left willingly. They were soon desperate to get them back when ISIS attacked - and even though Iraq's government are ideologically much closer to Iran, they still seem to want the security of the US presence. I'm sure the Taliban are glad the US have left Afghanistan, but nobody else is. And those are the the two controversial places.

        When Trump talked about removing US troops from Germany - the German government were shocked, and wanted them to stay. Equally the Japanese government are very keen to maintain US troop as part of their defence - despite the fact that in both cases those troops arrived as conquerors 70 years ago.

        The Polish government tried to bribe Trump with $2 billion a year to base troops there permanently - and tickle his ego by calling it Camp Trump.

        Ukraine wants to join NATO and have US troops there. Of course they've already tried hosting Russian troops in a leased base - and it didn't turn out so well - as they came right out of those bases and ilegally annexed Crimea. Not that they had a choice, Russia had to force them to give a lease on those bases a few years before by shutting off their gas supplies in December.

        For all the rude things said about the USA - when it comes to it, people want their help. And complain just as loudly when the US military doesn't get involved. There's no long queue of countries desperate for Chinese or Russian troops.

        The story is actually similar with the UK and France - although to a lesser extent. Both have sent a carrier battle group to Asia in the last few months. Both were welcomed with open arms by the countries there, who wanted to train with them and have goodwill visits, in the hope that their navies would stick around and bolster regional stabilty. Both have smaller detachments of troops in trouble spots around the world helping to keep places secure and are asked by governments to help them maintain security.

      3. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Airstrip Two is much bigger than Airstrip One

        That may be a very VERY long time

        Bear in mind that marine nuclear reactors require 50% enriched fuel, which is subject to NPT rules and the USA got pretty toxic about Iran enriching its own. It would be ..... "hypocritical" ..... to now be transferring some to a non-nuclear state (explicitly forbidden)

        This kind of thing is on par with Germany/Japan conveniently ignoring the Washington/London naval treaties on the leadin to WW2 when it suited them to do so

        Then there's the issue that Australia's spending $800 billion to defend its trading routes from military aggression - from its single largest customer (as in larger than all the others combined)

        Meantime China's working on second-sourcing iron ore and coal from Africa by building up the economies of african countries. They may be getting indebted, but they're also getting pretty good infrastructure and economies out of the deal, unlike past "trading" with western countries

        Australia's economy is critically dependent on primary industry exports, mostly iron ore/anthracite coal and China is virtually the only customer for these materials

        How well will Australia's single-customer-dependent economy handle if if that country takes its business elsewhere? (Hint: ask the barley farmers, it didn't end well for them)

        Meantime China's due to bring the the first Molten Salt fuelled nuclear reactor online this month since the Oak Ridge MSRE was shut down in 1969 (and the first thorium fuelled one ever - Oak Ridge never got to test Thorium), with a 100MWe power reaction version right behind it for testing. If that works, you can expect them to start selling the to developing countries and break the world's dependency on oil (which also breaks the US dollar hegemony, meaning all the quadrillions of US debt comes due)

    2. Denarius

      Re: Airstrip Two is much bigger than Airstrip One

      except in the north the crocs and sea stingers tend to make the beaches very unsafe. Those jellyfish can kill more painfully and slowly than the crocs. Oh, the sharks are many and big too. As it is, US navy is building a new base away from Darwin around Gunn Point. Now that will require some dredging. Tides are fairly big there. At least the drug runners will get new airstrips to operate from. The WW2 ones are breaking up badly now.

  4. Potemkine! Silver badge

    That's a sad news for France, because the contract to provide subs signed in 2016 meant a lot of jobs for shipbuilding workers.

    We should get used to the fact that that the words of Anglo-Saxon countries aren't worth a penny, but it still always a disappointment.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This comments section really has bought out the worst of the ill informed CCP apologists. There may be some roles no longer required in France, but the vast bulk of the ship-work was actually happening in Adelaide. The deal with the French had been in trouble for years and due to missing deadlines and functional requirements.

      Racist slurs do not change that fact. The Australian government has responded to changing geo political dynamics in the region to take the opportunity to take the contractual option to not proceed on the next stage of the project to pursue a technically and strategically superior option - one that until recent changes in the geo-political situation was unlikely to have been available to them.

      Any government that throws good money after bad and does not make strategic choices would deserve to be removed. Australia has that choice - to remove the government at the next election. Many other don't.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Look you're clearly a troll. You don't even speak like a real person:

        "The Australian government has responded to changing geo political dynamics in the region to take the opportunity to take the contractual option to not proceed on the next stage of the project to pursue a technically and strategically superior option":

      2. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        Actually a big problem with the France contract was that they had quietly removed virtually all the intended local skills-transfer and even simple building work, out of Australia and back to France.

        You appear to be clueless and mal-informed about _everything_ you're ranting about, not just China.

        1. teknopaul

          What am I missing, Op did not mention china?

    2. SundogUK Silver badge

      And the words of the Parisian elite are?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Pourriez vous fermez vos gueules, les rosbifs. S'il vous plaît." ?

    3. Dagg Silver badge

      That's a sad news for France

      Yea right! Given the chance the french would screw Australia. You need to remember the bloody french nuclear tests in the pacific and the bombing of the rainbow warrior to really see what the french are like.

  5. sreynolds

    What are they calling chips downunder?

    Has Mickey Ds/Maccas changed french fries to freedom fries downunder?

    1. eldakka

      Re: What are they calling chips downunder?

      What are they calling chips downunder?

      American fast-food chain (e.g. Maccas), often have them on their menus as 'fries', but most people still just ask for chips.

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

        Re: What are they calling chips downunder?


        I understand that McDonalds 'French Fries' are actually made of cornflour. 'Chips' refers to chopped up potatoes which have been fried. So McDonalds has to refer to their offering as 'Fries' otherwise they would be done for misrepresentation.


  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A hint at the UK's future

    This is actually a logical step for the UK:

    Advancing one of the only industries that the UK still has and is extremely successful. (Weapons)

    Advancing the "Anglosphere".

    Building the foundations of Empire 2.0.

    Sadly the reality is that it is just further evidence that we (UK, Aus) are here to service the US on the world stage.

    1. Karl Friedrich Gauss

      Re: A hint at the UK's future

      Recently R-R has been talking of building nuclear reactors, in order to produce reliable*, affordable low carbon energy.

      *unlike wind and solar

    2. Denarius

      Re: A hint at the UK's future

      sort of AC. No-one is planning the for the main event of the 21st century. The collapse or retreat into irrelevance of the USA, followed by the collapse of the modern fiction of China. Its not really been a country for long. Usually about 3 regions feuding. So where does that leave the rest of Asia, let alone Oz ?

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: A hint at the UK's future

      It's interesting that the UK is involved in this, rather than just the US. In general I believe Aussie military kit is interoperable with the US first and any other potential partners next. Because that's the navy they expect to be in their waters. So the Aussies are buying our type 26 ASW frigate design for example, as are a few other allied nations (Canada + can't remember). But they Aussies aren't having the decent air defence system we're fitting - but are going for the US AEGIS system - so they can fully integrate with US ships. Which clearly makes sense for them.

      I'm sure they don't need technological help from both the US and UK. But there is an advantage to asking both, because they can then play Rolls Royce off against the US manufacturers for the reactors - which I'm going to guess they won't build domestically. Although on checking I see the US have already got 3 of their own manufacturers, so I'm surprised they're bothering. but I guess it also helps with buying in the sonars and other plant, if they don't have their own from previous subs.

      Advancing one of the only industries that the UK still has and is extremely successful. (Weapons)

      This is utter balls though. People really do need to get a sense of perspective about their own country. The UK is the world's fifth largest economy. It's the second largest exporter of services in the world and the 9th (last time I checked, let's just say top ten) largest exporter of manufactured goods.

      We have a massive and hugely successful pharmaceutical industry. We've also actually got a large (and growing in the last two decades) car industry. Admittedly nationalisation didn't do a lot for the domestic companies, so we're doing manufacturing of other cars. But the reason the UK is top in world motor racing design and manufacture is that we've also got a lot of car research and design going on here - or possibly the big car companies have come here for design because of the motor racing? Or both. Add in aircraft. Weapons, as you mentioned. But also lots of other engineering stuff goes on in Blighty.

      Then we come on to services. Where we're a huge exporter of architecture and building design services. I've worked on loads of projects in the Middle East and North Africa where the first question you ask will be, is this being done to US or UK building regulations? ARM, is of course a UK company - again selling design services. Much of global insurance, currency and commodities trading happens in London. Plus we're a rather large exporter of legal services - lots of international contracts get done under UK law or have UK arbitration clauses - thus keeping London full of lawyers and bankers. Ooh, lucky us...

      Oh and to mention the bloody pandemic, much of the research on what treatments to use came from the UK. Most of that was what pre-existing drugs to use, but UK pharma has also come up with a few new drugs that also help. Not to mention a certain vaccine that's now been given to a billion or so people with 3 billion doses planned this year. I understand that the UK only had one vaccine factory (other than ones for test doses) before all this kicked off - which was for cat vaccines. Although the government was in the process of building one, to come on stream next year, so they could start taking advantage of the Jenner institute's process, presumably for the malaria vaccine. However we now do have a vaccine industry, because it's not just AZ that set up factories, so that should be another export area. Though I can imagine much of that might end up being paid for by us taxpayers, as the UK has been buying vaccines made in India for various global programs for twenty years - and I guess we might start buying those here.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A hint at the UK's future

        "ARM, is of course a UK company - again selling design services."

        Wrong on both counts.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A hint at the UK's future

          It always surprises me how many people don't actually know what Arm is, or does. "Design Services" has a very specific meaning in the semiconductor/ASIC world. And Arm's business does not include design services. It is what we in the industry call an "IP vendor".

          I think this sums up why the UK government never invests, or helps in any way, our domestic microelectronics industry: They, and the public in general, have no idea what is or what it does.

        2. AlexHilbertRyan

          Re: A hint at the UK's future

          This is nonsense, designing any sort of chip is a major expense. Designing a CPU isnt cheap and would cost many tens if not hundreds of billions to make a CPU that competes with todays modern cpus be they intel, amd or even arm.

          Nobody is going to design a new cpu just because they want a different instruction set or something. That serves no purpose when there are perfectly good cpus ready to license, which is what ARM does.

          It woudl be nuts to think that arm makes maoney by designa. new CPU for each and every customer.

      2. Lars Silver badge

        Re: A hint at the UK's future

        @ I ain't Spartacus

        There is nothing wrong in being proud and optimistic about "oneself" but there is also a limit to the superlatives one can use before it gets ridiculous.

        I once pointed out to one Brit that Britain is not the world's fifth largest economy anymore.

        And his response was - yes but Britain is traditionally the fifth largest.

        My question is what is it that makes the British repeat that in front of every text, every speech.

        Is there even one other country that has this same funny need, France, Germany, China, India ?.

        Is this need the result of a immense lack of belief.

        A bit like a woman who keeps repeating - look I am beautiful, look I am beautiful.

        Britain was number two in car manufacturing for some time after the war but about number thirteen today and foreign owned, an industry hardly happy with Brexit.

        But I give you credit for not using the "world leading" even once.

        The exports look like this so far.

        Country Exports 2021

        China $2.16 Tn

        United States $1.58 Tn

        Germany $1.40 Tn

        Japan $683.30 Bn

        South Korea $577.40 Bn

        France $551.80 Bn

        Netherlands $526.40 Bn

        Italy $499.10 Bn

        Hong Kong $496.90 Bn

        United Kingdom $436.50 Bn

        Canada $433.00 Bn


        The services part would make me worried due to the word that shall not be mentioned.

        All the best, life goes on.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: A hint at the UK's future


          I was a bit confused by your figures, because they didn't look right. So I checked and in fact what you've quoted there is not a list of exporting countries. But a list of goods exports, excluding services. You've also used a weird year with a global pandemic and countries recovering at different speeds and only halfway through a year - adding even more statistical inconsistencies. For example Lapland might have very heavy exports at Christmas which hasn't happened yet, so you should only use whole year figures.

          So your linked site, have linked to their sources. Well done them. Shame they didn't label their graph properly. But the table below does say that they're exports of merchandise f.o.b. - and puts the UK in 10th. Clicks link to Wikipedia. Checks. Oops. The wiki page they've linked to is actually figures for 2020 - not this year. Gives up and goes to World Bank

          World Bank figures of total exports of goods AND services 2020:

          1. China - 2.73tn

          2. USA - 2.13tn

          3. Germany - 1.67tn

          4. Japan - 793bn

          5. France - 746bn

          6 UK - 742bn

          I once pointed out to one Brit that Britain is not the world's fifth largest economy anymore.

          And you were almost certainly wrong. Britain is the World's fifth biggest economy. World Bank - figures for 2020 again:

          1 USA - 20.9tn

          2 China - 14.7tn

          3. Japan - 5.1tn

          4. Germany - 3.8tn

          5. UK - 2.7tn

          6. India - 2.6tn

          I think India overtook France a couple of years ago, and given their population/economic growth, it'll be us pretty soon. The above is at current $ prices. Which is the standard comparison.

          but there is also a limit to the superlatives one can use before it gets ridiculous.

          I don't believe I used any superlatives. I simply said that running the UK down has been a national sport for ages, and it's bollocks. When India overtake us to be the fifth largest economy that will make no difference either. The point is that we have a large, important global economy which makes and sells lots of stuff. The country is a nice place to live - that's a lot less racist or prejudiced than loads of other places, but a little bit more than a few others. We're good at sport, we're good at research, we're good at engineering and making stuff, we're good at exporting terrible reality TV (sorry). We're great at some things mediocre at others and rubbish at a bunch too. Much like anywhere else really.

          Is this need the result of a immense lack of belief.

          What need? Why post at all? But I could equally ask, is this need to do down the country a sign of something odd? Who knows? I try to inject a little reality into the discussion. Which you can see I've backed up with facts. To quote from George Orwell:

          England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution, from horse racing to suet puddings. It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during ‘God save the King’ than of stealing from a poor box. All through the critical years many left-wingers were chipping away at English morale, trying to spread an outlook that was sometimes squashily pacifist, sometimes violently pro-Russian, but always anti-British.”

          Good on George Orwell to defend the honour of suet pudding! That's what I say...

          1. martinusher Silver badge

            Re: A hint at the UK's future

            I've always been puzzled by the size of the UK economy compared to the relative paucity of jobs in engineering (and their relatively low wages). Since the UK isn't big in agriculture or mining the numbers have got to come from somewhere and I suspect its 'financial services' that fill the gap -- banking, insurance and so on, what used to be listed as 'intangibles'.

            As for the economy's size I believe that the UK's economy is slightly smaller than California's. Its all a matter of perspective -- Los Angeles County (not city, note) has a population and economy that much larger than many standalone countries. What really counts is how much of an economy benefits the population as a whole.

            BTW -- When Orwell was writing a lot of his important works fascism was on the rise in Europe (and not just on the Continent). The English are better prepared than many to resist this -- after all, it was Samuel Johnson who wrote "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel". We, in the US, demonstrate this daily.

    4. ian 22

      Re: A hint at the UK's future

      Not to be snide about it, but it is better to be the lion's tail rather than the mouse's head.

      1. Dagg Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: A hint at the UK's future

        Not correct on that one. At least as a mouse you have control over your own destiny. But as a tail all you are is a mindless follower.

  7. Ken G Silver badge

    Sharks with frickin laser beams on their heads!

    mysterious underwater capability

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sharks with frickin laser beams on their heads! ?

  8. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Keeping Secrets from Media Leaves One Catastrophically Vulnerable to Secrets in Media

    A system which invents and delivers new enemies to liquidate with explosive kinetic weapons is not supplying the defensive needs of tomorrow which are challenged and disrupted and can easily be completely destroyed via virtual means and advanced intelligent memes.

    To fail to realise that dilemma as an executable catastrophic vulnerability and indefensible 0day exploit conundrum has one extraordinarily rendered already practically defeated in all near and far future fields of any planned militaristic conflict/foreign alien intervention.

    Such is gravely to be regarded for it is certainly to be fully expected in these novel times with some extremely strange and engaging spaces/entangling programs and projects ..... for significant others zealously appreciate the overwhelming advantage and guaranteed success such a realisation supplies to virtual commanders and ethereal combatants alike.

    And how very odd that the likes of DARPA/IARPA have no vanguard and forward operating bases exercising wise knowledgeable leadership in the field.

    And it may very well be an inescapable fact that the energetic and exotic and erotic East have been a long time almightily well focussed to clearly stealthily lead on cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and additional deep see capabilities whilst the West dithers in the shadows of those sorts of technologies and abilities, facilities and utilities which it rightly fears and realises is way beyond the reach of Western Five Eyes type Allies collaborating and conspiring to efficiently and effectively exclusively exercise ....... well, Overall Mutually Beneficial Command of COSMIC* Control Systems is that which is in Play on the Vast Open Fields of Greater IntelAIgent Games Play, although that may not be the game a belligerent and myopic and intellectually challenged West be trying to play and lead others with.

  9. Lucy in the Sky (with Diamonds)

    Watched over by the former President of International Union of Socialist Youth

    Sadly, New Zealand's Supreme Dear Leader is a Communist. The former President of International Union of Socialist Youth to be exact. So, Dear Leader is doing everything possible to kiss arse to the Maoist Masters.

    So, New Zealand does not wish to upset Red China...

    They are our friends and comrades after all...

    Hail, Supreme Dear Leader!!!

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Watched over by the former President of International Union of Socialist Youth

      In case Australia is planning regime change in NZ, remember they have orcs

  10. Karl Friedrich Gauss

    Imagine: NATO Energy Security Agency

    Instead of endless wars in foreign lands for oil, imagine the following:

    AECL, R-R, Vickers, BAE, GE, MTU, Siemens, Fujitsu, Samsung, CSIRO, Areva, SNECMA come together and design a next-generation fast neutron reactor. It would transform Thorium, U238 and present day nuclear waste into fissile material and burn it for electricity. Similar to present day France, we would

    + heat with electricty

    + power cars and trucks from overhead power lines (needing only a small battery)

    + recycle steel in electric furnaces

    Also, we would plant fast-growing trees and bury them in the former coal pits, thereby removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

    Imagine doing this, instead of imagining WW3 with Russia* and China. How nice could this be ?

    *Maybe we could even make Rosatom join with their fast breeder technology.

    1. Karl Friedrich Gauss

      Re: Imagine: NATO Energy Security Agency

      Note that there would still be a need for hydrocarbon to some degree: tractors, harvester combines, excavators, ships, helicopters and airplanes can only be powered by HC, as batteries/power lines would be prohibitive to their function. The CO2 produced by them would be offset from buried trees.

      1. Karl Friedrich Gauss

        Re: Imagine: NATO Energy Security Agency

        BN 800 Breeder Reactor:

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Danny 2

        Re: Imagine: NATO Energy Security Agency


        "tractors, harvester combines, excavators, ships, helicopters and airplanes can only be powered by HC"

        Actually, Orkney is powering heavy vehicles, ferries, and - soon - aeroplanes using renewable energy. They've discovered this remarkable new element called hydrogen hiding in their tap water.

    2. Lucy in the Sky (with Diamonds)

      Re: Imagine: NATO Energy Security Agency

      The whole idea of war is that you go to a foreign country and make it your own.

      Serving millions for thousands of years of recorded history.

      That is how war works.

      Then, the winners get to write history.

      That is how history works...

      Don't ever ask how they make sausages work, because that it a dark and foreboding place...

    3. Denarius

      Re: Imagine: NATO Energy Security Agency

      why bury trees ? Timber is a great housing resource and most of the world could do with more and better housing

  11. S4qFBxkFFg

    "Australia previously planned to build diesel-electric subs in conjunction with a French manufacturer – a contract that is about to be terminated without putting a boat in the water. Nuclear-powered boats can run submerged for longer and more quietly, and do not have to vent exhaust gases."

    AFAIK, a diesel-electric submarine when it's running on battery power, is significantly quieter than a nuclear-powered one (because there are certain non-silent processes, such as cooling the reactor, that have to run constantly): am I out of date here?

    1. Karl Friedrich Gauss

      That is correct. Reactors need to be cooled (see Nachzerfallswärme) even when powered off. The pumps and the flow will generate some noise.

    2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      I think that you have to consider more than just the quietness of a conventional verses nuclear submarine.

      Whilst you have a point, it needs to be noted that nuclear submarines are larger, and so can bury the cooling system deeper in the hull, can dive deeper so can put more distance between them and the surface ships, and can travel much faster underwater than a conventional boat can. All of these things make just the noise of the boat at rest less important.

      It has long been the case that the best way of sinking a nuclear submarine is by attacking it with another nuclear submarine. Even at it's quietest, a conventional submarine is relatively easy to locate (because it has to come very close to the surface regularly), and would not be effective against nuclear submarines because of their limited speed, endurance and depth of dive characteristics.

      When it actually comes to noise, there is a huge difference between different country's submarine fleets. Russian submarines were always regarded as being noisy (although I've read that the more modern boats are a lot better), whereas UK designed boats have long been regarded as being very quiet, so much so that the US commercially licensed the pump-jet propulsion system used in the Swiftsure and Trafalgar classes (but not Trafalgar herself), and obtained a number of other technologies as part of the Trident II technology deal.

      1. Karl Friedrich Gauss

        Modern German and Swedish submarines do not need to snorkel, even though they run on chemical fuel.

        1. EvilDrSmith Silver badge

          True to a degree - The Swedish boats have an Air - independent propulsion system which (I think) uses liquid oxygen, and generates electricity for propulsion/battery recharge. It's claimed that they can stay submerged for 'weeks', but that it presumably the systems endurance in total over the vessel's deployment. I assume the system needs to be 'recharged' back at port.

          So significantly longer submerged endurance than a 'traditional' diesel/electric, but still significantly shorter than a nuclear powered boat.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The most idiotic thing about the French sub deal, is that the French subs the deal is based on are nuclear powered. Australia was spending huge sums of money on converting these back to diesel electric.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        France has sold a nuclear reactor to Iraq before, why wouldn't they sell them to Australia - with their submarines? Or didn't the Aussies want nuclear before?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          At the time, Aus didn't want nuclear powered subs.

    4. eldakka

      AFAIK, a diesel-electric submarine when it's running on battery power, is significantly quieter than a nuclear-powered one (because there are certain non-silent processes, such as cooling the reactor, that have to run constantly): am I out of date here?

      Right, which is why the quote you quoted included the words "for longer". Yes, while the battery power lasts a diesel-electric will be quieter, but once the batteries run out and they have to power up the diesels (whether AIB or snorkel depth), they then will be louder than a nuke sub. A nuke sub is also much faster than a diesel-electric in any mode, ~30kn.

      Which is why, ideally, one would have a mix of nuke subs for long-range (since it can both get there much faster due to higher speed and of course just longer range due to carrying decades of fuel), long-loiter, deep ocean operations (e.g. chasing down ships travelling on the open oceans) and diesel-electric for littoral operations where they are never particularly far from their bases, i.e. short transit times to operational areas, short-term missions (couple weeks rather than a couple months), can mostly lie in wait at choke-points/critical assets for 'the enemy' to come to it, etc. However, that is expensive, it can be cheaper to run 20 of one type than 10 nuke and 10 conventional, economies of scale, supply-chain considerations, maintenance commonality, training (don't have to have 2 different sets of trained sailors), etc. Only really large countries like China and the US (upcoming India) could afford - or justify - that sort of mix and size. When you are operating less than 30 subs (e.g. like a dozen), it is impractical to have a mixed fleet, therefore you have to pick the best fit for your operational requirements.

      When the initial Collins-replacement was begun 15 years ago, diesel-electric made the most sense for Australia based on then operational requirements, which is why the French Shortfin Barracuda was chosen. However, in the last 5 years, there has been a serious change in strategic direction and thus requirements that are now better met by nuclear subs, not to mention repeated delays and problems with the French. If they had laid down the first hull by now, then it'd be political suicide to have changed directions like they have (goverments are stongly in thrall to the sunk-cost fallacy due to upsetting voters), they would have pushed ahead with the Shortfin Barracuda despite changed requirements once construction had actually started.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    change of requirements

    Given the political tensions with China and the changes of powers, back to sanity, in the US, it's not a surprise some tables may have turned.

    As a french, I'm a bit sad, this will have impacts on future collaboration with AU.

    However, one can understand the large superiority of nuclear powered subs vs. conventional. It's a game changer.

    And since the french don't export an nuclear sub technology to anyone, while the US apparently do (a surprise to me), if I was in AU powers, I'd have done the same.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: change of requirements

      "...while the US apparently do (a surprise to me),"

      Another article I saw suggested they shared tech with the UK but otherwise didn't export nuclear subs. This is, um, new territory for them.

      1. eldakka

        Re: change of requirements

        Another article I saw suggested they shared tech with the UK but otherwise didn't export nuclear subs. This is, um, new territory for them.

        As I understand the deal, currently it is a technology sharing agreement, not a sub export agreement. But I doubt they'd build the reactors in Australia, because I'm sure that capability in the absence of a local nuclear industry would take more than a decade to build up and, frankly, wouldn't be worth the cost. Sure, the hull and fit-out, but the reactors I would expect to be imported from either UK or US. And much of the design work would be done in UK/US also, as I'd be staggered if it wasn't basically an evolved/locally customised version of the US Virginia's or British Astute's. I say 'evolved' because, while both classes are 'current' - in service and still being built - they are both 20 year old designs now, being laid down in 1999 for the first Virginia and 2001 for the first Astute, and with the Australian boats not due for service until 2030ish, that'd make them 30 year-old designs by the time they entered service. There have obviously been upgrades (there are 5 blocks of Virginias), bit I'd still expect some 'evolution' on top of the basic designs for the final product.

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: change of requirements

        Britain spent the 1950s desperately trying to find a new tech for submarines. We kept (and always planned to) some diesel/electric ones for shallow water work and defence of choke-points. But spent lots of money on looking at nuclear and peroxide. The peroxide subs were based on the German Walther cycle engines developed (but not fielded) during the war - but were rejected on the grounds of being a horrible death-trap. The prototype, HMS Explorer (nicknamed by the crew HMS Exploder) took so long to get working that her first captain never even got to sail in her before being promoted. When they finally got it going, starting the engines created so much smoke in the boat that the control room once failed to notice that they were actually on fire - and the Chief Engineer had to the shut-down because they were being overcome by fumes.

        So we did a technology deal with the US. Apparently our reactor designs were interestingly different to theirs - but theirs were now developed enough to actually use. So we were given the US designs to play with, in exchange for our data. If I remember rightly we built HMS Dreadnought with a copy of the US Westinghouse reactor, but later subs actually used a Rolls Royce design - which I'm guessed nicked some bits from that, but was actually different. For details see Peter Hennessy's excellent 'The Silent Deep'.

        Also as part of that treaty we apparently swapped plutonium, which our nuclear power industry provided lots of, with US enriched uranium that we used to fuel our submarines.

        I guess the US didn't need this deal, but having the Royal Navy build a decently sized fleet of excellent quality nuclear submarines was defintely in their interests too. Given the alternatives, I suspect the Rolls Royce reactor would have been finished anyway, just a bit later.

        I suspect one thing we also really benefited from was getting to look at the USA's SUBSAFE program. Without having to have a submarine accident ourselves (the loss of USS Thresher) - we were able to learn from the US's mistakes - and they were keen to share their experience. For which I believe we have Admiral Rickover to thank in large part.

  13. elsergiovolador Silver badge


    Given the allegations against Gen Milley and US administration playing to China and Taliban tune, Aussies going full Chinese style police state, both US and UK governments implementing economy slowing changes that benefit China, it seems to me that this is a huge mistake.

    Wouldn't be surprised if US generals already were faxing juicy nuke secrets to China.

  14. Peter D


    Do we know if American and British nuclear subs even work upside-down?

    1. Karl Friedrich Gauss

      Re: Upside-down

      Just use the proven technique of pairing them with a tug for the first several years. The tug is equipped with a $199 Garmin GPS receiver and a bunch of paper maps.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Upside-down

      Didn't you see the Ignobel Prize awards last week? One of them was won for experiments in suspeding rhinos upside down by their legs - and it turns out their lungs work just as well as the right way up. And much better than when they're lying on their sides.

      I'm surprised their aren't any rhinos in Australia actually. I guess they're probably not dangerous enough to fit in - even though they operate effectively when upside down. The Aussies were probably holding out for the hippos. [cue: Bonnie Tyler - ed]

      Anyway, if rhinos can do it, why not submarines? Sharks can manage.

    3. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

      Re: Upside-down

      We tie the anchor to the top of the periscope.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't you just use earth observation satellites to detect mean increase in sea level using synthetic aperture radar to spot submarines moving?

    1. Denarius

      detecting subs

      ITIRC that if the subs are moving quickly, very low level wakes do appear on surface imprinted on waves. So far not technologically possible to detect weak signal among a lot of noise. So they do not travel fast unless required to do so. Submerged depth matters too. However, the oceans floor, especially North Atlantic and near USA are covered with hydrophones, so anything moving fast will be heard there. Source I think was article a decade or two ago in Scientific American.

      1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

        By noise do you mean whales?

        I bet several countries are training AIs on this even as we speak. Track your own subs to provide training data. Obviously, we won't be told whether or not it's possible.

    2. Bitsminer Silver badge
      1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        just offering this summary as a public service for busy people:



        1. Bitsminer Silver badge

          Just to clarify:


  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The French

    Another major objective achieved by this deal will be mightily pissing off the French, which is always both worthwhile and amusing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The French

      It's also a great day for British flag-shagger commenters to generate gallons of gizz across this pleasant land. For some reason.

      1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

        Re: The French

        Hey, you don't have to be British to enjoy annoying the French.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Paris Hilton

          Re: The French

          But it sure does help.

      2. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        Re: The French

        Is that a US jallon or an Imperial jallon?

  17. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    The only credible regional threat Australia faces is China

    What about their own flora and fauna? They cause more fatalities than China.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: The only credible regional threat Australia faces is China

      They tried going to war with the emus in the 1930s and lost - see link to wiki. There's no way the Aussies would be stupid enough to take on the spiders.

      Do even nukes work on drop bears?

      1. AlexHilbertRyan

        Re: The only credible regional threat Australia faces is China

        THere was no war on emus. Dont be stupid and pretend that problem is anywhere near a proper war. Australia has always been on the top tier if not the best soldiers on the planet for over a 100 years. Rommel who knows far more thanyou or me, himself praised the diggers, because everybody, everywhere knows that Australians are the best soldiers from any Asian country.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The only credible regional threat Australia faces is China

      I think you'll find those are considered a delicacy in China.

    3. Eclectic Man Silver badge

      Re: The only credible regional threat Australia faces is China

      I am so stupid. Of course the new Aussie subs won't be nuclear armed, they will have cruise missiles loaded with native Oz fauna. So any hint of aggression from the PRC and they'll be 100 funnelweb spiders on their way to Shanghai, accompanied by some Eastern Brown Snakes and Tiger snakes.


      I'm ordering my bicycle clips right now.

    4. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: The only credible regional threat Australia faces is China

      ...and why would the Chinese even consider threatening Australia? The only credible answer is that Australia is being used as a base for offensive actions against China.

      1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        Re: The only credible regional threat Australia faces is China Australia has been singled out by China since September 2019 to serve as "the chicken" in its bullying/weasel-attacks on the Pacific Asian nations. And yes, they have even threatened to invade Australia.

        The reference, btw, is the well-known traditional Chinese proverb: "kill the chicken to scare the monkeys". Ie, single out and go psycho on one party in a group, in order to intimidate all the other parties in the group.

      2. AlexHilbertRyan

        Re: The only credible regional threat Australia faces is China

        yeh that makes perfect sense, except GUAM which is US terroritory is 1/10th the distance to anywhere in China compared to anywhere Australia to China.

  18. Clausewitz 4.0

    Additional Undersea Capabilities

    As of "additional undersea capabilities", old but gold.

    I heard a story of someone in the pentest business once moved to a new town, and within a few days using his newly acquired fiber-optic ISP, the fiber was broken and then repaired - imagine the rest.

  19. Cuddles


    "Nuclear-powered boats can run... more quietly"

    Non-nuclear subs can actually run more quietly, because they can turn the generator off and run on batteries, while you can't turn off the reactor (primarily the cooling system) on a nuclear one. Nuclear subs have much better range and endurance, but as pure stealthy attack boats non-nuclear can potentially be better. The question is essentially whether you want something that can loiter out of sight nearly indefinitely but might be detected when actually attacking, or something that can't hide at all in the long term but can effectively disappear for short periods.

    1. Clausewitz 4.0

      Re: Quiet

      Better range and endurance, disappearing for short periods is a nice solution, and much more advanced.

    2. eldakka

      Re: Quiet

      ... Nuclear subs have much better range and endurance ...
      In the current strategic situation, these are paramount.

      Let's assume that this is to counter China (duh). That means operations could be expected in the Western Pacific, specifically the South China Sea and the Philippine Sea and adjacent areas. From the current submarine base (HMAS Stirling) to, say the Philippine sea area between Taiwan and the Philippines, that's 6000km straight-line distance. Allowing for dog-legs and kinks to actually avoid landmasses and go through straits and channels, it's more like 7500km. The current Collins-class have the range for that, I believe they are the longest range conventional subs in operation at 21,000km at 10kn (surfaced), but time to reach that operational station at 10kn's would be ~17 days assuming no stops, for 34 days round-trip time not including actual operations. And that's all (or mostly) surfaced transit. A UK Astute could do the same round trip in ~12 days - or ~6days to get onto station - entirely submerged. In theory the Collins could do the entire trip submerged at snorkel depth, but in that case range drops down to 17000km at 10kn, seriously reducing on-station operational time after the ~15000km round-trip transit is taken into account. Of course, there is refuelling and layoevers at friendly ports, Singapore, potentially Indonesia and the Philippines, even Taiwan (although I don't think that'd go down well lol), but that means having to have some sort of forward base or baseing agreement, which is its own can of worms.

      Being able to do the entire trip submerged is a huge tactical advantage, not to mention actually being able to shadow and chase down surface combatants travelling at decent (20kn+) speeds, which the diesel-electrics just don't have the submerged speed and endurance to do, certainly not for very long if at all.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Love the misdirection in the title.....


    Title: This is AUKUS for China – US, UK, Australia reveal defence tech-sharing pact


    That would be misdirection from the use of the word "defence"..........


    Once upon a time, in a land near here, the British had a ministry called the "Ministry of War". Then in more "woke" times (...early "woke", 1964), the name was changed to the "Ministry of Defence".


    Interesting, huh? Since 1964 we've been "defending" ourselves from Argentina, Iraq and Afghanistan.


    Maybe the Victorian name for the ministry was a bit more accurate!!! Just saying!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Love the misdirection in the title.....

      Primarily society is defending it from the twisted "thought" processes of the woke and the offended who insist on trying to hold the entire world to task for their "hurt feelings."

      1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        Re: Love the misdirection in the title.....

        "Words are violence"

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Love the misdirection in the title.....

      Afghanistan attacked our treaty ally and killed over 3,000 people. OK Al Qaeda weren’t the government. But their leader was married to the daughter of the head of the Taliban government, and it was done with a coordinated hit on the leader of the "Northern Alliance" who were fighting the Taliban. Their forces had actually reached quite near to Kabul by that point. It’s not certain the Taliban would have held the country, even without the NATO intervention.

      Argentina is rather mote simple. They launched unprovoked, outright aggression against British territory, and Britain’s response was entirely defensive in nature. No attacks happened on Argentinian soil.

      The War Office point is purely semantic though. In other countries it would have been called an army ministry. Given that the Admiralty was a separate department. And after WWI, so was the Air Ministry. Churchill made himself minister of defence in 1940, as well as PM. Though the Ministry of Defence wasn’t actually formed until 1947. But Minister of War was actually a subordinate position, and Britain actually had both a minister of defence and a minister of war from WWII to 67. As well as a First Lord of the Admiralty and Minister of the Air.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Love the misdirection in the title.....


        Ah....I see......

        1. In Afghanistan, we weren't attacked.

        2. In the Falklands we were "defending" 1000 penguins.

        3. Then there's some smoke and mirrors about "semantics".

        4. ....and no mention of Iraq.

        Which part of misdirection didn't you understand?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    China was quick to respond with their usual whinging and whining and grandstand posturing today... honestly, you'd think they were 2 year olds instead of adults. "Mommy! He called me names!" :(

    1. martinusher Silver badge

      I didn't hear any whinging and whining just an acerbic comment that maybe resources are better spent promoting regional cooperation than trying to set up military alliances. Especially pointless ones.

      Australia needs China as a trading partner. The UK's much vaunted service industry is largely irrelevant to China (as is its manufacturing). The US is in a bit of a mess because its focus on Afghanistan and its overall global posture have left it mired in debt (I know, I own a chunk of it). I can't think of three other countries that are less suited to the role they've chosen for themselves. I think they're only doing it because they can't think of anything more constructive to do.

      1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        > I didn't hear any whinging and whining

        Then you need to start paying attention.

        Although "over-the-top threats and demands that [insert country name here] immediately start doing what they're TOLD" is closer to accuracy.

  22. Unbelievable!

    WHY do we have to go to them and start trouble?

    Just don't let them near us. Simple.

    I for one am tired of paying for grunts who are otherwise unemployable. The U.S picks fights to reduce unemployment. if they kept to their own shores, their "defence" budget, and ours in the Uk, would at least half. Defend our shores, no need to close in on others.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: WHY do we have to go to them and start trouble?

      As the saying goes, if you desire peace, prepare for war.

      The nastier regimes aren't going to leave you alone, just because you're unarmed. We had a nice period of relative calm after the Cold War - but that looks to have come to an end.

      Which doesn't mean we had to stick our noses into Iraq obviously. That was a choice, and we could have just let the situation ride and hope for the best. Though we did have troops in the Kurdish northern areas and air units enforcing no-fly zones in both North and South to stop Iraq from continuing their genocide against the Marsh Arabs in the South or attacking the Kurds. I also think we made a mistake in the 90s not to intervene to stop the genocide in Rwanda - but obviously you could argue that it was right to let it happen. Particularly as that would have been easy to stop.

      On the other hand of course, it's one thing stopping the massacres happening - as we did in Libya. It's another what you do next. So perhaps the attempted nation-building bit afterwards is an over-stretch? Though ignoring problems, as we've done with Syria, doesn't mean they'll leave you alone. There's been quite a lot of refugees and terrorism come of that conflict, even though we've barely got involved.

      Equally ignoring a civil war far away in Afghanistan was doing quite well as a policy. Up until September 2001 - when it wasn't. And what was Bin Laden's excuse? Both that we had repelled Sadam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait and so had troops near the Islamic holy sites and that we hadn't got involved in intervening in Bosnia because we hated Muslims. Obviously we could have ignored that attack and not got involved militarily in Afghanistan. Are you going to try and claim you seriously believe that Al Qaeda would have then given up on massive terrorist attacks on the West?

  23. TDog

    Honest Government Ads

    Should any of you cognoscenti not have come across the above I most heartily recommend them to you.

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  24. Tron Silver badge

    Macron will love this. The US nicked his contract.

    I can exclusively reveal that the 'additional undersea capability' is an invisible drone. The one that wasn't at Gatwick is now not in sea trials in the Solent, all the holes having been gaffer-taped up. It is protected by trained dolphins.

    The best the UK can contribute to this is to put the Chinese in contact with the tech outsourcing companies that the UK government use to build their systems. That will really shaft them.

    US: Do you want to join a new military pact that will damage your relationship with China and nudge the planet a bit closer to WWIII?

    UK: Not sure.

    US: There's a few bucks in it.

    UK: We're in. You know where to send the cheque?

    US: Yeah.

    UK: Do we have to do anything?

    US: Just read out the speech we'll send.

  25. A random security guy

    China, a country with territorial disputes with all its neighbors

    Where China has been encroaching, threatening, or committing genocide:

    1. Tibet: they swallowed it up and destroyed its culture, raped the Buddhist nuns and tortured the people

    2. Uighurs: genocide in action. This is REAL and current

    3. Vietnam: they got their ass kicked but the Chinese are trying to encroach on all the marine wealth

    4. Taiwan, Japan, S. Korea, Phillipines, Malasia, etc. have been threatened. Many claims on land, maritime resources, etc.

    5. India: Ongoing border disputes, lots of building of infrastructure being built to attack India.

    6. Russia: Most of the Chinese army, including its tanks face Russia. A few island squabbles

    7. Hong Kong: brutal suppression of democracy.

    Who does China get along with:

    1. Pakistan: terrorism capital of the world

    2. N. Korea: just likes to create trouble to stay relevant.

    China's stated goal: become a dominant regional power by 2035, world dominant power by 2050. I will be surprised if it takes that long.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps current thinking is that If nuclear weapons are "needed" to be used again in the near future

    then having the detonations restricted to the other side of the planet from the "west" might be thought to be the way to go. There used to be a lot of political pressure against nuclear weapon use but times have changed and the western world is more worried about not being able to afford to feed their kids making a limited nuclear war acceptable to western politicians especially if they cannot afford to keep armies but have a few hundred nukes available that they need to get some benefit from before they pass their use by date.

    Given that AU politicians are recognized to be even cheaper to buy that UK ones then a cheap and limited local exchange of nuclear weapons might be considered a cheap way to change China's mind about their ability to shrug off the effects of said exchange thereby restoring western control across the world and of course counter that country's recent decision to up their birth rate.

    Personally I am crossing Oceania and surrounding areas off my list of places to visit and investing in electronics manufacture outside that arena the last since radioactivity is bad for computing accuracy.

  27. Danny 2

    You sucker

    If the acronym was based upon the relative sizes of military then it would be Usuka.

  28. Argus Tuft

    first boat name

    I’d vote for HMAS Winnie the Pooh in recognition of the prime driver behind it.

    just hope they don’t do another Tiger helicopter program - waste years and $ and then wind up ordering off-the-shelf Apache’s to replace them..

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