OZ to pick up 12 redesigned SSNs (-N) and upto 450 AMRAAMs

In the ever-continuing West Pac arms race, Australian officials announced this week that France’s DCNS has won the $38.5 billion Project SEA 1000 Future Submarine program to replace six Collins-class submarines currently in service with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) with a dozen Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A boats.


The Barracudas (Suffren-class in French Naval use) are a sexy batch of nuclear-powered attack subs that are currently building. They are 5,300-ton ships that include advanced features like a pump-jet propeller and X-shaped stern planes. While smaller than the U.S. Virginia-class, they are comparable in size to the old school Sturgeon-class SSNs of the 1970s and 80s and the Los Angeles-class which are still bumping along. They will, naturally, be larger and more advanced that the Collins.


The difference between the Aussie subs and the Sufferns will be that their dozen boats– to be built in Australia– will be diesel boats. They will be able to force-project as needed.

Further, Australia could become the first foreign nation to buy the radar-guided Raytheon AIM-120D air-to-air missile under a $1.2 billion foreign military sales package approved by the U.S. government this week. The Delta has a 50% greater range (than the already-extended range AIM-120C-7) and better guidance over its entire flight envelope yielding an improved kill probability (Pk) and the U.S. military itself is wanting a bunch but they are tied up in sequestration.


Included with that deal is:

Up to 450 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AIM-120D)
Up to 34 AIM-120D Air Vehicles Instrumented (AAVI)
Up to 6 Instrumented Test Vehicles (ITVs)
Up to 10 spare AIM-120 Guidance Sections (GSs)

450 Fox Threes and a dozen of the world’s most advanced SSKs sure make a potent pill against a future enemy looking to roll hard over Canberra.

A-10s in the PI

In other news, the Air Force is rotating composite units of A-10s and HH-60s through the PI and, they are reportedly flying maritime patrols over Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. 

“Our job is to ensure air and sea domains remain open in accordance with international law,” said Air Force Col. Larry Card, the commander of the new air contingent in the Philippines. “That is extremely important, international economics depends on it — free trade depends on our ability to move goods. There’s no nation right now whose economy does not depend on the well-being of the economy of other nations.”

A U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II touches down at Clark Air Base in the Philippines on April 19 after returning from an operational mission. A-10 attack planes have been flying maritime patrols over a coral reef chain known as Scarborough Shoal as the situation in the South China Sea grows more complex. MUST CREDIT: Handout photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton, U.S. Air Force.

A U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II touches down at Clark Air Base in the Philippines on April 19 after returning from an operational mission. A-10 attack planes have been flying maritime patrols over a coral reef chain known as Scarborough Shoal as the situation in the South China Sea grows more complex. Photo: Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton, U.S. Air Force.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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