January 29, 2023

AUSTRALIA: Fed Govt To Invest Up To $1 Billion In Sea Mines. First Time Ever Landmark Agreement That Will Allow Australian Naval Officers To Train On Britain’s Nuclear-Powered Submarines.

Spotlight on China published January 25, 2023: Australia spends $700 million on new torpedoes to deter China.
Sky News Australia published January 22, 2023: Federal government to invest up to $1 billion in sea mines.

The federal government is set to announce its first major investment in sea mines in more than half a century. Defence will spend up to $1 billion on high-tech underwater weapons, including self-contained explosive devices. It's in a bid to bolster Australia's defence strategies following last month's $2 billion investment on Ute missiles for the Top End. China recently acquired more than 100,000 sea mines as part of its recent military expansion.
WION published January 23, 2023: Senior strategy Analyst Dr. Malcom Davis talks about the importance of new sea mines for Australia. The Australian government is looking to speed up the purchase of a new generation of sea mines to protect its ports amid growing concern over China’s military build-up and expanding influence in the Pacific.

9News, Australia
written by Richard Wood, Senior Journalist
Monday January 23, 2023

Australia will spend $1 billion on advanced sea mines to protect its waters from naval incursions by China and other potential adversaries.

The major defence spend on the underwater weapons was confirmed by the federal government today after a report by Nine Newspapers.

Sea mines are self contained explosive device placed in water to destroy or cripple an enemy surface ship or submarine.

As part of its military build-up, China has a stockpile of 100,000 sea mines.

The weapons been deployed in previous conflicts to guard strategic waterways and harbours against enemy naval vessels.

A spokesperson for the Department of Defence told 9News.com.au it was accelerating the purchase of sea mines.

"Defence is accelerating the acquisition of smart sea mines, which will help to secure sea lines of communication and protect Australia's maritime approaches. A modern sea mining capability is a significant deterrent to potential aggressors.

"The Australian Government continues to work to deliver the advanced capabilities Australia needs quickly and effectively."

The spokesperson said modern sea mines are able to distinguish military maritime targets from other ships.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was quizzed about the sea mine purchase by the ABC today.

He flagged there would be shift to new military spending in the soon-to-be-released armed forces review by former defence minister Stephen Smith and former ADF chief Angus Houston.

"What that's aimed at doing is making sure that every single dollar that's spent in defence is spent in the best possible way to support our national security," Albanese said.

"So, for example, a shift from where we were perhaps focused on land conflict in areas that we might or we mightn't need, perhaps, so many tanks or so many defence security issues like that.

"What we need is to make sure we have the best possible defences. So we have looked at missile defence, we're looking at cyber security, we're looking at all of these issues."

9 News Australia published September 1, 2022 Australian naval officers to train on UK nuclear subs under landmark deal. For the first time under a AUKUS security pact, Defence Minister Richard Marles has signed off on a landmark agreement that will allow Australian naval officers to train on Britain’s nuclear-powered submarines.

Reuters News
Reporting by Andrew MacAskill and Paul Sandle; editing by William James
Wednesday August 31, 2023

LONDON - Australian naval officers will be allowed to train inside British submarines for the first time as they prepare for the arrival of nuclear-powered submarines as part of a new security partnership with Britain and the United States.

The alliance, launched last September, prompted Australia to cancel a contract for a conventional French submarine in favour of nuclear submarines supported by the United States and Britain, damaging relations with French President Emmanuel Macron.

The training plan was announced as Britain's defence minister Ben Wallace hosted his Australian counterpart Richard Marles, who was on his first visit to the United Kingdom since Australia's new government took office in May.

"Today is a significant milestone in the UK and Australia's preparation to confront growing threats to the liberal democratic order, especially in the Indo Pacific," Wallace said.

"Not only have we progressed our defence planning but Minister Marles participated in the commissioning of our latest attack submarine, on which Royal Australian Navy submariners will be embarked as we develop our shared capabilities in the years ahead."

HMS Anson, the fifth of seven Astute class submarines, was commissioned into the Royal Navy at manufacturer BAE Systems' site in Barrow-in-Furness, northern England, on Wednesday.

BAE Systems is also building the Dreadnought class of submarine, that will replace the Vanguard that carries Britain's independent nuclear deterrent, with the first due to enter service in the early 2030s, the company said.

It has started early work on the next generations of submarines that will eventually succeed the Astute class, referred to as SSN-Replacement (SSNR).

Australia is yet to choose a U.S. or UK design for its nuclear-powered submarines.

The chief of the Royal Australian Navy's nuclear-powered submarine taskforce, Jonathan Mead, told the Australian Strategic Policy Institute's "The Strategist" in May that the Astute class and the U.S Virginia class were in the mix, along with the SSNR and the American SSNX.

Australia will become the seventh nation to operate nuclear-powered submarines after the United States, Britain, France, China, India and Russia.

Australia is not obtaining or fielding nuclear weapons but using nuclear propulsion systems for the vessels because they are harder to detect than conventionally-powered submarines.

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