February 1, 2023

AUSTRALIA: Australia-France Ties Strengthen As US Navy Suspends Submarine Repairs Amid Earthquake Concerns. Australia And France Strike Deal To Send Ammunition To Ukraine.

CNA Jan 30, 2023: France, Australia seeking to mend ties after submarine row. France and Australia are mending ties as they move on from hard feelings over a torn-up submarine deal. Their foreign and defence ministers are meeting in Paris. In 2021, then-Australian prime minister Scott Morrison suddenly pulled out of an expensive contract for France to build submarines. He then announced a deal to buy US or British nuclear-powered subs as part of a new security pact, dubbed AUKUS, with its two allies. Australia's current leader Anthony Albanese has vowed to fix the badly damaged links with France.
Sky News Australia published January 30, 2023: Australia-France ties strengthen as US navy suspends submarine repairs amid quake concerns. In a major shift in diplomatic relations the Defence and Foreign Ministers of Australia and France have met in Paris for talks overnight. The meeting marks a significant change in the relationship between the two countries, which had previously been strained. There are fresh concerns over the delivery timeline of our nuclear-powered submarines after the US Navy suspended submarine repair work at four of its west coast docks to prevent the impacts of future earthquakes. In the meantime, Defence Minister Richard Marles confirmed Australia would not purchase conventionally powered submarines from France.

ABC.net.au, Australia local
written by Andrew Greene and Stephen Dziedzic
Monday January 30, 2023

The US Navy has abruptly suspended submarine repair work at four West Coast dry docks, prompting fresh concerns about the AUKUS agreement just weeks before Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States announce an "optimal pathway" for Australia to develop nuclear-powered submarines.

The Navy announced over the weekend that it would "temporarily suspend" operations at three docks at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard near Seattle in the state of Washington, as well as at a fourth dock at the nearby Trident Refit Facility, citing the need to strengthen them to deal with potential future earthquakes.

"The recently conducted seismic assessment, executed as part of the Navy's long-range Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program (SIOP), identified potential issues associated with the remote possibility of a large-scale earthquake occurring simultaneously with a submarine maintenance availability," the statement said.

"With this new information, the Navy is taking additional measures to further ensure the safety of the shipyard workforce, Sailors, the local public, the environment, and the submarines."

The US Navy statement does not explain exactly what the "potential issues" are, what work is required to fix them, or the likely cost.

Vice Admiral Bill Galinis, commander of Naval Sea Systems Command, said the Navy would "begin implementing these mitigations immediately and safely return our dry docks to full capacity as soon as possible" but did not say how long operations might be suspended for.

The Navy stressed that the decision "does not affect the nation's strategic deterrent capability or the ability of the fleet to continue its overall mission."

But the closure will still make it harder for the US Navy to field, maintain and then decommission nuclear-powered submarines, and could stir renewed concerns about the constraints which the US industrial base is grappling with ahead of the AUKUS announcement in March.

The United States is already struggling to meet its own Navy's requirements to build two new nuclear-powered submarines every year, while more than one in three submarines in its existing fleet is currently in maintenance or waiting to undergo maintenance.

While the three AUKUS nations have not yet laid out how they will develop nuclear-powered submarines for Australia, there has been speculation that the United States will potentially sell or transfer Virginia-class submarines to Australia to help it bridge the "capability gap" which will emerge when the current fleet of six conventional-powered Collins-class submarines are progressively retired.

Late last year two high-profile US Senators wrote to President Joe Biden warning that taking that step could push the US industrial base to "breaking point" – drawing a forceful response from a bipartisan group of Washington politicians who threw their weight behind Australia and AUKUS.

In August last year a senior US Navy officer also said that building extra submarines could place an unsustainable burden on American shipyards.

And in recent days a report from the Congressional watchdog has also highlighted problems with the Navy's future Columbia-class submarine program, finding it "lacks essential schedule insight" amid construction challenges.

The latest development comes as Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Defence Minister Richard Marles prepare to meet their British counterparts in the UK for annual talks which are likely to focus heavily on the AUKUS pact and the approaching nuclear submarine announcement.

After that Mr Marles will head to the United States to meet with Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin for high level discussions ahead of the March joint announcement.

Former Senator and submariner Rex Patrick told the ABC that the US Navy's decision to suspend operations at the West Coast dry docks highlighted the strains facing the US system and the vast risks inherent in Australia's ambitious push to build nuclear-powered submarines.

"No matter how much talking US Congressmen and Australian MPs do, their words won't change the mounting risks that are building in US and Australian submarine construction yards."

🚨👇 BONUS 👇🚨
I would like to point out how ridiculous it is for all of these countries sending military tanks and weapons and artillery to Ukraine to help them "defeat Russia". That's such a joke. Russia is a SUPERPOWER that can squash Ukraine in an instant like a bug. Ukraine would be a memory if Russia really wanted to takeover. This is all a charade. These globalist psychopaths are up to something. They're playing a tune to engage in a dance.

According to Safalta.com, "Russia is the third most powerful country in the world. with a large military and a significant economic and cultural influence. It has the world's third-largest military budget, with over a million active soldiers, and it is the world's ninth largest economy. (emphasis mine)
9 News Australia published January 31, 2023: Australia and France strike deal to send ammunition to Ukraine as relations warm. What was once a fractured relationship between France and Australia seems to now be repaired, with a new defence deal to send ammunition to Ukraine struck between the two nations.

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