ATIcourses covers naval affairs and the interactions of submarines in Defense. ATIcourses has several courses directly related to submarines and ASW. I thought the the potential purchase of submarines article below would be useful reading to our customers.
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The Australian | September 25, 2014
CHINA is angrily opposed to Australia’s plans to buy Japan’s Soryu-class submarines because it would give the navy the ability to threaten its warships in the South China Sea, the former head of Japan’s naval forces says.
Retired vice-admiral Yoji Koda said it was clear China was unhappy about the potential deal because of the threat it posed to its future carrier fleet. “The ball is in Australia’s court,’’ he said.
“If Australia wants to maintain a conventional deterrent force then a submarine that can launch Tomahawk cruise missiles would be a good choice. A large submarine like the Soryu-class — 3000 tonnes — that’s the only conventional submarine available for that purpose.”
Mr Koda, who commanded the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force fleet until 2008, said public opinion in pacifist Japan had hardened in response to China’s activities in the East China Sea and South China Sea, and weapons exports of this type — banned until recently — would no longer be considered controversial.
China recently launched its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. Mr Koda said China was intent on expanding its carrier fleet and might want a base in the South China Sea.
While the Japanese and Australian governments don’t single out China as a threat, Mr Koda said the ability to counter China was clearly a strategic imperative for both.
“China is building a robust and strong navy, but their achilles heel for now is submarines. A submarine is the best threat to Chinese surface forces,’’ he said.mChina would take several decades to develop anti-submarine warfare capabilities, a skill that had taken Japan more than 20 years to perfect with the full support of the US military. “Less than 10 navies in the world are really capable of anti-submarine warfare,” he said.
Mr Koda said Australia and Japan needed to find a way to guarantee Australian jobs if the Soryu-class was chosen. Australia is talking to German, Swedish, Spanish and French sub-makers, but the Soryu remains the favourite. Mr Koda said Japan would expand its own Soryu fleet and, if some of the construction could be done in Australia, Adelaide could supply parts for submarines in both naval forces.
The Soryu-class is built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries. “Japanese industry is very conscious of the fact that some of the work needs to be done in Adelaide,’’ he said.
“Division of labour … should be one of the important things to be discussed. If the governments of Australia and Japan are serious about this then there should be some solutions to solve this. If there are no job opportunities for Australians, I don’t think this will happen.”