By Andrew Bolt ~
In Australia, the Turnbull Government, desperate to save its seats in South Australia, promised to spend $50 billion to build 12 submarines in Adelaide. The last of those submarines would not be delivered for 50 years.
Predicting what we’d then need is foolish – and even more so when the US has just announced the future is actually underwater drones:
As it watches China build up its presence in the South China Sea, one reclaimed island at a time, the US military is betting on a new technology to help retain its edge — submarine drones.
During the past six months, the Pentagon has started to talk publicly about a once-secret program to develop unmanned undersea vehicles, the term given to the drone subs that are becoming part of its plan to deter China from trying to dominate the region.
Ashton Carter, US defense secretary, made special mention of drone subs in a speech about military strategy in Asia…
The Pentagon’s investment in subs “includes new undersea drones in multiple sizes and diverse payloads that can, importantly, operate in shallow water, where manned submarines cannot”, said Mr Carter, who visited a US warship in the South China Sea on Friday.
The drones are part of a push by the US military into robotics as it tries to keep one step ahead…
Small, remotely operated subs have been used for some time in search and rescue and the Navy has been using Remus drones to search for mines. The new investments are in more autonomous vessels that might eventually carry weapons.
Last autumn, the US Navy unveiled a 10-foot, semi-autonomous sub drone known as the large displacement unmanned underwater vehicle, which is due to conduct its first test voyage in open seas in the summer. Officials hope that a squadron will be operating by 2020 if tests go well…
Small sub drones would be much harder to monitor using sonar systems that are designed to find large objects in deep waters. It might be possible, for instance, for a vessel to enter an enemy harbor unobserved.
Andrew Bolt writes for the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, and The Advertiser and runs Australia’s most-read political blog. On week nights he hosts The Bolt Report on Sky News at 7pm and his Macquarie Radio show at 8pm with Steve Price.