BLUF

Submarines have long been regarded as an essential strategic strike asset but getting the right boat at the right price and on time is a challenge.

Summary

Submarines and strike aircraft are crucial in defending Australia’s Air-Sea Gap, one of the largest on the globe. Dobell opines the decisions surrounding Australia’s new submarine fleet vis a vis the evolving threats to our region. Whereas Indonesia may have once represented a security concern they are now regarded as a friend, and today are a valuable geographic shield to our North. Submarines have not been easy to get up and running. Our Attack Class Submarines are not anticipated to reach full operational capability until mid to late 2030. This capability gap, when coupled with today's security environment's much shorter strategic warning time, could present a strategic vulnerability for Australia. Although the submarine comes at significant expense, they are a vital part of the Australian maritime defence strategy. Two former Air Force Chiefs have advocated for improved strategic strike capabilities. What are your thoughts on the type of air power Australia should bring to the air-sea gap equation?