World Australia's French-made submarines would have been valuable in the South China Sea
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CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago police officer who was fatally shot during a routine traffic stop was remembered Thursday for a brief career marked by compassion; for her fellow officers, a one-year-old gunshot victim she sped to a hospital, and the stray dogs she ferried to an animal shelter in her squad car. On the city's South Side, hundreds of police officers in their dress uniforms and other mourners sat in a packed church while an overflow crowd of hundreds more watched the funeral Mass of Officer Ella French on monitors outside the building. Top department officials, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and former Mayor Richard M. Daley were among the mourners at St.
The technicalities of sound, geography, and submarine operations mean that international security interests in the South China Sea would have benefited had Australia bought some submarines from France.
France is now deeply upset over Australia's cancellation of a contract to buy tens of billions of dollars worth of submarines from its Naval Group manufacturer. On Friday, France recalled its ambassadors from Washington and Canberra. Instead of the French submarines, Australia will access U.S. nuclear technology. Whatever the economic considerations, however, Australia's possession of Naval Group's Shortfin Barracuda submarines would have had security value. Again, it's all about the technicalities of sound, geography, and submarine operations.
Biden announces joint deal with U.K. and Australia to counter China
The new allies' agreement will include cooperation on nuclear-powered subs, AI and cutting-edge defense tech.The trio, now known by the acronym AUKUS, will make it easier for the three countries to share information and know-how in key technological areas like artificial intelligence, cyber, quantum, underwater systems, and long-range strike capabilities.
Consider that the most likely geographic locale for a U.S.-Australian conflict with China is the South China Sea. That matters because the waters surrounding the PLA-Navy's keystone bases in this area. This is especially true in the Gulf of Tonkin waters bounding Hainan island's western coast to the Chinese mainland. Depths here rarely exceed 150 feet, and never more than 300 feet. Much of mainland China's South China Sea coastline is also very shallow. And while the waters immediately surrounding Hainan's Yulin submarine base are deeper, they do not range above 350 feet.
That brings us back to the Shortfin Barracudas that France was set to build for Australia.
Equipped with latest air-independent propulsion systems, those diesel-electric powered boats would have been very quiet. Considering the air, surface, and undersea sensors that China will likely have employed around its naval bases, the French boats would have had an advantage over U.S. Virginia-class nuclear powered submarines. (Incidentally, this utility would also extend to the Strait of Malacca choke point separating Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. Were any conflict to extend in duration, the U.S. would likely block Chinese trade flows through the Malacca Strait.) But it is far from inconceivable to think that, in war, bold Australian submarine commanders could have lurked quietly, sinking Chinese submarines and surface warships as they entered and exited port. Instead, in any future conflict, the U.S. and its alliestheir nuclear attack submarines in deeper waters.
Biden and UK to help Australia acquire nuclear submarines in new pushback on China
President Joe Biden on Wednesday unveiled a new effort to help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines, a major step toward countering China as he works to build international backing for his approach to Beijing. © Evan Vucci/AP President Joe Biden listens during a visit to the National Interagency Fire Center, Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, in Boise, Idaho. The announcement came as part of a new trilateral partnership among the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom that the three countries' leaders jointly revealed Wednesday afternoon.
Top line: What's done is done. But don't believe those who say that this is the best possible choice. It is not. That would have been for Australia (or even the U.S.) to buy a mix of nuclear and diesel-electric submarines.
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Great Wall of Lights: China’s sea power on Darwin’s doorstep .
ABOARD THE OCEAN WARRIOR in the eastern Pacific Ocean (AP) — It’s 3 a.m., and after five days plying through the high seas, the Ocean Warrior is surrounded by an atoll of blazing lights that overtakes the nighttime sky. “Welcome to the party!" said third officer Filippo Marini as the spectacle floods the ship’s bridge and interrupts his overnight watch. It’s the conservationists’ first glimpse of the world’s largest fishing fleet: an armada of nearly 300 Chinese vessels that have sailed halfway across the globe to lure the elusive Humboldt squid from the Pacific Ocean’s inky depths.