Bruce Nicholls, The Australian
21 September 2015
The nuclear power system of the Virginia Class submarine has functioned worldwide since 2004, free of any nuclear safety issue
If Australians can separate genuine concerns about nuclear weapons from advantages of proven nuclear propulsion, we could buy these versatile, reliable vessels at short notice for about $2 billion each — less than the vague cost estimates of present proposals for fleet replacement.
Their expected service duration is to 2060. Our submarine crews are well practised in operating the Virginia weapons system already fitted in the Collins class.
We should lease-purchase four to six Virginias and use US Navy training and depot-level support for greater cost-effectiveness.
-- John Topley, West End, Qld
If Australia does not buy Virginia Class submarines from the US, may I suggest the government shows its true intent and hand over the responsibility for submarine manufacture to the Department of Social Services.
As I understand the situation, it is nigh on impossible to find crews to man our existing modest submarine fleet. Hands up those who would encourage their children to serve in an Australian-made submarine.
-- Mike Heath, Greenway, ACT