A Quick Showdown between France’s Submarines and AUKUS’s Submarines
Photo: AFP.

A quick showdown between the two types of submarines, based on available resources, might provide a more nuanced perspective.
  • Type: France has proposed the latest version of the Barracuda-class submarine. Meanwhile, AUKUS will develop a new class of submarine, namely the SSN-AUKUS, which is based on the UK’s Astute-class, which has encountered technical problems and collisions at sea. Those from the US will be the non-nuclear Virginia-class.
  • Fuel: France’s submarines are reported to use around 5% enriched uranium while the UK/US submarines are said to consume substantially higher-enriched uranium (95%, according to Keating). However, some observe that France’s submarines would need to be re-fueled once every 8-10 years while the UK/US submarines could last up to 30-35 years and can be re-fueled in Australia. 
  • Pricing: France’s submarines is set at a fixed price of $150 billion, while AUKUS’s submarines will cost approximately $368 billion. The cost for a Virginia-class submarine is approximately $3.6 billion. Some argue that Australia will need to pay France more for nuclear waste processing, but it’s also very difficult for Australia to build its own waste tank under the AUKUS pact.
  • Lifespan: The Barracuda-class submarines only takes six months of maintenance for every ten years. The US ones currently needs two years of maintenance for its entire lifespan. 
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The post is originally published here

Translated by: Nguyen Tien Dat

Revised by: HD, Luu Viet Ha