Saturday, November 01, 2014

When Customer Service Matters

European submarine builders seem put off by Australia's obvious preference for some version of Japan's Soryu-class boats. Please see Taiwan for an explanation.

Australia is looking to Japan to replace their Collins boats that seem to spend more time in port than on patrol:

European companies lobbying to build Australia's next generation of conventionally powered submarines are facing a complex situation that may lack clarity but is awash with speculation.

At stake is a multibillion dollar contract under Project Sea 1000 to construct a yet-to-be determined design and unknown number of replacements for the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN's) six 3,400-tonne Collins-class boats amid what is understood to be a politically driven preference for a Japanese solution. ...

Although Australian officials are adamant the government is still considering its options, informed sources say Abbott is pressing for an early decision on the Soryu class, driven by his close relationship with Abe and a desire to deepen strategic and trade relations with Tokyo.

There is some worry about having a foreign power in control of their submarines rather than building their own.

But Australia first needs the actual submarines--which the home-built Collins do not provide.

If Australia is going to buy foreign subs, the Europeans should be ruled out completely because if Australia is going to put a foreign power in control of their submarine supply, Europeans are the last place Australia should go.

Just look at Taiwan's submarine saga. Taiwan has finally given up on going through America to get a sub and will build their own. We don't build conventional subs and Chinese pressure on European suppliers has led Europe to basically cut Taiwan off from major weapons systems.

Why would Australia buy from a place that has proven it will cave to Chinese pressure? Better to go with Japan which is high on China's hate list already and willing to work with Australia to block China.

Here's related news on this front:

India will soon be supplying naval vessels to Vietnam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday, the first significant military transfer to Hanoi at a time when it is embroiled in a territorial dispute with China.

Buy from people your potential enemies hate as much as you so they don't roll your supplier in the future.

And while I'm at it, Taiwan should look at Australia's record of building their own subs to avoid as many problems as possible in their own plans.