Former senator Rex Patrick has released a list of defence equipment and capabilities that could be bought by Australia in place of spending upwards of $170 billion to buy a fleet of nuclear submarines.
Patrick took to social media and said: “Australia should instead procure 20 off-the-shelf air independent conventional submarine, built here and improved here – (for an) approximate cost – $30 billion.
“The opportunity cost for the AUKUS nuclear sub program is too high. There is so much more we can do with $170 billion.”
Patrick listed alternative purchases including numerous helicopters and beefed up weapons stocks for each of the three services, $2 billion worth of drones, $2 billion for hypersonic weapons, F22 jet aircraft and missile systems (main picture).
There was also $40 billion for local industry resilience, a $10 billion national shipping fleet, $5 billion for local munitions capability, $2 billion for additional fuel storage capacity and $2 billion for electronic warfare capabilities.
Patrick said the Prime Minister Anthony Albanese ‘was going to scrap pandemic leave payments as unaffordable, yet continue with a bankrupting $170 billion nuclear sub program that won’t see a first boat delivered until 2040.
‘He’s properly reversed his decisions on one, but not on the other.’
Patrick’s suggestions were met with a variety of responses on Twitter.
‘William’ replied: “Are the subs silent, long range, able to deliver nuclear warheads if we are under threat of a nuclear attack? Are they fast enough?
“China has nuclear weapons, we must match that with a sea based attack. I know it sounds nuts but deterrence works.”
To which ‘Dale’ replied: “It sounds nuts because it is nuts. Nuclear weapons will only make us a nuclear target.”
Image: Rex Patrick
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