Alliance strong above and below the water

This article has photo gallery Published on LSIS Jayson Tufrey (author), LSIS Lee-Anne Mack (photographer)

Location(s): Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Topic(s): Submarines (SSG)

Commander Submarines-NATO (COMSUBNATO) Rear Admiral Matthew Zirkle, USN, during a tour of the Submarine Training and Systems Centre, HMAS Stirling. (photo: LSIS Lee-Anne Mack)
Commander Submarines-NATO (COMSUBNATO) Rear Admiral Matthew Zirkle, USN, during a tour of the Submarine Training and Systems Centre, HMAS Stirling.

Australia and the United States have had an existing framework of collaboration in the development of submarine combat systems and torpedoes for many years, as well as a long history of at-sea exercises.
 
The Royal Australian Navy is also an active partner with the United States Navy in submarine operations.
 
Program Executive Officer Submarines Rear Admiral Michael Jabaley, USN, said the Royal Australian Navy was the closest submarine operations partner of the US in the western Pacific.
 
“Our engagement and cooperation includes operations, exercises, cooperative deployment programs, as well as training and tactical development,” he said.
 
“Joint operations provide opportunities for both navies to capitalise on the unique complementary capabilities of nuclear and diesel submarines in anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and littoral operations.”
 
Rear Admiral Jabaley said Australia and the US had developed a robust torpedo maintenance and supply infrastructure, which included facilities in Guam and Australian submarine ports.
 
“The Australian maintenance and test facilities include weapons storage and a torpedo analysis facility as an added resource for exercise weapons-run analysis,” he said.
 
“The success of the Mk48 Mod 7 common broadband advanced sonar system (CBASS) torpedo is the latest enhancement for the Mk48, and was jointly developed by Australia and the US.
 
“Considered the world’s premier submarine-launched torpedo, the Mk48 Mod 7 represents a superior capability against both surface ships and submarines.”
 
Australia has also collaborated with the US during the development of the AN/BYG-1 submarine tactical and weapon control system. 
 
Rear Admiral Jabaley said the firm foundation of cooperation between the two countries and their forces would be leveraged in the US Navy’s support of SEA 1000, Australia’s Future Submarine program.