Submarine scramble: Tech issues could threaten 3-nation megaplan for the Pacific

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Malcolm Chalmers, deputy director-general at the London-based Royal United Services Institute, said there are economic and geopolitical reasons for Canberra to choose a submarine model based on the British submarine. “The American submarine would be a lot more expensive than the British one, because the American defense budget is so much greater,” he said, adding the U.S. Navy would have put more emphasis on capability than cost compared to Britain. And medium-size economies such as the U.K. and Australia do not want to become too dependent on the U.S. for critical intellectual property, he added. “From the U.K. point of view, it is very hard to buy these very expensive, highly sophisticated platforms without international collaboration. The logic points towards collaboration with other medium-size pals.”