New program set to accelerate AUKUS suppliers in South Australia

The South Australian Government has further cemented its commitment to supporting local industry to benefit from the AUKUS Trilateral Partnership through the signing of an agreement with the largest shipbuilder in the United States of America (USA), HII.

The Premier formalised the agreement during a tour of HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division in Virginia, USA, where the defence giant builds Virginia Class submarines.

The program will connect the South Australian Government to HII’s Supplier Capability Upliftment Program, enabling local suppliers to participate in the nuclear-powered conventionally armed submarine supply chain in the USA and positioning them for the SSN-AUKUS submarines to be built at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide.

Premier Malinauskas believes that the agreement will lay a strong foundation for what’s to come.

“I want to ensure South Australian suppliers have a head start in competing to enter the global supply chain for nuclear-powered submarines,” he said.

“AUKUS represents a once-in-a-generation economic opportunity for our state, but only if we seize it.”

Given the highly specialised and technical nature of the work to build Virginia Class submarines, HII will undertake reviews of South Australian companies that provide design and engineering, equipment integration, advanced manufacturing, welding, fabrication, and quality services.

On completion of the review process, participating companies will receive a tailored report outlining recommendations for capability development and improvement activities required to compete for work on the Virginia Class Submarine Program.

The State Government is offering participating businesses an opportunity to apply for matched funding to address the recommendations arising from their review report.

The announcement follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between South Australia and HII Nuclear Australia Pty Ltd late last year which sees both parties working towards increased skills and industry capability in Australia.

Head of HII Australia, Michael Lempke said it was an honour to demonstrate HII’s long history of workforce development expertise while the Premier was visiting.

“We look forward to continuing our commitment to help address critical skills needs, education and training programs, and supply chain capability in Australia as they create the infrastructure necessary for building and sustaining nuclear-powered submarines,” he said.

Read the media release here.

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