As the first major initiative of the enhanced trilateral security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States (AUKUS) announced in September 2021, the Australian Government intends to acquire at least eight nuclear-powered submarines. These are set to be built at the world-class Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide.
Nuclear-powered submarines have superior stealth, speed, manoeuvrability, survivability and endurance compared to their conventional counterparts. These submarines can deploy unmanned underwater vehicles, while also carrying more advanced and greater capacities of weapons. Collectively, these abilities will allow the nuclear-powered submarines and Royal Australian Navy to operate in contested areas with lower risk of detection.
The Australian Government has established a Nuclear-Powered Submarine Task Force which will work over a 12 – 18 month period with partners in the UK and US to develop a program to bring into service. Opportunities for Australian industry participation are expected to range from capability design to complex project management, to construction and sustainment.
For further information on the Nuclear-Powered Submarine Program visit the Department of Defence.