Australia’s new fleet of nuclear submarines to cost up to $368 billion

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Australia will build a new fleet of eight AUKUS nuclear-powered submarines in Adelaide, South Australia under a national defence program that will cost up to $368 billion over the next three decades.

This news was revealed today by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

The sweeping plan will begin by hosting more visits to Australian ports by United States submarines this year and United Kingdom vessels from 2026, clearing the way for a fixed rotation of naval power in Perth.

Over time, Australia will aim to build a new fleet of nuclear-powered submarines to a joint design with the United Kingdom so that vessels made in Adelaide can enter service in the 2040s.

In the interim, Australia will buy three US-made Virginia-class subs with an option of two more, with the first arriving in 2033. But the sale still requires congressional approval.

The long-term fleet will consist of eight submarines and will be fitted with vertical launch systems to fire cruise missiles.

20,000 direct jobs will be created in Australia by the AUKUS pathway – with the bulk of the jobs in SA and Western Australia – to build the submarines and new infrastructure.

Mr Albanese, Mr Biden and Mr Sunak said in a joint statement that the AUKUS pathway will elevate the industrial capacity of all three countries and expand their presence in the Indo-Pacific.

“Our nations are committed to further trilateral collaboration that will strengthen our joint capabilities, enhance our information and technology sharing, and integrate our industrial bases and supply chains while strengthening the security regimes of each nation,” the three leaders said.

Source: The Australian and The Sydney Morning Herald.

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