You are here
Home > News > New fleet of nuclear submarines for Australia.

New fleet of nuclear submarines for Australia.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese revealed that Australia is briefing its neighboring Asian nations about its intention to build nuclear submarines before it is announced in the United States. “I’ve been talking with other leaders in the region, as well, explaining our position. And it’s been well-received and understood why we’re doing this,”

Early this week, US President Joseph Biden, Albanese, and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will meet in San Diego to announce a plan for Australia to construct a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines over the next decade.

The leaders of the US, Australia and the UK will announce plans for a new fleet of nuclear-powered submarines Monday

— Bloomberg (@business) March 13, 2023

After meeting with Sunak on Sunday in San Diego, Albanese stated that Australia was informing its regional neighbors about the AUKUS initiative. “I’ve been talking with other leaders in the region, as well, explaining our position. And it’s been well-received and understood why we’re doing this,” Albanese told reporters.

Many Southeast Asian governments were taken aback by the revelation in 2021 that the United States and Britain will share nuclear submarine technology with Australia, according to Perth USAsia Centre, CEO Gordon Flake.

“The government is right to reach out: a lot of the initial misunderstanding around the deal in Southeast Asia was they didn’t understand the nuance between a nuclear-powered submarine and a nuclear-armed submarine. Those concerns have long since been dissipated,” said Gordon Flake

New fleet to defend almost 40,000km of coastline

Defense officials and government experts say Australian nuclear submarines are essential to defending the country’s 36,000 kilometers of coastline and keeping an edge against China, whose rising military presence means conflict can erupt without warning.

The transition from Australia’s diesel-electric fleet to nuclear-powered subs provides increased range, stealth, and strike capability, which they say is critical given Canberra’s reliance on sea cargo for trade and undersea cables for telecommunications.

China has expressed opposition to the sharing of nuclear propulsion technology with Australia, which is being pursued by AUKUS in response to China’s military expansion and its exertion of pressure on Taiwan.

New boost for Australia’s economy

At home, Albanese is under pressure to demonstrate that the country’s most expensive defense project in history is reasonable and will create jobs and help local industry. According to Reuters, the initial submarines are planned to be purchased from the United States, with a collaborative effort involving a British design in the later stages of AUKUS.

From 2027, the US will begin deploying nuclear submarines in Perth as a stop-gap measure.#9News

— 9News Australia (@9NewsAUS) March 12, 2023

Local media indicated that the government initiative might create 20,000 new jobs, including 8,500 in submarine construction, which will be created in Australia over the next 30 years.
“This is about jobs, including jobs and manufacturing and Adelaide in particular will be a big beneficiary of this announcement, as well as Western Australia,” Gordon Flake told reporters on Saturday.

The majority of production for Australia’s existing Collins-class submarine fleet is done locally, according to Stephan Frühlin, head of the Australian National University’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, but it would be unrealistic to assume the same for a nuclear submarine. “A big slice will be built overseas – the nuclear reactor,” he said. “The political class conditioned the Australian public to expect defense spending will be good for Australian jobs.”
Flake expressed that PM Albanese is thinking correctly, looking for a long term economic impact of the new nuclear submarine fleet.
“We really shouldn’t be fixated on where the first ship will be built and how many dockyard workers. Servicing and sustaining them is a longer jobs pipeline than the build itself,” he said.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.