Australia Selects BAE Systems for Nuclear Submarine Project Under AUKUS Agreement

by Anna

In a significant development within the AUKUS trilateral security pact, the Australian Government has chosen BAE Systems and ASC Pty Ltd to spearhead the construction of Australia’s new fleet of nuclear-powered submarines. The announcement, made by Australian Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles and UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, marks a pivotal milestone in Australia’s journey towards building and operating its own nuclear-powered submarines.

Under the AUKUS agreement, Australia and the UK will collaborate on a shared submarine design, integrating technology from all three nations, with BAE Systems leading the charge based on the UK’s next-generation design. The partnership between BAE Systems and ASC Pty Ltd will harness their combined skills, expertise, and capabilities under a collaborative arrangement, paving the way for the establishment of a long-term, integrated Joint Venture in Australia.


Charles Woodburn, Chief Executive of BAE Systems, expressed pride in the company’s pivotal role in this vital tri-nation submarine program, emphasizing their selection as a partner in Australia alongside ASC. Woodburn underscored BAE Systems’ extensive experience in both the UK and Australia, highlighting their commitment to developing a sovereign nuclear-powered submarine building capability for Australia.


The SSN-AUKUS submarines, anticipated to be the largest, most powerful, and advanced attack submarines operated by the Royal Navy, will begin replacing the Astute class submarines from the late 2030s. Australia aims to deliver its first SSN-AUKUS submarine in the early 2040s.


In October, the UK Ministry of Defence awarded BAE Systems nearly £4 billion for the next phase of the SSN-AUKUS program, covering development work through 2028 and enabling progress in the detailed design phase and procurement of long-lead items. This funding will also facilitate significant infrastructure investment in Barrow, doubling the site’s facilities size by the late 2030s and supporting continued recruitment to bolster the workforce.


BAE Systems’ involvement in Australia ensures a crucial link between the SSN-AUKUS design led by BAE Systems in the UK and the development of the Australian build strategy. The company’s extensive track record in submarine construction, including the delivery of five Astute class submarines to the Royal Navy and ongoing work on the next-generation nuclear deterrent submarines, Dreadnought, underscores their expertise in this domain.

In Australia, BAE Systems brings over 70 years of experience in providing advanced defence technology, contributing to air and maritime sustainment, shipbuilding, and safeguarding national security. The selection of BAE Systems for Australia’s nuclear submarine project reinforces their commitment to advancing defence capabilities and fostering international partnerships in the realm of maritime security.

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