The Royal Navy’s next, 2030s, submarine fleet will comprise a new SSN-Aukus class of submarine. It will be equipped for intelligence, surveillance, under-sea warfare and strike missions.
The SSN-AUKUS submarines will be the largest, most advanced and most powerful attack submarines ever operated by the Royal Navy, combining world-leading sensors, design and weaponry in one vessel. Decisions about how many submarines the UK requires will be made in the coming years, based on the strategic threat picture at the time.
SSN-AUKUS will be delivered as a joint build program constructed in Barrow-in-Furness, UK, and Adelaide, South Australia. US industry is to deliver a number of critical and specialised technologies.
The UK will commence construction of its first SSN-AUKUS in Barrow-in-Furness UK, as early as the late 2020s. As the home of British submarine building, most of these jobs will be concentrated in Barrow-in-Furness with further roles created elsewhere along the supply chain, including in Derby.
This massive multilateral undertaking will create thousands of jobs in the UK in the decades ahead, building on more than 60 years of British expertise designing, building and operating nuclear-powered submarines.
The design will also be adopted for Australia’s nuclear-powered submarines. Both will incorporate technology from all 3 nations, including cutting edge US submarine technologies such as propulsion plant systems and components, a common vertical launch system and weapons. The AUKUS partners will also develop a joint combat system as an expansion of the US-Australia combat system.
The combination of technology from all 3 partners will deliver a world-class submarine that meets long-term defence needs while bolstering trilateral industrial cooperation
The UK intends to deliver its first SSN-AUKUS to the UK Royal Navy in the late 2030s.
Australia will begin building its first SSN-AUKUS in Osborne, Adelaide South Australia, by the end of this decade. It will deliver the first Australian-built SSN-AUKUS to the Royal Australian Navy in the early 2040s.
As a trilateral endeavour, SSN-AUKUS provides maximum interoperability among AUKUS partners. It will elevate all 3 nations' industrial capacity to produce and sustain advanced and interoperable SSNs for decades to come. It will enhance the ability of our 3 nations to deter aggression and contribute to stability in the Indo-Pacific and globally.
AUKUS partners are committed to expanding the base of skilled submarine and shipbuilding workers in all three nations. Beginning in 2023, Australian military and civilian personnel will embed with the U.S. Navy, the Royal Navy, and in the United States and United Kingdom submarine industrial bases to accelerate the training of Australian personnel and to gain the experience required to build and sustain nuclear powered submarines.
Australia will make a proportionate financial investment in the UK and US industrial bases. Australia will also contribute $3 billion over the next four years to US and UK production lines. This targeted investment will directly support the additional capacity needed to enable delivery of Australia’s nuclear-powered submarines at the earliest opportunity.
The main areas of work that need to come together to meet the timeframe include: development and refinement of the SSN-AUKUS design to be ready for build; development of an integrated build strategy, enhanced shipbuilding capability and trilateral supply chain; and agreement of a joint delivery model.
In the near term, AUKUS partners will identify specific opportunities for Australian industry to participate in the SSN supply chain. This will help ease pressure on the supply chains of the UK and the US, leverage the existing strengths of Australian suppliers and boost their capacity ahead of the commencement of Australia’s build program. AUKUS partners will focus on key components where Australia has demonstrated industrial capability, such as pressure hull steel, valves, pumps, batteries, switchboards, lighting, additive manufacture.
This endeavour will boost prosperity across UK and showcase the prowess of British industry to our allies and partners.
BAE Systems on 13 March said, “The selection of the UK’s next generation submarine design is a significant development in that partnership and is a testament to the skills, commitment and ingenuity of everyone involved in both our Submarines business and the wider UK submarine enterprise.”
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