Australia’s recent announcement about the acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines through AUKUS marks a historic moment for our nation.
This investment is the largest ever made towards our defence capability and is set to bring about transformative changes to our Defence Force as well as our economy. The decision to acquire these submarines demonstrates our country’s commitment towards strengthening our national security and upholding peace and stability in the region. This significant move marks a new era in Australia’s defence strategy and highlights our unwavering dedication towards maintaining a strong and resilient nation.
The Albanese Government’s commitments have been upheld through a phased approach agreed upon by Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, providing substantial and enduring strategic advantages for each of the three nations involved. This mutually beneficial agreement highlights the shared commitment towards strengthening global security and promoting regional stability, while also emphasising the importance of cooperation and collaboration among nations. The phased approach to fulfilling these commitments underscores the comprehensive and thoughtful planning that has gone into this agreement, ensuring a successful outcome for all parties involved.
The Government expect the phased approach will result in $6 billion invested in Australia’s industrial capability and workforce over the next four years, creating around 20,000 direct jobs over the next 30 years.
This whole of nation effort also presents an entire nation’s opportunity; for new jobs, industries, and expertise in science, technology, and cyber.
Over the coming years, the phased approach is expected to bring about a significant boost to Australia’s industrial capability and workforce, with approximately $6 billion set to be invested in the nation over the next four years. This substantial investment is anticipated to create roughly 20,000 direct job opportunities over the next three decades, providing a much-needed boost to the economy and strengthening Australia’s position as a global player in the defence industry. This long-term investment is a testament to the ongoing commitment towards creating a sustainable and prosperous future for the nation, while also delivering on the strategic objectives of the involved parties.
The Australian Government’s commitment to this phased approach will require funding amounting to approximately 0.15 per cent of the nation’s GDP per year, on average, throughout the lifespan of the program. This financial investment is essential to achieving the program’s objectives and ensuring the successful delivery of long-term strategic benefits for Australia and its allies. The funding commitment underscores the Government’s unwavering dedication towards enhancing national security and promoting regional stability while also highlighting the importance of responsible financial planning and management to achieve these objectives.
The entire nation will benefit from this comprehensive effort, presenting a plethora of new opportunities for job creation, industry development, and expertise in science, technology, and cyber. These opportunities will be available to businesses across all states and territories, allowing them to contribute and reap the benefits of this collaborative effort over the coming decades. The next four years alone are expected to bring about $2 billion in investments to South Australia, and an additional $1 billion to Western Australia, providing a significant boost to their respective economies. This whole-nation approach is a testament to the collective determination to build a brighter future for Australia and its people while also strengthening partnerships and fostering collaboration among businesses and industries nationwide.
Australia has long been a leader in the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. Importantly, the SSNs will be an Australian sovereign capability, commanded by the Royal Australian Navy and sustained by Australians in Australian shipyards.
These enhanced defence capabilities will make Australia and our partners better able to deter conflict, and help ensure stability and strategic balance are maintained in the Indo-Pacific.
For Australia, the three key elements are:
- Increased visits of US submarines commencing in 2023 and UK submarines from 2026, and, beginning in 2027, rotations of UK and US submarines to Australia – this will be key to Australian jobs, infrastructure, technology and our ability to be sovereign ready.
- From as early as the 2030s, delivery of three US Virginia class nuclear-powered submarines to Australia – ensuring there is no capability gap.
- Australia and the UK will deliver SSN-AUKUS, a new conventionally-armed nuclear-powered submarine, based on a UK design, incorporating cutting edge Australian, UK and US technologies. The UK will deliver its own first SSN-AUKUS in the late 2030s, with the first SSN-AUKUS built in Australia delivered in the early 2040s.
The agreement will:
- Strengthen Australia’s national security and contribute to regional stability in response to unprecedented strategic challenges.
- Build a future made in Australia, by Australians, with record investments in defence, skills, jobs and infrastructure.
- Deliver a superior capability after a decade of inaction and mismanagement.