Australia will build a brand new fleet of eight nuclear-powered submarines in Adelaide to begin service in the 2040s.
The fleet of nuclear submarines come under a massive national defence transformation that is expected to cost up to $368 billion – yes billion, with a b – by 2055.
The announcement was delivered by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese alongside US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at around 8am this morning from the US Navy’s Point Loma base in San Diego.
It marks the most significant decision since the AUKUS agreement was initially announced between the three nations in September 2021.
The full cost of the program, including construction, maintenance and service of the submarines is estimated to cost between $268 and $368 billion and the government clearly isn’t in the same cost of living crisis as I am with those sort of margins.
The cost of these submarines have been raising eyebrows after the Australian government’s lack lustre funding for fighting climate change.
$368 billion…can we please never ever speak of ‘the cost of tackling climate change’ again. We are a rich country. We can spent fortunes protecting against any risk & we choose not to avoid or prepare for climate catastrophe. Its not about money #auspol https://t.co/rw6rylJZRW
— Richard Denniss (@RDNS_TAI) March 13, 2023
As per The Sydney Morning Herald, Biden told Albanese at a separate meeting after the formal announcement that AUKUS was going to be a “game-changer” in our regional security.
“I really do think we have an opportunity here,” he said.“I don’t view what we’re doing as a challenge – I view it as a means by which to bring stability to the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean.”
British PM, Sunak also named China as a source of concern whilst outlining his reasons for the AUKUS alliance.
“Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, China’s growing assertiveness, the destabilising behaviour of Iran and North Korea, all threaten to create a world defined by danger, disorder and division,” he said.
This plan will be undertaken in stages, with United States submarines undertaking more visits to Australian ports from this year. But UK vessels won’t make their way to Aussie ports until 2026.
Eventually Australia will begin building their own fleet of nuclear-powered submarines to a joint design with the United Kingdom.
The new submarines will be built in Adelaide and will be called the SSN-AUKUS. These new submarines aren’t expected to start enterting services until at least 2040.
In addition to being nuclear powered, the eight submarines will be fitted with vertical launch systems to fire missiles which is…perfect, I guess.
The two decade long program, which is set to cost billions of dollars, isn’t set to have the government disposing of nuclear waste until 2050 so we have at least 25 more years of peace before The Simpsons Movie becomes a possible reality.
If all this talk of nuclear submarines is freaking you out – join the club – and in some slightly good news. The billion dollar nuclear submarines won’t actually house any nuclear weapons. Which is a small relief in the current climate.