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Australia’s pathway to AUKUS submarines is attended by risk

14th March 2023 - 03:26 GMT | by Gordon Arthur in Christchurch


The SSN-AUKUS will be the Royal Navy's successor to the Astute class, as well as Australia's first SSN. (Photo: UK MoD)

Australia's journey towards obtaining nuclear-powered attack submarines is fraught with financial, technical and political risk.

On 13 March, the leaders of Australia, the UK and the US assembled at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego to jointly announce the ‘optimal pathway’ forward in Canberra’s ambition to field SSNs. However, the effort will come with an enormous price tag in monetary terms and risk.

The revelation of the plan followed an 18-month consultation on the best option to get SSNs into the hands of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) after AUKUS was inaugurated on 15 September 2021.

As Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles acknowledged, ‘Today’s announcement is the single biggest investment in our defence capability

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Gordon Arthur


Gordon Arthur

Gordon Arthur was the Asia Pacific editor for Shephard Media. Born in Scotland and educated …

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