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SSN-AUKUS contract sets foundation for future UK-Australian capability

27th October 2023 - 07:00 GMT | by Tim Fish

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The SSN-AUKUS submarine will be the first joint-SSN project between the UK and Australia marking an unprecedented level of cooperation and technical transfer on closely guarded national secrets. (Photo: BAE Systems)

The £3.95 billion (US$4.8 billion) contract awarded by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to BAE Systems earlier this month was the firing gun that truly started the UK-Australian project for a future nuclear-powered attack submarine.

Under the auspices of the trilateral AUKUS arrangement between the US, UK and Australia, the new project – called SSN-AUKUS – will deliver new nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) to replace the UK Royal Navy’s Astute-class submarines from 2040, while providing the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) with its first new SSNs later in the 2040s.

Under the contract, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Babcock will begin work on the detailed design and procure long-lead items for the SSN-AUKUS submarines, supporting work on the project through to 2028. The submarine will be based on the UK’s existing Astute-class SSN Replacement (SSNR) design but will incorporate

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Tim Fish

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Tim Fish


Tim Fish is a special correspondent for Shephard Media. Formerly the editor of Land Warfare …

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