ASC announced it welcomed the announcement on the Optimal Pathway for Australia to acquire a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines, which will be built here in Adelaide, ensuring Australia retains a regionally superior submarine capability for many decades to come. ASC is looking forward to the opportunity to leverage its experience and expertise to help sustain visiting United States Virginia class and United Kingdom Astute class submarines, as it did during the visit of HMS Astute in 2021.
The government’s decision underscores the critical role a potent submarine capability plays in securing the interests of Australia and her allies, reinforcing the essential work undertaken each day at ASC. As the holder of Australia’s sovereign submarine knowledge and workforce, ASC remains committed to supporting Defence in the delivery of this exciting endeavour, both through an expansion of the Sovereign Shipbuilding Talent Pool (SSTP) and the provision of sustainment services to visiting US and UK nuclear-powered submarines in Western Australia.
Throughout the consultation period, ASC has supported the important work of determining the Optimal Pathway, drawing on the deep experience and skills resident in the SSTP.
ASC’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Stuart Whiley, said ASC will continue to work with Defence and ASC’s supply chain to ensure the Navy remains equipped with an agile and effective submarine capability through ongoing sustainment of the Collins class and in the transition to a nuclear-powered submarine fleet. “As we prepare for the introduction of a nuclear-powered fleet, it remains essential that we deliver Navy the submarine availability and capability that they rely on, which continues to be provided through the highly capable Collins class fleet. A capable and available Collins class fleet is a critical component of the pathway to Australia acquiring its nuclear-powered submarine capability” Whiley said. “We will continue to deliver Navy the capability they rely on to defend our interests through a world-class workforce, which includes Australia’s leading submarine platform engineers, trades and professionals. Work to deliver the life-of-type extension program announced in 2021, which will update key equipment on our Collins class submarines is well advanced, and assures Australia’s submarine capability well into the 2030s and beyond.”
ASC recognises the significant work undertaken across the last 18 months to identify the Optimal Pathway to deliver nuclear-powered submarines for Australia and remains committed to supporting the successful delivery of Australia’s nuclear-powered submarine fleet. ASC welcomes the Government’s announced intent to select Australia’s build and sustainment partners within the next 12 months and looks forward to the opportunity to participate.