“We’re incredibly proud of our role in the delivery of this vitally important, tri-nation submarine programme. This funding reinforces the Government’s support to our UK submarine enterprise and allows us to mature the design, and invest in critical skills and infrastructure to support our long-term national security,” said Charles Woodburn, CEO of BAE Systems.

BAE Systems has already delivered five of seven Astute class submarines to the Royal Navy with the remaining two boats at advanced stages of construction. The company is also designing and building the UK’s next-generation nuclear deterrent submarines, Dreadnought, with work underway on three of the four new boats.


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  1. Speaking Devil’s Advocate:

    Australia clearly doesn’t need to rely on the non-delivery of Virginias in the 2030s because UK designed and built SSN-AUKUSes are just around the corner in the late 2030s!

    • Yes – if the Brits stick to that schedule. You have to add that Australia wants to build our own in Adelaide with construction starting in the late 2030s – so probably mid 2040s until something is available. Rather than transferring $3 billion to the US for no direct benefit I can see, I would rather that go to the rapid construction of an interim diesel-electric sub with AIP so there isn’t a capability gap.

  2. I’m not sure what the delivery schedule for the AUKUS SSN is, are Australia building all eight or are the first of class part of the UK build ?. What ever it is I hope it’s before we’re saddled with Virginias. As for the capability gap, there will be one. For some reason the Navy Brass seem to be dead set against AIP (and Lithium batteries ) as well as an interim Boat, the argument was they don’t want two different class boats at the same time ( a Nuclear Boat and a Diesel Boat ). What with the upgrade to Collins and a pay off to the U.S. the cost of these SSNs is getting way out of hand The more we learn about the AUKUS deal the more confusing it gets.

    • The official position of the RAN – as far as it can be determined – is that we will buy up to 5 Virginia class subs from the US (2 second hand and 3 new). However, the requirement for 8 nuclear-powered subs has not changed, so as a consequence under that particular scenario we will only need 3 of the British AUKUS subs. Will it be worth setting up a vast nuclear sub construction industry in Adelaide with 20,000 well paid union jobs for three submarines? I think not. However, I think the chances of us acquiring any Virginia-class submarines – let alone 5 – is close to approximately zero. Which brings us back to the looming capability gap.

  3. On matters Naval Kym have you heard anything more on the OPV’s.
    I note there has been no announcements re keel laying since OPV 5 last year.
    Has the programme been stopped/cancelled?
    What is happening with OPV1.
    Acceptance was supposedly delayed until 2023 but there’s been zero news.


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