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The Albanese Government has taken the next step towards delivering Australia’s conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines, with the launch of the Australian Submarine Agency (ASA).

With its official establishment today, the ASA will be responsible and accountable for the management and oversight of the nuclear-powered submarine program. 

The Albanese Government is pleased to announce the appointment of Vice Admiral Jonathan Mead as the Agency’s inaugural Director-General.

As chief of the Nuclear-Powered Submarine Taskforce, Vice Admiral Mead demonstrated his leadership and judgement in supporting the establishment of the pathway to acquire this critical capability through the AUKUS partnership.

The ASA has over 350 staff from the Australian Defence Force and Australian Public Service, including many who have transitioned from the Nuclear-Powered Submarine Taskforce and others who have joined since the Government’s announcement in March 2023. It is expected to almost double to more than 680 staff over the next year, drawing on a diverse skillset required to deliver this significant endeavour.

It will be headquartered in Canberra, with personnel located across the country and overseas in the United States and United Kingdom, working with communities, unions, industry and governments to deliver the nuclear-powered submarine program.

The ASA will be a statutory agency within the Defence portfolio and will report to the Minister for Defence.

Quotes attributable to Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Richard Marles MP:

“This is a significant day, marking our next step towards the acquisition of conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines, which is the single biggest investment in our defence capability in our history.

“The Australian Submarine Agency will be critical in delivering a game-changing capability for the defence of Australia and security of our region.

“I congratulate Vice Admiral Mead on his appointment as inaugural Director-General and all members of the Agency for the work they have done to date, and the work they will do to deliver this capability and keep Australians safe.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Pat Conroy, MP:

“The Australian Submarine Agency will be vital in developing the capability needed to operate our nuclear-powered submarines.

“Our acquisition of conventionally-armed nuclear-powered submarines will generate 20,000 jobs for the Australian economy.

“The Agency will play a critical role not only in growing and developing the Australian industrial base to deliver conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines, but will also strengthen our partnership with the US and the UK, to deliver a stronger, more secure Australia and Indo-Pacific region.”

Quotes attributable to Director-General Australian Submarine Agency, Vice Admiral Jonathan Mead:

“I am proud to be leading the Australian Submarine Agency and recognise the significance of the task ahead as we deliver Australia’s conventionally-armed nuclear-powered submarines.

“This nation-building program will be the most transformative industrial and technical endeavour in our history.

“I am committed to continuing to work with our AUKUS partners and all Australian stakeholders to deliver Australia’s fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.”



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  1. Since we have already committed to the purchase of three Virginia Class boats from the U.S. and signalled an intent to purchase a further two and Vice Admiral Mead has finally and publicly clarified that eight is the total number of Nuclear boats not the number to be built in Australia (as implied by the Government) that makes a total of three ( possibly five at best) of the AUKUS boats. If it’s three (which is the most likely) the economic value of an Australian Build becomes less likely. The announcement of a body to achieve the promised Australian Build of eight boats smells ominously like jobs for the boys or rewards for silence.

  2. The Government also seem to be oblivious to the fact that the deal hasn’t been signed off by Congress and may never be as well.
    No Plan B at all.
    I’m predicting the eventual outcome will be no submarines in the RAN fleet and Australia reliant on US subs based at Australian ports


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