The AUKUS agreement will result in Australia acquiring nuclear-powered, conventionally armed submarines, which will be of a new British design—their reactors, combat systems and heavyweight torpedoes will be American. As an interim measure, the US will sell Australia three Virginia-class ‘hunter-killer’ submarines (will provide up to five if required. The AUKUS program aims to get formidable attack submarines into the hands of Australian sailors as quickly as possible.


Brendan Nicholson writing in the Strategist makes the following points:
  • US submarine visits to Australian ports will increase, and the UK will make regular visits starting in 2026.
  • US and UK submarines will begin rotating through HMAS Stirling base in Western Australia by 2027.
  • Australia and the UK plan to construct the submarines domestically by the end of the decade.
  • The program is estimated to cost between $268 and $368 billion.
  • On average, the program will account for 0.15% of Australia's GDP until 2054-55.


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