LONDON, England – Representatives from the Australian and US Submarine Support organisations have joined Royal Navy personnel in Faslane for the first time, to watch and understand how to maintain nuclear-powered submarines, which will support future global stability.
Forming an Advance Verification Team (AVT), subject matter experts from all three AUKUS nations have joined British shipyard personnel to develop their understanding of the maintenance and industrial skills required to maintain a nuclear-powered submarine.
Following a similar visit to Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in August this year, the AVT learnt about the requirements needed to provide an Australian-based facility that can support both UK and US maintenance activity during a future forward-deployed submarine presence in the region.
Under the AUKUS partnership, the Royal Navy, with its Australian and US counterparts will work together to meet shared threats and uphold stability in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.
This visit marks a tangible step forward for AUKUS delivery, driving knowledge-sharing and development in Australia that will be critical to the success of the programme.
Minister for defence procurement, James Cartlidge MP, said:
“The AUKUS partnership is a truly tangible demonstration of our ongoing commitment to global security. These visits are crucial for teams from all three nations to understand how best to work together as we strike ahead on the AUKUS programme, delivering cutting-edge capability to protect ourselves, and our allies and partners, for decades to come.”
Further to understanding how to maintain and support nuclear-powered submarines, the visit sought to build trilateral relationships and communications between the teams who will deliver the submarine rotational force.
Based in Faslane for two weeks, the AVT have spent time understanding and developing the skills needed to take the AUKUS partnership forward. The visit has successfully shown the extent of the similarities and differences between our ways of working, as well as highlighting areas that will best support the development of maintenance capability in Australia.
Rear Admiral Simon Asquith, director submarines, said:
“This is an exciting moment for AUKUS delivery, marking initial trilateral efforts to ensure Australia can support US and UK submarine presence in Western Australia. The AVT successfully paved the way for future collaboration from all partner nations and we look forward to this continued close working with both Navies and industry going forward.”
The AUKUS partnership is a strategic endeavour that strengthens the three nations’ national security, promoting peace and stability.
Last month, the AUKUS partnership celebrated its two-year anniversary, and earlier this year the three AUKUS nations announced a way forward for the programme, with the first generation of AUKUS nuclear submarines to be built in the UK and Australia, based on the UK’s world-leading submarine design.
Last week, a further £4 billion of investment was announced for the AUKUS partnership. The contracts will progress the programme through the design, prototyping and purchase of main long-lead components for the first UK submarines, allowing construction to commence in the coming years and ensure the stability and resilience of our domestic supply chain.
Building on more than 60 years of British expertise in designing, building and operating nuclear-powered submarines, the contracts will support thousands of highly skilled jobs in the UK – a clear demonstration of how the AUKUS programme supports the prime minister’s priority to grow the economy.
The SSN-AUKUS submarines will be the largest, most advanced, and most powerful attack submarines ever operated by the Royal Navy, combining world-leading sensors, design, and weaponry in one vessel.