BAE Systems has been selected as a major partner in helping Australia acquire its first nuclear-powered submarines under the AUKUS trilateral agreement between the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. The three nations will work together to deliver a trilaterally developed submarine that is based on the UK’s next-generation design, incorporating technology from all three countries.
The AUKUS agreement is a significant development in the partnership between the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. It is expected to further enhance and deepen the relationship between these nations. The selection of the UK’s next-generation submarine design is a testament to the skills, commitment, and ingenuity of everyone involved in both BAE Systems’ Submarines business and the wider UK submarine enterprise.
BAE Systems has delivered five Astute class submarines to the UK Royal Navy, with the final two at advanced stages of construction at its shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness. The first three of four Dreadnought submarines are also under construction at the site. The company’s engineers are undertaking early design work on the replacement for the Astute class under a £85m contract announced in September 2021.
To support the delivery of the UK’s submarine programs, BAE Systems has invested more than £1bn to develop and expand infrastructure at Barrow, including £25m in a state-of-the-art training academy. Since 2020, the company has recruited more than 1,300 apprentices and graduates into its UK Submarines business, with plans to recruit a further 1,000 early careers trainees this year.
The AUKUS agreement will ultimately enable Australia to acquire its own sovereign nuclear-powered submarine fleet. BAE Systems will employ its skills, commitment, and ingenuity to assist Australia in this historic endeavor. As a key player in the Australian maritime enterprise, BAE Systems also looks forward to working with the Australian government to explore how it could potentially provide additional support to this important tri-national program through its business in Australia.
The acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines by Australia is expected to have far-reaching implications for regional security in the Asia-Pacific region. The AUKUS agreement is seen as a response to the growing threat posed by China’s expanding military presence and territorial claims in the South China Sea. The United States and the United Kingdom have pledged to share their expertise and technology with Australia, which is expected to enhance its defense capabilities in the region.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has welcomed the AUKUS agreement, calling it a “historic partnership” that will strengthen Australia’s national security. Morrison has also acknowledged that the acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines is a significant step for Australia, as it is a complex and sensitive technology that requires expertise and experience. BAE Systems’ involvement in this program is therefore crucial, as the company has a proven track record in delivering advanced submarines to the UK Royal Navy.
The AUKUS agreement has received mixed reactions from other countries in the region. China has criticized the agreement, calling it a “dangerous” move that will escalate tensions in the region. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, has warned that the AUKUS agreement will undermine regional security and stability.