The ASC has welcomed the submarine plan unveiled by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his international counterparts this week, including their phased approach to building a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines in Adelaide.
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According to the ASC, which has built and sustained submarines for 35 years, the plan will ensure that Australia will be able to field a regionally superior submarine.
Supporting the government’s decision, the submarine builder agreed that the capability was fundamental to supporting the interests of Australia and its allies.
“As we prepare for the introduction of a nuclear-powered fleet, it remains essential that we deliver Navy the submarine availability and capability that they rely on, which continues to be provided through the highly capable Collins class fleet,” ASC’s chief executive officer and managing director Stuart Whiley said.
“A capable and available Collins class fleet is a critical component of the pathway to Australia acquiring its nuclear-powered submarine capability.”
The company will continue to work alongside defence to support the Collins class, with the company expressing an interesting in supporting the Virginia and Astute class submarines as they visit Australia.
“We will continue to deliver Navy the capability they rely on to defend our interests through a world-class workforce, which includes Australia’s leading submarine platform engineers, trades and professionals,” he continued.
“Work to deliver the life-of-type extension program announced in 2021, which will update key equipment on our Collins class submarines is well advanced, and assures Australia’s submarine capability well into the 2030s and beyond."
The company acknowledged the work over the last 18 months to develop a solution for the acquisition of the nuclear-powered submarine, supporting the government by leveraging their expertise and the skills available in the Sovereign Shipbuilding Talent Pool.
Other companies have joined in to laud the government's efforts, with Babcock International Group earlier this week welcoming the phased nuclear-powered submarine plan.
The international defence contactor owns and operates the United Kingdom’s only licensed refitting, refuelling, and defuelling nuclear submarine facility.
Currently, Babcock sustains the entirety of the Royal Navy’s nuclear-powered submarine fleet. Services include through-life support and life extension of the Vanguard, Trafalgar, and Astute classes.
David Lockwood, chief executive officer of Babcock, explained that the company hopes to collaborate closely with the governments on the project.
“Babcock plays a critical role in all three countries’ submarine programs today,” he explained.
“Our experience of nuclear infrastructure, workforce upskilling, and regulatory and safety stewardship means we are ideally positioned to help deliver a nuclear-powered submarine capability for the Royal Australian Navy under the AUKUS agreement.”