Australia in for more naval projects after joining AUKUS

A number of naval projects have been confirmed for South Australia following the announcement of a new enhanced security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, AUKUS.

Illustration; Royal Australian Navy Collins-class submarines. Photo: Australian Department of Defense

The first initiative under the partnership is to acquire nuclear-powered submarines for Australia, which are intended to be built in South Australia. 

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The Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also approved a life-of-type extension to the Collins-class submarine fleet from 2026 in South Australia, and confirmed that the full-cycle docking of the Collins-class will continue to be conducted at Osborne. Up to $6.4 billion will be invested in these works, according to the government.

“The Collins class submarine to this day remains one of the most capable conventional submarines in the world,” Minister for Defence Peter Dutton said.

“The planned Life-of-Type Extension, through the replacement of key systems, will help deliver Defence’s strategic objectives.”

Collins-class submarine HMAS Farncomb will be the first to undergo a life-of-type extension when it enters its next full-cycle docking in 2026.

Furthermore, the Australian government will invest up to $5.1 billion in upgrades to the Hobart-class destroyer combat management system upgrades at Osborne from 2024.

“The upgrade to the Aegis combat management system will ensure our fleet of Hobart class air warfare destroyers maintain their capability-edge into the future. Both of these projects announced today are vital for Defence’s ability to act with greater independence in an increasingly contested strategic environment,” Dutton also emphasized.  

“South Australia is the engine room of naval shipbuilding in this country,” Minister for Finance and Senator for South Australia Simon Birmingham said.

“Full-Cycle Docking and Life-of-Type Extension at Osborne will ensure we retain our skilled shipbuilding workforce, and will continue to create opportunities for local businesses to engage with the defence industry.