BAE Systems and ASC to build AUKUS submarines

The Australian Government has selected BAE Systems and ASC to build Australia’s new fleet of nuclear-powered submarines as part of the AUKUS trilateral security pact between the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

BAE Systems

Under the AUKUS agreement, Australia and the UK will operate a common submarine of the future, incorporating technology from all three nations, based on the UK’s next-generation design which BAE Systems is leading.

BAE and ASC will now bring together their complementary skills, expertise and capabilities under a collaborative arrangement in Australia, ultimately leading to the establishment of a long-term, incorporated joint venture.

“We’re extremely proud of our role in the delivery of this vitally important, tri-nation submarine programme. Our selection as a partner in Australia, alongside ASC, recognises our role as the UK’s long-term submarine design and build partner and as a key player in Australia’s maritime enterprise and wider defence landscape… We’re already making good progress on the design and development of the next generation submarine in the UK where we have more than 1,000 people working on the SSN-AUKUS programme and major infrastructure investment underway,” Charles Woodburn, BAE Systems Chief Executive said.

According to BAE, SSN-AUKUS will be the largest, most powerful and advanced attack submarines the Royal Navy has ever operated and will start to replace the Astute class, which BAE Systems is building at its site in Barrow-in-Furness in the North West of England, from the late 2030s.

Australia expects to deliver its first SSN-AUKUS submarine in the early 2040s.

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The UK Ministry of Defense awarded BAE Systems almost £4 billion for the next phase of the SSN-AUKUS program in October. The funding covers development work through 2028, enabling BAE Systems to progress through the detailed design phase of the program and procure long-lead items.  The award is also funding significant infrastructure investment in Barrow, which will see the site’s facilities double in size from 80,000 to 160,000 m2 by the late 2030s, as part of a multi-billion pound program.

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BAE Systems has already delivered five of seven Astute class submarines to the Royal Navy in the UK, with the remaining two boats at advanced stages of construction at its shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness. The company is also designing and building the UK’s next-generation nuclear deterrent submarine, Dreadnought, with construction underway on the first three of four new boats.