AUKUS to Replace the French Submarines for Australia agreement.
The UK and the USA have agreed to share information and technology with Australia, to enable Australia to advance its own nuclear powered submarines, and cancel the fraught contract to buy French Submarines.
Scott Morrison 16th September 2021:
The first initiative under AUKUS is the delivery of nuclear-powered submarines for the Australian Navy. This will allow the Department of Defence to meet its mission to protect Australia and its national interests, and that of our regional friends, into the future.
Australia intends to build these submarines in Adelaide in close cooperation with the UK and the US. But let me be clear, Australia is not seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.
The Australian government will still be able to terminate the $90 billion French submarine project despite agreeing to the next phase of the contract.
How much of the prior $90b has already been paid and won’t be recouped?
Terminating the contract may cost taxpayers up to $400 million.
The Turnbull government in 2016, announced that the French company Naval Group (then known as DCNS) had been selected to design and build conventional submarines for Australia.
In February 2021, Scott Morrison revealed that he had commissioned Vice Admiral Mead and Commodore Tim Brown to examine other options for Australia’s submarine program instead of the French option. This followed a breakdown in relations between Naval Group and the Australian government due to a series of disagreements over spiralling costs, design changes, schedule slippage and local industry involvement.
On 15th September 2021, it was revealed that high level meeting have been ongoing for some time, resulting in the AUKUS alliance between Australia, the US and the UK.
This historic new defence pact will see Australia acquire its first fleet of nuclear-powered submarines, to be built in Adelaide in close cooperation with the UK and the US.