Representatives from the Australian and US submarine support organisations have joined Royal Navy personnel in UK submarine operating base Faslane to understand how to maintain nuclear-powered submarines, which will support future AUKUS nations.
Forming an Advance Verification Team (AVT), subject matter experts from all three AUKUS nations joined British shipyard personnel to develop their understanding of the maintenance and industrial skills required to maintain a nuclear-powered submarine.
Following a similar visit to Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in August, the AVT learnt about the requirements needed to provide an Australian-based facility that can support both UK and US maintenance during a future forward-deployed submarine presence at Perth.
Under the AUKUS partnership, three nations the US, the UK and Australia are working together to develop future defence technologies and deploy an advanced nuclear submarine, SSN-AUKUS.
The visit marks a step forward for AUKUS delivery, driving knowledge-sharing and development in Australia that will be critical to the success of the programme, according to a statement.
UK Minister for Defence Procurement James Cartlidge said: “These visits are crucial for teams from all three nations to understand how best to work together as we strike ahead on the AUKUS programme, delivering cutting-edge capability to protect ourselves, and our allies and partners, for decades to come.”
The visit sought to build trilateral relationships and communications between the teams who will deliver the submarine rotational force.
Based in Faslane for two weeks, the AVT were shown the extent of the similarities and differences between the nations’ ways of working, as well as highlighting areas that will best support the development of maintenance capability in Australia.
Last month, the AUKUS partnership celebrated its two-year anniversary, and earlier this year the three AUKUS nations announced a way forward for the programme, with the first generation of AUKUS nuclear submarines to be built in the UK and Adelaide, Australia.
The SSN-AUKUS submarines will be the largest, most advanced, and most powerful attack submarines ever operated by the Royal Navy, combining world-leading sensors, design, and weaponry in one vessel.