BAE Systems, ASC to construct Australian n-submarines


By Peter Roberts

BAE Systems Australia and submarine builder ASC are the big winners in the federal government’s decision to name the companies that will build SSN‑AUKUS submarines in Adelaide.

As predicted by @AuManufacturing news, BAE Systems and government owned ASC Pty Ltd will work together to establish the complex project and form a collaborative arrangement, which will lead to an incorporated Joint Venture within Australia.

The Joint Venture establishes an enduring partnership to leverage their unique and complementary capabilities, skills, expertise and resources of the two partners to deliver SSN-AUKUS submarines, according to a statement.

The government also named ASC’s Henderson, Western Australia facility for the sustainment of nuclear-powered submarines, commencing with the Virginia class and followed by the SSN-AUKUS.

This decision recognises ASC’s long history and expertise as constructor of the Collins class conventional submarines and the massive infrastructure planned for Adelaide’s Osborne Naval Shipyard.

It also recognises BAE’s role as Australia’s largest defence company, and its investment in building Hunter class frigates in Adelaide, as well as its central role in the United Kingdom’s nuclear submarine programme.

While US giants such as Huntington Ingalls have been lining up to come to Australia, bringing in another ship constructor – especially one with its own problems in the United States – would have been a mistake.

BAE Systems has more than 5,000 employees and has been steadily building its workforce and expertise at Osborne, while ASC is the repository of deep expertise in submarine work, having built and sustained the Collins vessels.

Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said:“We have made significant progress in the past 12 months under AUKUS, and today’s announcement is another step forward by the Albanese Government to deliver Australia’s conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines.

“At the heart of today’s announcement are Australian jobs and a pipeline of work for local Australian industry as we deliver on the commitment to build and sustain submarines here in Australia – and create a sovereign industry and workforce.”

The government said today’s announcement was a critical step towards the construction of Australia’s SSN‑AUKUS submarines at Osborne, and sustainment of our nuclear‑powered submarines, including through Submarine Rotational Force-West, in Western Australia.

“These partnerships mark the start of further extensive opportunities for Australian industry and workers, underpinning the single biggest capability acquisition in our nation’s history and creating around 20,000 direct jobs over the next 30 years, supporting the Government’s vision for a Future Made in Australia.

“Working with our AUKUS partners, Australia is not just acquiring world-leading submarine technology, but building a new production line, supply chain and sustainment capability for conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines in Australia.”

The government said the work to deliver Australia’s conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines was already well underway, and key land acquisition and infrastructure upgrades have already commenced at Osborne.

“Additionally, work has already begun to develop the skills to maintain our nuclear-powered submarines with increased visits of US and UK SSNs ahead of the arrival of Australia’s own sovereign Virginia class submarines.”

BAE Systems and ASC welcome the government announcement here.

Further reading:
BAE Systems Australia – the company that could build our AUKUS submarines
BAE Systems hints at role in Australian N-sub construction
Players line up for AUKUS as Huntington Ingalls bets on Australia

Picture: Osborne Naval Dockyard, Adelaide

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