Shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Australian subsidiary and the South Australian government signed a Memorandum of Understanding at a submarine industry briefing in Adelaide, outlining shared intent “to embark on a cooperative working arrangement”.
The MoU was signed through HII’s newly-formed Australian entity, HII Nuclear Australia, and would leverage the American company’s international industry expertise “to prepare South Australia for the major shipbuilding projects on our horizon”, according to a statement from the SA government on Monday.
“The AUKUS pact provides an enormous opportunity for Australian defence manufacturers to create highly skilled jobs by supplying Australian submarines made in Australia,” said premier Peter Malinauskas.
“We are pleased to be partnering with the HII on this endeavour – applying their extensive experience to the enormous economic opportunity we have here in South Australia.”
HII, through its Newport News Shipbuilding division, is one of only two shipyards in the US capable of designing and building nuclear-powered submarines, including the Virgina Class submarines.
The event hosted saw Malinauskas and deputy premier Susan Close meet with President of HII Nuclear Australia, Michael Lempke, with HII sharing opportunities with more than 100 SA business representatives on future opportunities through export and the Virginia Class program.
The signing follows the announcement of a new AUKUS Workforce Alliance at the Indo Pacific International Maritime Expo last week, involving HII, UNSW Sydney, the University of Adelaide and Curtin University, and Babcock Australasia.
The Monday announcement also covers development of the skilled workforce necessary for the planned construction of Australia’s fleet of nuclear-powered submarines (SSN-AUKUS).
Picture: Virginia-class submarine Montana (credit Huntington Ingalls Industries)