Australia to buy nuclear submarines from U.S.
March 13, 2023 - Australia is expected to announce it will buy up to five U.S. Virginia class nuclear-powered submarines as part of a landmark defence agreement between the U.S. and the UK.
The agreement, known as the AUKUS pact, will have multiple stages with U.S. submarines visiting Australian ports in the coming years and end in the late 2030’s with a new class of submarines being built with British designs and American technology, one of the officials said.
In the early 2030s, Australia would buy three Virginia-class submarines and have the option to buy two more.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is due to meet U.S. President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in San Diego, California, to reveal AUKUS’s next steps.
It suggested that the Virginia-class submarines from the US would be a “stop-gap” while Australia and the UK worked together on a design for a next-generation submarine from the existing Astute class vessel, noting that the task’s complexity meant it might not be ready until the 2040s.