Australians are to train on British nuclear submarines for the first time

The alliance, which began last September, prompted Australia to scrap a contract for a conventional French submarine in favor of nuclear-powered submarines backed by the US and Britain, straining relations with French President Emmanuel Macron.

The training plan was announced when British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace received his Australian counterpart, Richard Marles, on his first visit to the UK since Australia’s new government took office in May.

“Today is an important milestone in preparing the UK and Australia for the growing threats to the liberal democratic order, particularly in the Indo-Pacific,” Wallace said.

“Not only have we improved our defense programme, but Minister Marles has participated in the commissioning of our latest attack submarine, which will complement Royal Australian Navy submarines as we develop our joint capabilities over the next few years.”

HMS Anson, the fifth of seven Astute-class submarines, was commissioned by the Royal Navy on Wednesday at manufacturer BAE Systems’ yard in Barrow-in-Furness, northern England.

BAE Systems is also developing the Dreadnought-class submarines, which are expected to enter service in the early 2030s to replace Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent, the Vanguard.

It has started work on the next-generation submarines that will follow the Astute class, called SSN-Replacement (SSNR).

Australia has yet to choose a US or British design for its nuclear-powered submarines.

Jonathan Mead, head of the Royal Australian Navy’s Nuclear Submarine Task Force, told Australian strategic policy firm “The Strategist” in May that the Astute-class and US Virginia-class were mixed with the SSNR and the American SSNX. .

Australia will become the seventh country to operate nuclear-powered submarines, following the US, Britain, France, China, India and Russia.

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Australia has not acquired nuclear weapons, but uses nuclear propulsion systems for ships because they are more difficult to track than conventional submarines.

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