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Australia’s nuclear submarines won’t be ready until ‘the 2040s’

Incredible admission that Australia’s nuclear submarines won’t be ready until ‘2040’ – so how WILL the country defend itself?

  • Australia plans to acquire six nuclear-powered submarines under AUKUS deal
  • But the first is not expected to be on the water in Australia until the 2040s
  • Existing Collins-class submarines will be retired from 2038, leaving the country vulnerable

Australia’s nuclear submarines will not be ready until the 2040s, leaving the nation vulnerable if our existing submarines are retired from 2038.

Defense Secretary Richard Marles said he wants to speed up the process, but getting a nuclear sub by 2030 is “optimistic to the extreme”.

In an ABC radio interview on Tuesday morning, he reiterated that Australia’s first nuclear submarine to use British or American technology is not expected to hit the water until the 2040s.

Australia's nuclear submarines won't be ready until the 2040s, leaving the nation vulnerable as our existing submarines (pictured in Sydney) retire from 2038

Australia’s nuclear submarines won’t be ready until the 2040s, leaving the nation vulnerable as our existing submarines (pictured in Sydney) retire from 2038

“The truth about where the former government left us at the election time is that they were looking at a new nuclear submarine in the 2040s. There they were,’ he said.

When asked whether that time frame could be brought forward as early as 2030, Mr Marles said that would be optimistic “to the extreme.”

“We’ll look at all the options available to try and bring that time forward. I think moving forward to eight years from now would be very optimistic.”

The coalition planned to extend the life of the six Australian Collins-class submarines, but even with the extension, the first will retire in 2038.

Former Defense Secretary Peter Dutton revealed earlier this month that Defense was investigating the purchase of two Virginia-class nuclear submarines from the US by 2030.

The arrival of the submarines would be at least 10 years ahead of schedule, compared to construction in Australia.

Mr Marles said he was open-minded about options to bridge the gap.

“We need to see how we bridge the gap. That’s all I can say. And I’m open about how we do that,” he said earlier this month.

Australia last year announced plans to purchase six nuclear-powered submarines under the AUKUS agreements with the US and UK.

The move marked the dumping of a $90 billion contract for conventional diesel-powered submarines by French company Naval Group.

Anthony Albanese will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron this week to restore relations after the announcement infuriated the French government.

Richard Marles, left, poses with Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh . on June 22

Richard Marles, left, poses with Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh . on June 22

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