According to a report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), the new nuclear submarine fleet under the AUKUS alliance will cost Australia up to 171 billion Australian dollars (USD 121.7 billion) and will not be deployed for at least two decades.
AUKUS, sometimes known as Aukus, is a trilateral security treaty between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States for the Indo-Pacific area, which was announced on September 15, 2021. The US and the UK will assist Australia in acquiring nuclear-powered submarines under the terms of the agreement.
“Because the continuous build plan allows for more time for out-turning to take effect, the out-turned cost would be between USD 153 billion and USD 171 billion,” according to the research.
At the same time, the think tank estimates that the project will cost at least 70 billion Australian dollars to begin with. However, given the necessity for precautionary nuclear safety measures, it may end up costing more than twice as much in actuality, according to the paper.
“Once the cost drivers are well understood, it is quite likely that it will cost significantly more. These include both the United States and the United Kingdom shifting to larger submarine designs, our build plan, and the larger support system and infrastructure required to operate nuclear submarines “According to the research,
According to the institute, Australia will not have a useful nuclear-powered military capability for at least two decades.
The announcement of a new trilateral defence partnership between Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom in mid-September forced Canberra to abandon a $66 billion contract with France to develop 12 state-of-the-art conventionally powered attack submarines, as the alliance promises to strengthen Australia’s fleet with nuclear-powered submarines.
Under the AUKUS cooperation, Australia’s new project will take 18 months merely to choose a submarine model in the US and UK. ASPI, on the other hand, feels that the agreement will give Australia a regional strategic advantage.