Richard Marles, deputy prime minister of Australia, visited Australian personnel working alongside their British counterparts at a Rolls Royce nuclear reactor manufacturing site in Derby, England.
During his visit, Marles toured the facility and observed the fabrication of the first nuclear propulsion plant components of the SSN-AUKUS submarine trilaterally developed by Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
“I was encouraged meeting these Australians who are so energized and excited by the opportunity to learn and the potential to be involved in Australia’s own nuclear-powered submarine program,” Marles said.
The placement is part of Canberra’s efforts to develop a workforce capable of building and sustaining conventionally armed and nuclear-powered submarines.
Over nine weeks, Australian industry representatives will be embedded into the U.K. defense industry to observe the process of developing and maintaining advanced submarine technologies.
Participants will get to work with and learn from submarine experts not just from Rolls Royce but also from BAE Systems and Babcock.
The SSN-AUKUS conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarine program will incorporate technologies from all three nations, including a common vertical launch system and weapons from the U.S.
Australia is scheduled to begin building its first SSN-AUKUS in Adelaide by the end of the decade and deploy the first Australia-made nuclear-powered submarine as part of the Royal Australian Navy in the late 2030s.