The Department of State has approved a possible foreign military sale of submarine training devices to the Royal Australian Navy under the AUKUS Pillar One Optimal Pathway program.
Under the proposed deal, to run for nine years with a ceiling value of $2 billion, the United States will also provide personnel training, planning and nonrecurring engineering services.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency has submitted the documents about the deal to Congress for its review and approval, according to an article on Navy.mil.
The report said the Australian Navy will use the submarine trainers through the life cycle of the three Virginia-class submarines that the U.S. will deliver to Australia starting in the early 2030s.
Specifically, the training devices will be used by Australian and U.S. crews who will be assigned to HMAS Stirling in Western Australia, according to Capt. Lincoln Reifsteck, program manager for AUKUS Integration and Acquisition.
The collaborative effort is part of the Submarine Rotational Force-West that will be established in 2027, Reifsteck said.
The potential FMS deal also includes the training of Aussie civilians and contractors at U.S. naval shipyards.
If Congress clears the agreement, the first batch of Australian submarine maintainers will start training at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility in the second quarter of 2024, Navy.mil reported.