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Adviser appointed to ‘further AUKUS implementation'

An adviser to the Australian government on the cancelled Future Submarine programme has been appointed to support collaboration between Canberra and Washington on the new AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine project.

Donald Winter, a former secretary of the US Navy, disclosed his appointment in a 24 September filing to the US Department of Justice. The filing, which is required under the US Foreign Agents Registration Act, said Winter was appointed to “further AUKUS implementation”.

It added that Winter received the request to support the AUKUS project during Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's recent visit to Washington, DC.

The filing said Winter had been appointed to “engage with US personnel to facilitate Australia's engagement with the US and UK per [the] AUKUS agreement”. It added that Winter's activities through the appointment are “intended to support the 18-month study phase per the AUKUS agreement”. Compensation will be USD6,000 per day, it added.

Australia announced its intention to procure the submarines on 15 September through an AUKUS trilateral security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The decision meant the scrapping of an agreement Australia had with French shipbuilder Naval Group to build 12 diesel-electric submarines in Australia under the Future Submarine programme.

Supporting the development of the AUKUS nuclear-powered submarines, the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has said the three countries have committed to a comprehensive programme of work over the next 18 months to examine the full suite of requirements underpinning nuclear stewardship.

Janes has reported that during this study phase the focus will be on safety, design, construction, operation, maintenance, disposal, regulation, training, environmental protection, installations and infrastructure, basing, workforce, and force structure.

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