skip to main content

Australian industry groups urge Canberra to seize submarine capability opportunity

Australia's leading industrial organisations have welcomed Canberra's decision to procure nuclear-powered submarines through the country's newly announced AUKUS security partnership.

Senior representatives from the Australian Industry & Defence Network (AIDN) and the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) told Janes on 16 September that the decision represents an opportunity for local industry to develop world-leading submarine capability.

However, they also pointed out that for these benefits to be fully realised, the government needs to ensure that local industry is fully involved in the submarine development and production programme.

This is reflective of continuing concerns in Australia that local firms – particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – are not always given an opportunity to participate in major defence procurement programmes.

Brent Clark, the CEO of AIDN, told Janes, “This is a genuine once-in-a-lifetime opportunity … to enable Australian industry to work with US and UK counterparts and to facilitate the necessary upskilling and technology transfers so that Australian industry can fully support the new submarine. We cannot afford to waste this opportunity.”

Clark said that AIDN will be seeking assurances from the Australian government that the new submarine programme will be supported through transfers of “intellectual property, technologies, know-how, and information”.

He added, “We still expect the government to seek to create a sovereign industrial base in Australia. And we are expecting the government to ensure that Australian industry is part of the decisions in terms of supplying equipment, services, and the like for this project. We look forward to working with the government. This is a nation-building endeavour.”

Innes Willox, the chief executive of the Ai Group, said in emailed comments to Janes

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...