Defence, Manufacturing News, South Australia

Premier to lead US mission to maximise AUKUS opportunities for SA

Premier Peter Malinauskas will lead a high-level mission to the United States, with a specific focus on maximising opportunities for South Australia out of the AUKUS submarine program.

“As the home of the AUKUS submarine program, it is vital that South Australia forges even stronger ties with our partners in the United Kingdom and the United States for the long term,” said Malinauskas.

“AUKUS is a once-in-a-generation moment for South Australia, and I am determined to ensure we maximise every single opportunity.

“The scale of this project is astonishing. This will be the biggest project our state has ever seen, building the most complex machines on earth.”

The Premier’s trip in mid-May will include high-level meetings with leading figures in the US defence program and submarine supply chain – and visits to the two shipyards in the United States which build nuclear-powered submarines.

This will include a visit to the Newport News shipyard in Virginia, the largest shipbuilding company in the United States, where Virginia Class nuclear-powered submarines are built. The Newport News site employs more than 23,000 people.

The Premier will also visit General Dynamics Electric Boat’s submarine shipyard in Groton, Connecticut, which also builds Virginia Class nuclear-powered submarines and employs about 10,000 people on site.

A key focus will be the skills, training and workforce development in the United States for its nuclear submarine program, and ensuring South Australia is best placed to develop the highly skilled workforce required for AUKUS.

The trip will also include a series of high-level meetings with key leaders and decision-makers in Washington DC, including key congressional representatives.

Last month, it was announced Adelaide-based shipbuilders ASC and BAE Systems will build Australia’s SSN-AUKUS submarines at Osborne.

Construction is set to begin on the first SSN-AUKUS submarine by the end of the decade. Between 4,000 and 5,500 direct jobs are expected to support the building of AUKUS submarines when the program reaches its peak.

Already 26 Australian suppliers are being supported to qualify their products in the US submarine supply chain as part of the AUKUS program.

The Premier will also meet with the new Governor of Maryland Wes Moore to build on the relationship and collaboration between South Australia and Maryland.

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