Soundings Papers: Australian Nuclear-powered Submarines: making Australia’s naval dreams a reality

Soundings No. 39
Soundings No. 39

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Jarrod Fraser

Australia’s ambitious decision to transition from a diesel-electric submarine (SSK) fleet to a nuclear-powered submarine (SSN) fleet is a significant advance in naval capability that will come with many challenges. Without an adequate crew and good maintenance, a submarine is an expensive metal tube, and, at worst, a watery tomb. The provision of solutions to workforce, sustainment, and nuclear technical capability to achieve a successful capability transition are key challenges that the Royal Australian Navy will face over the coming decade.