Report: Australia to Buy Nuclear Subs From US

Image copyright: US Navy/Huntington Ingalls Industries/Handout/Reuters [via Al Jazeera]

The Facts

  • According to anonymous US officials, Australia is expected to announce it will buy as many as five US Virginia class nuclear-powered submarines in the 2030s as part of the AUKUS agreement – a trilateral security pact between Australia, the UK, and the US.

  • AUKUS — announced in 2021— will reportedly see at least one US submarine visit Australian ports in the coming years, and will end in the late 2030s with a new division of submarines being built with British designs and American technology.

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

Even if it takes Australia longer than expected to build up its fleet of nuclear-power subs, China will see this as a provocation and the start of a nuclear arms race in the region. Beijing might not immediately retaliate, but this agreement will eventually see it further invest in its military and could force other neighbors to pick sides in a Cold War-style conflict.

Pro-establishment narrative

Australia must adopt this nuclear-powered submarine plan in order to protect the peace and stability of the region and guard against aggression from China. Its neighbors and allies should understand this deal as a peaceful one, not an act of war. In addition to defense, Australia will benefit from jobs created and technological advancements in its broader economy.

Nerd narrative

There's a 50% chance that Australia will commission its first nuclear-powered submarine by November 2036, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Establishment split



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