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Canberra – Australia nuclear submarine program Defense officials said Tuesday it was the largest single defense project in history.

US President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Tuesday detailed plans to provide Australia with nuclear attack submarines.

Albanese said the program would start with an investment of A$6 billion over the next four years to expand the main submarine base and the country’s submarine yards and to train skilled workers.

“This will be an Australian sovereign capability, built by Australians, commanded by the Australian Navy and maintained by Australian workers in Australian shipyards,” Albanese said in San Diego, California.

“The scale, complexity and economic significance of the investment is similar to the creation of the post-war Australian automobile industry,” he added.

Australia will also provide A$3 billion to expand U.S. and U.K. shipbuilding capacity, with most of the money going to accelerate the production of the U.S. Virginia-class submarines.

The total cost of the submarine program is estimated to be A$268 billion to A$368 billion by 2055, or about 0.15% of annual gross domestic product, defense officials told Reuters.

The price tag includes the cost of building the submarine and the associated infrastructure and training costs, and the program will create 20,000 jobs in Australia over 30 years.

Australian Treasury Secretary Jim Chalmers said the decision was a “game-changing investment” as the government responded to questions about the price tag in the face of mounting pressure on the federal budget and lingering deficits.

“Australia can’t afford not to do this… it’s worth every penny when it comes to national security and the national economy,” Chalmers told reporters.

Opposition leader Peter Dutton, who was Defense Minister when the Oaks was announced in 2021, said he supported the submarine deal “either hell or high tide”.

Britain builds the first SSN-Aukus boats as the new class of submarines is dubbed. The first boats built in Australia will be delivered in 2042 and she will be built one every three years until the fleet is at her eight.

Australian submarine construction Occurs in South Australia A$2 billion will be spent on infrastructure, creating 4,000 jobs and a further 5,500 direct shipyard jobs at peak construction. The government said it was twice her workforce expected if plans to build a French-designed conventional submarine were scrapped.

The Perth naval base, which will be home to a new submarine fleet, will be upgraded at a cost of A$8 billion over a decade and create 3,000 jobs, Australia’s documents and statement released on Tuesday showed. Australia says Aukus nuclear submarine is planned to cost up to $330 billion by 2055

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