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The Australian Government is firmly committed to keeping Australians safe while protecting our country’s interests in a changing global environment. Being a credible and effective military power in the midst of the most consequential strategic realignment since World War II is a complex task in our nation’s strategic circumstances. Around 300 submarines will be operating in the Indo-Pacific by 2030, so Australia must continue to have credible defence capabilities that can contribute to regional and global security. Integrating multiple capabilities, such as submarines, frigates, helicopters and intelligence systems, into an undersea war-fighting system will give the ADF the necessary depth and resilience to prosecute antisubmarine operations. Our current fleet of Collins-class submarines and their crews are serving our nation with distinction.
Submarines are a vital element of our defence strategy and are essential in protecting those interests. Their substantial firepower, stealth, endurance and sustained presence give Australia a unique advantage: to strike without warning and inflict significant damage to adversaries. The Collins class is the world’s most capable conventionally powered submarine, achieving significant operational results of which Australians can be proud.
To further advance regional security and the prosperity that we have today, a larger, stronger and more formidable undersea force is needed in the future. To be able to operate far forward with a sustained presence in the Indo-Pacific and to deliver assured access and sea control, we must invest in a more substantial denial capability. The government’s decision to build 12 regionally superior Attack-class submarines in Australia is ambitious but necessary.
Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC Minister for Defence
I commend Peter Jennings and Marcus Hellyer for assembling the team of authors who produced this ASPI Special Report, "Submarines: Your questions answered"
This is a plain-English guide to the complexities of Australia’s submarine program. While the government doesn’t endorse all of the contributions aired in this study, it’s important that critical nation-building programs such as our submarine program are subjected to robust and broad analysis. ASPI provides many different perspectives on the submarine program in this report. I trust that the report will generate further public interest in and awareness of this vital capability.
Full report is available for download below