Defense

Australia planning new base that could resupply, maintain US nuclear submarines

Australia is set to build a new naval base off of its east coast, which could provide American nuclear submarines with supplies and maintenance and bolster regional defenses against China. 

Of the 19 sites reviewed for the new base’s location, officers narrowed it down to three possibilities including Brisbane, Newcastle and Port Kembla. All three possible sites are in the proximity of the infrastructure needed to support submarines and to accommodate a growing workforce, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Monday announcement.

Initial work on the project is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

Morrison announced that over $7.4 billion had been set aside for the infrastructure and facility which will be the country’s first full submarine base on the east coast, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“Establishing a second submarine base on our east coast will enhance our strategic deterrent capability, with significant advantages in operational, training, personnel and industrial terms,” Morrison said, according to the newspaper.

Anthony Albanese, who leads Australia’s center-left Labor Party and is set to oppose Morrison in the next election, was critical of the slow pace of actual progress, the Journal added. 

“Today’s announcement is really an announcement about an announcement,” he said. “What we actually need is announcements that lead to actual infrastructure and announcements that lead to actual defense materiel being realized.”

The new base will eventually be home to the nuclear submarines the country plans to acquire via AUKUS, a military alliance between Australia, the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has begun to make Australia a more central part of its strategy in the Indo-Pacific, especially as a result of increased concerns about the possible threat of China. Morrison has also staunchly opposed China, especially amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Beijing has yet to condemn.

Tags Australia Nuclear base Nuclear Submarines
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