Australia to build nuclear submarine base in east coast worth 7.4 billion dollars


In wake of Ukraine conflict, Australia has announced it will build a nuclear submarine base in the east coast, news website Nikkei Asia reported. Australian prime minister Scott Morrison made the announcement on the project costing 7.4 billion dollars, a move which is aimed at checking the influence of China in the Indo-Pacific region. The Australian premier's announcement comes in the wake of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, which he described as a 'larger assault by autocracies against the rules-based international order."

"The government has now determined that to support our decision to acquire nuclear-powered submarines, 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," the news website quoted Morrisson during an online address by a think tank.

Brisbane, Newcastle and Port Kembla are the three short-listed locations mentioned by the prime minister, citing that all the three sites were close to industrial infrastructure, bore proximity to large population centres for recruiting talent and had an easy access to maritime training areas and weapon storage. A study on the selection of site is underway and is likely to be completed by 2023. The proposed nuclear facility will be Australia's first military base since the 1990s and is capable of hosting American and British nuclear submarines. Australia is a part of the AUKUS alliance with United Kingdom and the United States as other members. Under the plan, Australia is set to build at least eight nuclear submarines of its own and is set to deploy them in the later half of the next decade.

According to Nikkei, Morrison said that Australia's current submarine capability would stay in the western region to maintain security in the Indian ocean.

"This is about additional national capacity," he said, saying the goal is to deploy new capabilities to "maximum strategic effect," Morrison said.

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