Australian Hull Steel for Australian SSN-AUKUS Nuclear-Powered Submarines

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The Hon Pat Conroy MP

Minister for Defence Industry

Minister for International Development and the Pacific

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media@defence.gov.au

(02) 6277 7840

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minister.conroy@dfat.gov.au

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9 December 2023

Australian-made steel will be used in the construction of Australia’s conventionally-armed nuclear-powered submarines built at Osborne Naval Shipyard, South Australia, subject to a comprehensive qualification process.

The Australian Submarine Agency has entered into a contract with Australian steel manufacturer, Bisalloy Steels, for the qualification of Australian steel for use on Australia’s future SSN-AUKUS submarines.

The $15 million contract will put Australian products at the forefront of our submarine construction.

The comprehensive qualification process, involving more than 4,500 tests, is expected to be completed in the first half of 2025. We are committed to supporting Australian industry support the AUKUS trilateral supply chain. 

Bisalloy Steels will perform the advanced heat treatment process on the raw plate steel to produce high grade submarine pressure hull steel that meets or exceeds both the UK and US standards. The raw plate steel will be supplied by another Australian company, BlueScope.

The qualification of the steel to both the UK and US standards will increase the resilience of the AUKUS trilateral supply chain.

Not only will the steel produced under this contract be used for qualification purposes, it will also be used to develop the necessary welding procedures, and used in early production demonstration activities occurring ahead of the commencement of construction of Australia’s first SSN-AUKUS submarine later this decade.

The AUKUS partnership presents one of the biggest uplifts in Australia’s industrial and defence capability in our history. The signing of this contract is a clear demonstration of the progress being made on, and the Albanese Government’s commitment to the construction of conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarines in Australia and support for future Australian jobs.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Pat Conroy MP:

“The qualification of Australian steel is an important step in the Australian Government’s strategy for acquiring state-of-the-art conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarines.”

“The strength and quality of Australian steel will keep Australian submariners safe in the SSN-AUKUS nuclear-powered submarines for decades to come, just as it does today on our Collins Class submarines.”

“Crucially, this contract will support jobs in an industry which is not only of strategic importance but also a source of innovation and employment, and part of the Australian fabric.”

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