Australian company integrates into US nuclear-powered submarine supply chain

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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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12 April 2024

The Albanese Government welcomes the initial purchase order of processed Australian steel by a major U.S. military shipbuilder, marking another important milestone in the AUKUS partnership and providing significant boost for the defence industry and local jobs. 

Australian steel manufacturer Bisalloy Steel will process steel at its Port Kembla facility for Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of HII, the largest military shipbuilder in the U.S. and one of two U.S. companies that designs and builds US nuclear-powered submarines.

Importantly, the integration of Aussie steel into the Newport News Shipbuilding supply chain paves the way for further opportunities for local suppliers and potential to create more well paid and highly skilled jobs in Australia.

This follows the announcement in December 2023 of the Australian Submarine Agency (ASA) entering into a contract with Bisalloy Steel for the qualification of Australian steel for the use on Australia’s SSN-AUKUS submarines, and to increase the resilience of the trilateral supply chains.  

Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) will use the steel for training and testing with this order representing a critical step in strengthening the industrial supply base for the AUKUS program.

The Government is continuing collaboration with AUKUS partners and industry to develop the Australian supply chains and facilitate industry participation in the supply chains of the United Kingdom and United States.

A key initiative to support this objective is the Defence Industry Vendor Qualification (DIVQ) Program which was launched in January 2024.

DIVQ will help to accelerate the qualification of Australia products for entry into supply chains of our AUKUS partners. 

The Australian Submarine Agency and our AUKUS partners will engage with and invite relevant industry sectors to participate, through the ASA’s industry portal (www.asa.gov.au/business-industry). The portal is always open and new registrations for companies wishing to participate are being accepted daily.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Defence Industry, Pat Conroy:

“This order of Aussie steel from a global leader in shipbuilding is not only testament to the efforts of the hard-working women and men at Bisalloy but also underscores the Albanese Government’s commitment to supporting local industry. 

“This is a wonderful early example of opportunities for Australian companies to be part of the supply chains for the much larger submarine programs of our AUKUS partners.

“The Australian Government is committed to developing Australia’s industrial base to not just build and sustain our nuclear-powered submarine program, but to strengthen the AUKUS trilateral supply chains.” 

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