Fleet could charge Australian taxpayers $ 171 billion

Australia’s fleet of new nuclear submarines could cost up to $ 171 billion, according to a report from a prominent think tank.

The federal government announced earlier this year that it would acquire the technology to build eight nuclear-powered submarines when Australia does AUKUS Defense Pact with the US and UK.

The move included Australia abandoning a $ 90 billion deal with a French diesel-electric submarine company, which sparked a diplomatic dispute between Canberra and Paris.

Australia will build eight nuclear submarines under the AUKUS Defense Pact, but the final cost of the project remains uncertain. (US Navy)

But the massive defense project could grow to $ 171 billion, it warns.

This number represents a large part of Australia’s gross domestic product.

It is “probably the largest and most complex endeavor Australia has embarked on. The challenges, costs and risks will be enormous,” warned the think tank.

And the study’s authors, made up of defense analysts, determined that it would take at least 20 years for a submarine to be seaworthy.

The federal government will weigh its options over the next 18 months as officials opt for either an American or British-made submarine.

The UK submarine program is expected to begin by the end of this decade, based on the UK’s current blueprint.

However, US ships may not be built until after 2030.

Scott Morrison has not denied that a text message from Emmanuel Macron leaked from his office.Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced earlier this year that Australia would join the AUKUS defense pact with the United States and Great Britain.

The ASPI report examined possible options for the government and timetables for building the submarines, which range from short range to long range.

Australian taxpayers would face a $ 70 billion pre-inflation bill in the low-haul scenario – a smaller ship with a more efficient design.

With inflation that would be $ 116 billion.

But under the high-level framework, the constant cost would be $ 79 billion, while inflation could climb to $ 171 billion if the schedule takes longer.

The report said the nuclear powered submarines would give Australia a regional strategic advantage as geopolitical tensions rise in the Pacific.

However, the new fleet will also include the development of nuclear safeguards in Australian ports and naval facilities, the study says.

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