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AUKUS nuclear submarines deal 'to create more than 10,000 jobs'



More than 10,000 jobs will be created from Australia's acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines under the AUKUS defence pact, according to the country's navy.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will travel to the United States next week to unveil the choice of submarine design for the Royal Australian Navy.

Speaking ahead of his visit, the admiral who headed the AUKUS taskforce said thousands of jobs would be created from Australia's biggest defence project.

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In an interview with The Australian Financial Review, Vice-Admiral Jonathan Mead, of the RAN, said the acquisition of the new submarines would combine the efforts of Australia, the US and the UK.

"There are thousands of job opportunities in different areas," he said.

"Easily more than 10,000 people are needed. These are really exciting career pathways."

But he said a major challenge would be upskilling submarine crews and industrial workers to enable Australia to build, operate and maintain its own nuclear powered submarine fleet.

Albanese said on Wednesday during his visit to India that he plans to meet with President Joe Biden in the US, amid speculation the leaders will make an announcement about Australia's plans to build nuclear-powered submarines.

Albanese has given few details of the US trip, saying there would be further announcements about the arrangements.

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UK officials confirmed on Wednesday that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will meet with Biden and Albanese in the US city of San Diego on Monday for talks on Australia's procurement of nuclear submarines.

The previous Morrison government infuriated France in 2021 by cancelling a $90 billion contract for a French-built fleet of conventionally powered submarines and opting instead for nuclear-powered versions in a deal secretly brokered with the US and Britain.

The deal came amid concern in Australia and the US about China's increasingly assertive presence in the Pacific region.

– Reported with Associated Press

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