Babcock collaborates on design for next gen AUKUS nuclear submarines


According to a PR published by Babcock on October 2, 2023, the firm has inked a five-year deal with the UK Ministry of Defence to shape the detailed design of the forthcoming 'Ship Submersible Nuclear AUKUS' (SSN-A) submarines, set to succeed the Astute Class by the late 2030s.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist rendering of the future SSN-AUKUS class submarine. (Picture source: UK Government)


In line with the AUKUS agreement, the trilateral partnership among Australia, the UK, and the US, the SSN-A design is also the blueprint Australia intends to employ for their new submarine fleet. The pact underscores the collaborative efforts of these nations in enhancing nuclear submarine capabilities.

Complementing the Ministry of Defence and its Enterprise Partners, Babcock will leverage its comprehensive expertise in intricate submarine service and maintenance. The goal is to embed this knowledge directly into the SSN-A design, ensuring peak availability throughout its operational lifespan.

Babcock singularly operates the UK's exclusive facility dedicated to refitting and maintaining nuclear submarines. They currently oversee the full spectrum of the Royal Navy's nuclear submarine arsenal, extending their lifecycle support to various classes including Vanguard, Trafalgar, and Astute.

SSN-AUKUS

The SSN-AUKUS, often dubbed SSN-A, represents an upcoming class of nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSN). The UK's Royal Navy plans to commission these vessels in the late 2030s, followed by the Royal Australian Navy in the 2040s. This new class is poised to replace Australia's Collins class submarines.

Australia intends to construct eight SSN-AUKUS submarines and will also procure three nuclear-powered Virginia class submarines from the United States.

The SSN-AUKUS class will utilize Rolls-Royce's pressurized water reactors (PWR) for power. Moreover, these submarines will integrate US technology, including a unified vertical launch system.