South Australia partners with HII to prepare suppliers for AUKUS

Image credit: Department of Defence

Premier Peter Malinauskas announced a new initiative in collaboration with America’s largest shipbuilder, HII, to integrate South Australian companies into the global supply chain for nuclear-powered submarines.

The announcement was made during the Premier’s visit to HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division in Virginia, where Virginia Class submarines are constructed.

The agreement connects the South Australian Government to HII’s Supplier Capability Uplift Program, the government said in a news release.

This program will allow selected South Australian suppliers to participate in the highly specialized and technical supply chain required for building nuclear-powered, conventionally armed submarines.

“HII is America’s largest shipbuilder and they are at the global forefront of this technology,” said Premier Malinauskas.

“Through this program, we are making a highly strategic investment that will help to open avenues and opportunities for South Australian suppliers to compete for work on the Virginia Class Submarine Program, and ultimately the AUKUS program,” the premier added.

Under the program, HII will evaluate South Australian companies providing design and engineering, equipment integration, advanced manufacturing, welding, fabrication, and quality services.

These evaluations will be based on the stringent requirements used for HII’s current US suppliers.

After the evaluation process, participating companies will receive tailored reports with recommendations for capability development and improvement activities needed to compete for contracts in the Virginia Class Submarine Program.

South Australian businesses will have the opportunity to apply for matched funding to address these recommendations.

The information gathered through the program will support the South Australian Government’s industry development initiatives, enhancing the ability of local companies to enter international supply chains.

his initiative aims to position South Australian firms to participate in the supply chain for the Virginia Class and eventually the AUKUS nuclear-powered submarines to be constructed at Osborne in Adelaide.

This partnership follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Malinauskas Government and HII Nuclear Australia Pty Ltd in November of last year.

The MoU outlined a collaborative effort to develop a skilled Australian workforce and bolster the nation’s industrial capabilities.

“I want to ensure South Australian suppliers have a head start in competing to enter the global supply chain for nuclear-powered submarines,” said Premier Malinauskas.

“AUKUS represents a once-in-a-generation economic opportunity for our state, but only if we seize it. By doing the hard work now, we can ensure South Australia is well-placed to lift our economic complexity for decades to come,” he added.