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Nuclear Powered Submarines for Australia

Wed 1 Dec, 2021, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm

Zoom Presentation,


The announcement on 16 September of the historic AUKUS Alliance a trilateral security partnership, caught us all by surprise. In hindsight however, its origin can be traced to recent political events and the rapidly changing strategic military environment. The first major initiative of the Alliance is to assist Australia to acquire at least eight nuclear powered submarines with the US and UK helping with technology transfer. Exactly how that will be done is not yet clear as Vice Admiral Johnathan Mead AO has been appointed as the Chief Nuclear-Powered Submarine Task Force to conduct an 18 month study to “define the optimal the optimal path to acquire the submarines.” It will be a challenging project as the intention is to build all the submarines in South Australia in time to take over from the current Collins Class submarines as they retire from service.

We will look briefly at the origin of the Alliance and the regional reactions to it and then give and overview of the two SSN options available, the US Virginia Class and the UK Astute Class, outlining their roles and capabilities followed by a short excursion into the support facilities with a look at nuclear safety of these potent military vessels.

Presenter: John Bullard

John spent 35 years as an engineer officer in the Royal Navy. He qualified as a conventional submariner and as the RN nuclear submarine program expanded undertook an advanced marine engineering course studying nuclear submarine reactor design. His sea-time in nuclear submarines finished with a nine month unsupported deployment to the Far East. He followed by lecturing to engineer officers undergoing nuclear propulsion training before moving to the nuclear operational safety section. His design time was spent as the head of the future submarine nuclear propulsion plant section working on the as then unnamed, Astute Cass machinery design. In London in the Naval Staff Operational Requirements Directorate he managed the concept studies for the Astute class. He became an Australian citizen in 2009.


Date and Time: 1100, Wednesday 1st. December 2021 (Sydney time)
Click the link below to join the ZOOM meeting.


Meeting ID: 853 5395 9806
Passcode: 3411035234

Please join us


Wed 1 Dec, 2021
11:00 am - 2:00 pm


Naval Historical Society of Australia
02 9537 0035
View Organiser Website


Zoom Presentation