Australian news, and some related international items

Wong, Marles schedule US trip as nuclear submarine deadline nears

Financial Review, Andrew TillettPolitical correspondent, 26 Oct 22,

Annual top-level foreign affairs and defence talks will be held in Washington in December, allowing senior officials to lock down final details over Australia’s planned purchase of nuclear-powered submarines before the Albanese government publicly outlines its plans for the multibillion-dollar project.

With this year’s federal budget eschewing major funding decisions in the defence portfolioThe Australian Financial Review understands the US will for the third year running host the annual AUSMIN talks between the Australian and US governments………..

One defence source suggested that holding talks in the US would result in the ministers being accompanied by a bigger-than-usual cohort of Australian officials to speak to US counterparts from the Defence and Energy departments about the submarine project.

The nuclear submarine taskforce, which is examining the best options for Australia to acquire nuclear submarine technology from the US and UK under the AUKUS partnership, is due to report to the Albanese government in March after an 18-month study on what submarine to acquire, where it will be built, delivery timetable, cost and any interim measures required to avoid a capability gap.

Separately, former defence minister Stephen Smith and former Defence Force chief Angus Houston are conducting a Defence Strategic Review looking at the military’s weapons needs in light of deteriorating regional security. That review is also due in March.

Both reviews will outline billions of dollars in new spending for Defence that will need to begin to be accommodated when the next budget is handed down in May.

This year’s budget papers fail to reflect the significant increase in funding required for existing projects as construction gets under way in earnest…………………………….. more


October 27, 2022 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war

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