Historic AUKUS pact cements ties between UK, USA, and Australia, securing jobs and ensuring resilience in Barrow for decades to come.

The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak MP, has announced an historic deal with Australia and the United States of America which will see British designed nuclear powered submarines used by the Australian Royal Navy.

Alongside President Biden and Prime Minister Albenese, Mr Sunak announced the next stage of the AUKUS pact between Britain, the USA and Australia. After 18 months of deliberations, the Australian government has agreed to use Barrow-designed SSNR submarines for their navy in the future. This decision will lead to a deep integration between our three nations, with Australian workers and Australian Royal Navy officials working and learning in Barrow’s shipyard for decades to come while their own shipbuilding programme starts from scratch.

The next generation of hunter killer submarines, SSNR, will therefore be in use by both the UK and Australia, boosting resilience across both countries.

Under the initial AUKUS deal, the United States and Great Britain agreed to provide Australia with the technology and capability to deploy nuclear-powered submarines as part of joint efforts to counter the increasing threat posed by China and other potential aggressors in the Indo-Pacific region.

President Biden announced that the short-term gap in building the SSNR submarines is to be plugged by Australia buying up to five Virginia-class submarines from the US as part of the three-way deal.

The Prime Minister said the Aukus partnership would deliver “one of the most advanced” submarines “the world has ever known”, creating thousands of jobs in British shipyards.

It is expected that BAE systems in Barrow will carry out the work for the designing and building the SSN-AUKUS boats, adding potentially thousands more jobs to a workforce which is expected to grow to at least 17,000 in the near future..

The announcement has been welcomed by Furness’ MP, Simon Fell, who says that this is a ‘major vote of confidence’ in Barrow’s shipyard.

Commenting, Simon said:

“This is huge news for Barrow, and vitally important for the safety and security of our NATO allies.

“What the women and men do in the shipyard in Barrow is second to none. I’ve long since maintained that, if asked to deliver, Barrow’s workforce will step up and deliver – as we always do.

“I’m delighted that the Australian government have given this major vote of confidence in our workforce. My thanks also go to the Secretary of State for Defence, the PM, and the Foreign Secretary for helping to get this deal over the line.

“The government and I have always backed Barrow’s shipyard, and this is further indication that our plan for Furness is working – backing the shipyard, and protecting local jobs.”

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