Acting Prime Minister and Defense Secretary Richard Marles admits Australia will not currently have a nuclear submarine in the water until the 2040s, although his government is looking for ways to close the ‘capacity gap’.
Marles blamed the previous government for failing to secure a deal for new submarines, including pulling out of a multi-billion dollar deal with France to join the AUKUS pact with the United States to gain access to nuclear power. submarine technology.
Marles also defended the two-year renewals of the current military leadership as Commander in Chief of Defense Forces, General Angus Campbell, and Vice Chief of Defense Forces, Vice Admiral David Johnston.
“I think you have to look at the staff you have that you can put on the field and the way we can best use them,” Marles told RN Breakfast on Wednesday.
“It was not them who oversaw the problems and the problems we are now facing. It was the former government. I mean, the way the former government handled national security, especially defense purchases and specifically the purchase of submarines, was one of the worst defense purchase failures we’ve seen in our history.
“They dealt with manners in a completely political way. But they went with an option with Japan and then abandoned us. They went with an option where France spent billions of dollars and in the process of both we wasted years that we didn’t deliver.
When asked if the nation will have a submarine by 2030, Marles said he was looking at all options to move things forward, but the current arrangement wouldn’t see the submarines in the water until the 2040s.
“I think that’s extremely optimistic,” Marles said.
“The truth about where the former government left us at the election time is that they were looking at a new nuclear submarine in the 2040s. There they sat.
“We will be looking at every available option to try and bring that time forward. I think it would be very optimistic to bring it forward to eight years.”