AUKUS Defense Ministers Meeting

4 December 2023

United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III hosted the Honourable Richard Marles MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Australia, and the Right Honourable Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Defence, United Kingdom, at the Defense Innovation Unit Headquarters in California on 2 December to discuss the AUKUS enhanced defense and security partnership.

The Secretaries and Deputy Prime Minister reviewed the exceptional progress that has been made since the March 2023 announcement of the Optimal Pathway for Australia to acquire conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines.  They discussed the strategic significance of this endeavor and the deterrence effect it is already delivering.  They reaffirmed their commitment to delivering each phase, to include establishing Submarine Rotational Force-West (SRF-West) in Australia as early as 2027, selling U.S. Virginia-class submarines to Australia from the early 2030s, and delivering SSN-AUKUS to the Royal Navy in the late 2030s and the first Australian-built SSN-AUKUS to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in the early 2040s.

For more information read the full AUKUS Defense Ministers Meeting Joint Statement.