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AUKUS: Australian MoD tours US Navy's Virginia class submarine.

| 2022

According to a tweet published by Ryan Chan on October 2, 2022, the Australian Minister of Defense, Richard Marles, tours the Virginia class nuclear-powered fast attack submarine USS Mississippi with the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III at Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III tours the Virginia-class submarine USS Mississippi with Australian Minister of Defense Richard Marles at Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. (Picture source: US DoD)

AUKUS is a trilateral security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, announced on 15 September 2021 for the Indo-Pacific region. Under the pact, the US and the UK will help Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarines.

Under the pact, the US will share nuclear propulsion technology with Australia the same as it has with the UK since 1958 under the US–UK Mutual Defence Agreement as will the UK. The Royal Australian Navy will acquire at least eight nuclear-powered submarines armed with conventional weapons to be built in Australia.

Australia will extend the life of its Collins-class submarines that the Attack class was due to replace and may consider leasing or buying nuclear-powered submarines from the US or the UK in the interim until the delivery of its future nuclear-powered submarines.

About the submarine USS Mississippi

USS Mississippi (SSN-782) is a Virginia-class submarine of the United States Navy, named for the state of Mississippi. The submarine was commissioned at a ceremony on 2 June 2012 in Pascagoula.

The submarine has a length of 114.9 meters (377 feet), a beam of 10.3 meters (34 feet), and a displacement of 7,800 tons light (7,800 tons full). She will be able to carry a complement of 132 sailors.

In contrast to a traditional bladed propeller, the Virginia class uses pump-jet propulsors by BAE Systems, originally developed for the Royal Navy's Swiftsure-class submarines. The propulsor significantly reduces the risks of cavitation, and allows quieter operation.

The Virginia Class is equipped with twelve Vertical Launch System (VLS) tubes and four torpedo tubes (starting with SSN 784 North Dakota [Block II], the 12 VLS tubes are replaced by 2 large-diameter payload tubes).

The submarines also carry Mk 48 ADCAP Torpedoes, UGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles, Mk 60 CAPTOR mines, advanced mobile mines, and unmanned underwater vehicles.

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