Australia creates a new agency to manage the AUKUS submarine project.

With the creation of the Australian Submarine Agency (ASA), the [Australian] Government has taken the next step towards building nuclear-powered submarines with conventional weapons.

With its official creation today, the ASA will be responsible for managing and supervising the nuclear-powered submarine program.

The Government is pleased to announce the appointment of Vice Admiral Jonathan Mead as the Agency’s inaugural Director General.

As head of the Nuclear-Powered Submarine Taskforce, Vice Admiral Mead demonstrated his leadership and judgment in supporting the establishment of the path to acquiring this critical capability through the AUKUS partnership.

The ASA has over 350 Australian Defense Force and Public Services employees, including many who have transitioned from the nuclear-powered Submarine Task Force and others who have joined since the government’s announcement in March 2023. Headcount is expected to double to over 680 employees over the next year, leveraging the diverse competencies required to carry out this important undertaking.

It will be based in Canberra with staff across the country and abroad, in the US and UK, working with communities, unions, industry and governments to deliver the propulsion submarine program. 

The ASA, created by Executive Order, is a non-corporate entity of the Commonwealth that forms part of the Defense portfolio and reports to the Minister of Defense.

Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles MP said: “This is an important day, marking our next step towards the acquisition of conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarines, which is the largest investment in our defense capability in our history.

The Australian Submarine Agency will be instrumental in providing a game-changing capability for Australia’s defense and regional security.

“I congratulate Vice Admiral Mead on his appointment as inaugural Director General and all members of the Agency for the work they have done to date and will do to provide this capability and keep Australians safe.”

Defense Industry Minister Pat Conroy MP said: “The Australian Submarine Agency will be vital in developing the capability to operate our nuclear-powered submarines.

“Our acquisition of conventional nuclear submarines will create 20,000 jobs for the Australian economy.

“The Agency will play a critical role not only in the growth and development of Australia’s industrial base for the manufacture of conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarines but also in strengthening our partnership with the US and the UK for a stronger and more secure Australia and Indo-Pacific region.”

Australian Submarine Agency Director General Vice Admiral Jonathan Mead said: “I am proud to lead the Australian Submarine Agency and recognize the importance of the task ahead of us as we deliver nuclear-powered submarines to Australia with conventional weaponry.

“This nation-building program will be our history’s most transformative industrial and technical effort.

“I am committed to continuing to work with our partners at AUKUS and all Australian stakeholders to deliver Australia’s fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.”

Australian Department of Defense