According to a press release from the Royal Navy, three Royal Australian Navy officers have made history by qualifying as nuclear engineers following an intensive nine-month training programme at HMS Sultan in Gosport.

This is a big step in developing Australia’s future nuclear-powered submarine capability under the AUKUS agreement.

Lieutenant Commander James, Lieutenant Isabella, and Lieutenant Steve completed a rigorous training regime that combined six months of academic studies and three months of hands-on training. They will now join their Royal Navy counterparts on Astute-class submarines to gain practical experience, with Lieutenant Commander James assigned to HMS Agamemnon, which is nearing completion in Barrow.

Vice Admiral Mark Hammond, Chief of the Royal Australian Navy, praised the officers for their dedication and the Royal Navy for providing world-class training. “This demonstrates the exceptional skillset and knowledge of our people undertaking this unique training from the Royal Navy – a long-standing partner and friend to the Royal Australian Navy,” he said.

Class of newly qualified nuclear engineers conduct a march past with 2SL

The training covered a wide range of topics, including nuclear physics, metallurgy, advanced mathematics, thermodynamics, and nuclear safety management. Practical training involved learning the inner workings of nuclear systems and mastering control room simulators to handle potential incidents and emergencies.

This training is part of the broader AUKUS agreement between the UK, Australia, and the US, aimed at enhancing Australia’s conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarine capabilities. Vice Admiral Martin Connell, the Royal Navy’s Second Sea Lord, attended the graduation ceremony, underscoring the significance of this achievement.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Jim (@guest_833247)
11 days ago

Good news, I always thought the Australians would get more benefit from following the UK rather than the US on its SSN program. The boats are likely to have massively reduced crew compliments and cheaper running cost than their US counterparts and the training in the UK is much more strait forward for Australian personnel than in the US. Most of them probably have friends and family in Acton west London as well 😀 The 20 or so SSN-A boats might end up making well over a third of the entire AUKUS submarine force one day given the difficulties America… Read more »

Last edited 11 days ago by Jim
Jon (@guest_833257)
11 days ago
Reply to  Jim

In times of international stress, overbuilding can be a good choice. As we can see with the Norwegian potential purchase of T26. Having extra build capacity can lead to exports. Getting the first SSN-A out early for Australia rather than ourselves, in lieu of the third Virginia, could well be the best strategy for all three countries. The way SSN-X is going, the Americans might end up building a souped up SSN-A for themselves. We’ll be using a modular VLS section anyway. As long as either an extended module or a second module can be included and they don’t fiddle… Read more »

ABCRodney (@guest_833368)
10 days ago
Reply to  Jon

I don’t think anything will start to firm up till after the US Elections, no one alive can foresee what Tango man may do. The US has actually increased the intended size of its future Battle-force from 50 SSN by 2040 to 66 by 2045, which is a hell of an ambition. At present the US congress is authorising 2 boats pa, but industry is only delivering 1.2, so build time is going from 6 years to 8 and getting worse. Meanwhile the Columbia SSBN has been delayed by Northrop being unable to deliver key components. From what I can… Read more »

ABCRodney (@guest_833318)
10 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Jim why do you think it’s far more straight forward for RAN to train in U.K. rather than USN ?