AUKUS First: Babcock, Bechtel Australia and HII sign MOU to identify opportunities to support Australia’s Nuclear-Powered Submarine Program

HII Babcock Bechtel

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In an AUKUS-first collaboration, HII (NYSE: HII), Babcock Australasia (Babcock) and Bechtel Australia have agreed to work together to identify opportunities to leverage their complementary set of skills and experience to establish and support Australia’s conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarine program.

HII, Babcock and Bechtel Australia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

It is the first group of companies in Australia to announce they are collaborating in this way to identify opportunities to support the required nuclear-powered submarine program from infrastructure build through to the end of life of the submarines.

It builds on the recent announcement Babcock and HII have combined forces in Australia to support nuclear-powered submarine capability under the AUKUS endeavour.

The three companies will work together to identify ways in which they can help to overcome short and long-term challenges required to deliver Australia’s nuclear-powered submarines including:

  • Skilled workforce development
  • Nuclear infrastructure design and build
  • Submarine defueling and decommissioning
  • Nuclear waste and material management.

Collectively, Babcock, Bechtel Australia and HII have more than 150 years of experience supporting the UK, USA and Australian submarine fleets, as well as experience delivering complex, large infrastructure projects and critical workforce development.

Cavendish Nuclear, a wholly owned subsidiary of Babcock International Group, and Bechtel have an established track record of successfully working together at Sellafield, the UK’s oldest nuclear storage facility, and through its collaboration to support infrastructure upgrade work at Babcock’s Devonport site in Plymouth, UK.

Quotes attributable to:

HII President Nuclear and Environmental Services Group Michael Lempke

“Together our companies recognize the importance and value of maintaining a nuclear stewardship culture in the submarine life-cycle that emphasizes rigorous training, adherence to stringent safety standards, continuous learning, and a shared responsibility for the well-being of all stakeholders. We are committed to demonstrating these principles daily, to safeguard our people and the environment and foster public trust.”

Babcock Australasia CEO Andrew Cridland 

“The Babcock, Bechtel Australia and HII collaboration offers unrivalled, global experience across defence, nuclear, workforce and infrastructure to support the delivery of Australia’s largest and most ambitious defence agenda.

“Babcock is a world-leader in submarine capability, bringing our extensive global experience in sustainment, nuclear safety and stewardship to this AUKUS-first collaboration.

“We believe this relationship is critical to ensure the nation has the capability, expertise and skilled workforce it needs to operate, manage and ultimately dispose of nuclear-powered submarines from sovereign bases.”

Bechtel Australia Public Infrastructure Managing Director Dr Richard Freer OBE

“Skilled workforce development is one of the biggest challenges that the AUKUS enterprise must overcome, and it is great to see industry working together and in close concert with Australian universities and state and federal governments to find ways to help close the future skills gap.

“Babcock, Bechtel Australia and HII collectively bring insights and experience across all aspects of nuclear submarine engineering and construction, and by working together through this MOU we can help develop optimised solutions based on more strategic thinking to the AUKUS resource and infrastructure challenges.”

About Babcock

Babcock is an international defence company operating in our focus countries of the UK, Australasia, Canada, France and South Africa, with exports to additional markets with potential to become focus countries. We meet our customers’ key requirements of affordability, availability, and capability by delivering engineering, support and critical systems to defence and civil markets.

Globally, Babcock is a proven, trusted leader in sustainment, nuclear safety and stewardship playing a crucial role in the UK, US, and Australia’s submarine programs today. Babcock is the number one Navy ship sustainer in Australia and NZ, employing more than 1,800 people.

Media contact: Katrina Stokes (+61 412 658 380) [email protected]

About Bechtel

Bechtel is a trusted engineering, construction and project management partner to industry and government. Differentiated by the quality of our people and our relentless drive to deliver the most successful outcomes, we align our capabilities to our customers’ objectives to create a lasting positive impact. Since 1898, we have helped customers complete more than 25,000 projects in 160 countries on every continent, that have created jobs, grown economies, improved the resiliency of the world’s infrastructure, increased access to energy, resources, and vital services.

Bechtel serves the Energy; Infrastructure; Manufacturing and Technology; Mining and Metals; and Nuclear, Security and Environmental markets. Our services span from initial planning and investment, through to start-up and operations.

Media contact: Sandra Murphy (+61 407 612 700) [email protected]

About HII

HII is a global, all-domain defense provider. HII’s mission is to deliver the world’s most powerful ships and all-domain solutions in service of the nation, creating the advantage for our customers to protect peace and freedom around the world.

As the nation’s largest military shipbuilder, and with a more than 135-year history of advancing U.S. national security, HII delivers critical capabilities extending from ships to unmanned systems, cyber, ISR, AI/ML and synthetic training. Headquartered in Virginia, HII’s workforce is 44,000 strong. For more information, visit:

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