About SIA

About SIA


To promote informed discussion and research in the fields of submarine operations, engineering, history and commercial sub-sea engineering - otherwise known as submarine matters.


The Institute initiates, supports or promotes discussions and projects that support this objective.

Current Areas of Involvement

The Institute is currently pursuing the following  areas of interest and activity:

  • Following the Government decision to cancel SEA 1000, the first initiative under AUKUS is for Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarine technology, leveraging decades of experience from the US and UK. Under AUKUS, the three nations will focus immediately on identifying the optimal pathway to deliver at least eight nuclear-powered submarines for Australia, to replace the current Collins class fleet. As a start to this endeavour, Australia, the UK and US will intensely examine the full suite of requirements that underpin nuclear stewardship and demonstrate a clear pathway to becoming a responsible and reliable steward of this sensitive technology. Australia will establish a Nuclear-Powered Submarine Taskforce in the Department of Defence to lead this work. Nuclear-powered submarines do not have the same limitations that face conventional submarines on weapons storage, speed and endurance. They can stay completely submerged for many months, limiting the opportunities for detection by adversaries.As a three-ocean nation, it is necessary for Australia to have access to the most capable submarine technology available. As a nation, we are ready to take the step to pursue the most advanced submarine technology available to defend Australia and its national interests. 

  • A recent independent (not SIA, but informed) published discussion article on nuclear submarine options for Australia is available here

  • There is extensive community interest in how Australian companies and organisations can participate in the successful realisation of this, the largest defence acquisition program ever undertaken in Australia.  The SIA maintains a focussed interest in all aspects of the project: it comments and makes submissions when it sees benefit in doing so.
  • Facilitation of an informed discussion on the maintenance and expansion of Australia's submarine capability and the consequential requirements for a Life of Type Extension for the Collin's class fleet.  This intensive interest is a core objective of the SIA - probably more so than any other organisation outside government.  The timescales involved and the nature of life extension sytem upgrades are significant issues monitored by the Institute.
  • The SIA places great importance on the education of the community in the role and cost-effectiveness of the submarine force.  The institute organises annual conference and promotes educational programs for schools and other groups, to explain the complexities of submarine design and capability.  It engages community groups to understand their concerns about further extensions to current capability.  Items for discussion might include:
    • East coast submarine basing
    • Adequate submarine numbers;
    • Long range land attack missile strike capability for Australian submarines;
    • Adoption of nuclear propulsion for Australian submarines.
  • The SIA is committed to encouraging young people to serve in the Australian Defence Force - particularly the Submarine Force.  The SIA is actively involved in supporting and promoting the 'Subs-in-Schools' program by providing/facilitating financial and professional support to young people interested in a submarine related career - whether that be in the Navy or in Defence Industry.  The SIA are very concious of the pipeline of talent required to crew and support the future submarines and are committed to fostering interest for young Australians who will be the future submarine workforce. 
  • Developing initiatives to increase the membership of the SIA.
  • Continuing to promote to the public, the efforts leading to the discovery of the wreck of HMAS AE1 of the SE coast of the Duke of York Islands PNG, 103 years after she was lost with all hands , on 14th September 1914.  Support of the project to monitor the rate of deterioration of the hull and to protect the precise location of the last resting place of her crew of 35 brave men from those wishing to desecrate the remains of the hull and its contents
  • Advocating the preservation and presentation of the submarine HMAS AE2 located in Turkish waters in the Sea of Marmara, contributing to an informed debate on the future of the wreck, ensuring the the contribution of AE2 to the Gallipoli campaign  is duly recognised and promoting an educational project on AE2 to recognise the historical significance of her WW1 operations.
    • There is an AE2 education project available on the ATOM website:  there are two programs available for free dowload : one for primary level and the other for secondary level.
  • Establishment of an Australian National Submarine Museum.  The purpose of the ANSM is to tell the story of submarines in Australia's history to the whole of the Australian community and to others who have an interest.  It will aim to achieve this through an easily accessible, high quality website which will include links to relevant physical displays in Australia and around the world.  It is to be an online presentation of a network of information that shows the role of submarines in Australia's story.  A link to the pilot website is here.
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