Submarines in Australia

Submarines in Australia

Why does Australia have a submarine capability?

Submarines are able to operate in waters and under air space controlled by another country, whilst avoiding detection or causing a diplomatic incident. Combined with long range and extended time on task, these attributes enable Australia's submarines to operate throughout the world's oceans.
Submarines offer a number of critical options in the defence of Australia, including the ability to:

  • Undertake significant intelligence roles, thereby enhancing our understanding of the developing maritime capabilities in our region, at the same time generating insight into the future intentions of targeted countries.
  • Deter, and if necessary retaliate against a foe interfering with Australia’s maritime trade
  • Threaten and, if necessary, launch precise attacks on selected maritime and land targets without exposing our intentions, the positioning of our launch platform or laying that platform open to immediate retaliation
  • Maintain a presence in maritime areas, in circumstances where we do not control the air or sea surface or when an overt presence may be unwelcome or inflammatory
  • Dominate the underwater warfare environment, thereby stretching an adversary’s capacity to operate in that environment, at the same time limiting the adversary’s surface warfare options
  • Destroy, if necessary, the adversary’s surface warships and commercial shipping.
  • Be able to exploit the following military strategies:
    • Create and exploit uncertainty regarding our force dispositions and intentions
    • Create unacceptable risks for the potential opponent by moving against us
    • Impose significant constraints on freedom of action of a potential opponent? 
    • Reinforce the unpredictability of our own force disposition


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