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Marles looks at early nuclear sub delivery

An interim report on Australia’s military capabilities and a timeline for nuclear submarines are being prepared amid speculation the first subs will be built in the US.

Defence Minister Richard Marles says initial reports will be provided to him in November but they won’t be made public.

The Wall Street Journal reported the White House is in talks to expedite the delivery of the subs to the mid-2030s by building the first ones in the US in a bid to counter China’s growing military might.

A spokesperson for Mr Marles reiterated his comments, saying: “It’s important to get the capability as soon as we can.”

“We are still doing the consultations to set out the optimal pathway for Australia to acquire the capability,” they said.

Mr Marles told Sky News on Sunday the original timeline for receiving the submarines in the 2040s would have opened a military capability gap.

“What we’ve sought from the process that’s underway with AUKUS right now is not simply to answer the question as to what platform we run with … but how soon we can get it,” he said.

Cost would also be considered in the bringing forward of any construction or acquisition, he said.

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