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US and UK ‘reluctant’ to lease submarines to Australia until ‘sufficiently skilled’

The US and UK would be reluctant to lease Australia a nuclear submarine until it has sufficiently skilled personnel to man it, according to Sky News Political Editor Andrew Clennell.

“The Australian government is still working with the US and UK governments on the possibility of leasing their submarines before the first nuclear submarine is built for Australia by 2040,” Mr Clennell said.

“Despite officials saying in Senate estimates recently that there was no prospect at the moment of this type of lease arrangement occurring, it is my understanding the government is still working towards this and the minister (Peter Dutton) is pushing for it.

“The biggest hitch will be the crewing of such boats, but the US and UK are opening up graduate positions for Australians to train to be nuclear submariners, as I understand it.

“The US and UK would be reluctant to lease Australia a boat until it has sufficiently skilled personnel, lest any resultant problems reflect on the reputation of their programs.”

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