Submarine Rotational Force – West Infrastructure Project

Overview

Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States have joined together through the AUKUS partnership to support a stable, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific region. The first major initiative of the AUKUS partnership is the delivery of a conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarine capability for Australia.

From as early as 2027, AUKUS partners will have a rotational presence at HMAS Stirling (Garden Island, WA) of, one UK and up to 4 US, nuclear-powered submarines. This presence will be known as Submarine Rotational Force - West (SRF-West).

SRF-West will help Australia build the necessary operational capabilities and skills to be sovereign ready, so Australia can safely and securely own, operate, maintain and regulate a fleet of conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines from the early 2030s.

Over the next decade HMAS Stirling will be upgraded and enhanced to support the scale of infrastructure required for conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines.

Defence is preparing to submit two referrals to the Commonwealth Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water in mid-2024, for assessment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Commonwealth) (EPBC Act).

Factsheet: Submarine Rotational Force – West, Environmental assessment and approval (PDF, 3.92 MB)

Site investigations

Defence is undertaking technical studies to better understand the potential environmental, social and economic impacts of the planned infrastructure to Garden Island, Cockburn Sound and the wider region.

Project details

HMAS Stirling is already undergoing a significant program of works to support new Navy capabilities. Further infrastructure enhancements and upgrades are required to support the scale of infrastructure required for conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines. This includes for visiting and rotational submarines, and for Australia’s own nuclear-powered submarines in the future.

Details of works:

  • entry precinct upgrades
  • new on-site accommodation and training facilities
  • construction of on-shore power upgrades
  • upgrade of piers and wharves
  • new and retrofit of existing facilities and buildings
  • upgraded physical security measures.

Timeframe

Following Commonwealth Government approval in late 2023, some early works have commenced construction.

Subject to further approvals, construction of the remainder of the SRF-West infrastructure works is expected to commence in 2025.