Will Australia own and operate any nuclear powered submarines by 2040?

Under the AUKUS partnership Australia intends to acquire a nuclear-powered submarine capability (SSNs). This will be a long and expensive undertaking, even with the help of the US. A key question is, when will SSNs start to enter service. The government has suggested around 2040.

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Aukus currently has Australia slated to acquire 3 Virginia class submarines in the 2030’s according to Reuters (https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/australia-expected-buy-up-5-virginia-class-submarines-part-aukus-sources-2023-03-08/)

Even failing this, the projected acquisition of newly built submarines is for 2038 according to the abc (https://amp.abc.net.au/article/103083780), which also projects that the first sales of the virginia classes are likely to be sold in 2032 and 2035.

While delays would not be unlikely and the sales of the Virginias has not been unopposed, given there’s several ways in which YES can be fulfilled the position seems underpriced.