The first of anything is expensive. Theodore Wright studied this in the 1930s and found a mathematical relationship between how many of a thing have been made and how much cheaper and faster production becomes. Wright’s Law states that for every doubling of production, the cost drops by a certain percentage determined in large part by how complex the production line is.
It’s hard to imagine a more complex production line than that for nuclear submarines. Look at Britain’s difficulties as it builds seven boats in its Astute-class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) program.
Wright’s Law suggests that by the eighth and final nuclear submarine made in Australia—provided everything goes well—our production will be about …