Australia’s new fleet of 12 submarines will be built by DCNS of France in South Australia
Australia will get to possess the new Barracuda-class submarines which will be built to Australian specifications for a conventional, non-nuclear powered submarine in 8-10 years from the signing of the contract.
Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) and the government of Japan were the two unsuccessful bidders in the bid to build 12 submarines to replace Australia’s Collins-class submarines.
Japanese defence minister Gen Nakatani said the decision was “deeply regrettable” and that his government will ask Australia to explain why they didn’t pick our design.”
The submarines will cost $20bn to build and $30bn to maintain over their expected lifetime of 30 years.
Australian Prime Minister Turnbull said the submarine contract would “secure Australia, secure our island nation, but also ensure that our economy transitions to the economy of the 21st century”. The submarine project alone would create 2,800 jobs, he said.
Some components may come from France while the combat system will be sourced from the US.
Turbull announced that the cost implications of building some of the vessels overseas relative to the completely local build were “comprehensively examined”. Nevertheless, he said the government was committed to the principle that “every dollar we spend on defence procurement as far as possible should be spent in Australia”.
Explaining why the French offer triumphed, Turnbull said “the recommendation of our competitive evaluation process was unequivocal, that the French offer represented the capabilities best able to meet Australia’s unique needs.”
Industry minister Chris Pyne said the announcement secures Osborne in South Australia as the centre of the defence industry for naval ship building into the future.
“This of course means a continuous naval shipbuilding industry for decades into the future which all first world countries should aspire to.”
While several Australian commentators claimed that the Japanese represented the best technology including a lithium-ion battery system which would allow the subs to remain underwater longer than the air-independent propulsion technology of DCNS.
DCNS chief executive, Sean Costello has been quoted as saying that while exact details remain confidential, the Shortfin Barracuda is over 90 metres in length and displaces more than 4,000 tonnes when dived.
“The Shortfin Barracuda will remain in service until the 2060s and will be updated and upgraded with new technology developed in france and Australia,” he said.
Australia has shortlisted three European companies as part of its AUD 40 billion (US $31 billion) naval modernization program. UK based BAE Systems, Italys Fincantieri and Spanish Navantia had been asked to refine designs for nine new frigates to be built for AUD 35 billion, Wall street Journal reported Monday
A decision on the $36 billion Australian submarine program construction site is likely within two weeks. The Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is preparing to reveal the site for construction before the elections are announced,
Germany is ready to build all 12 subs for half the price Australia is budgeting. Hans Atzpodien, chairman of ThysennKrupp Marine Systems told Australias National Press Club Thursday that “the Germans could build all 12 subs in Australia for AU$20 billion (US $15
DCNS is hoping for a positive response for its submarine bid in Australia and commissioning of the first submarine to India this year. “Winning of a major naval defence export contract, in particular in Australia will require sustained effort throughout the year,” the company said in a statement Monday
France is offering the Australian Government complete access to the stealth technologies utilised on board French nuclear-powered general-purpose attack submarines (SSNs) and ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs). The very nature of these stealth technologies and the decision to release them to the Australian Government is a significant demonstration of the strategic nature of this program for the French authorities, DCNS said in a press statement Tuesday
ThyssenKrupp (TKMS) has offered to buy Australian shipbuilder ASC to create a Pacific advanced manufacturing hub to build, maintain and export combat boats to Australia's regional allies. TKMS says it is prepared to take over ASC, formerly known as the Australian Submarine Corporation, in order to "replicate" its German shipbuilding operations in Australia, Financial Review news daily reported Sunday
Indian firms are likely to contribute to $50 billion submarine project involving French DCNS for Australia by obtaining sub-contracts. "India and Australia as decided during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Australia in 2014 have ventured into the areas of defence collaboration and joint research
DCNS will begin designs of the Australian Future Submarine after the discussions on cost this year. The Australian Government selected DCNS as its preferred international partner for the design of 12 Future submarines for the Royal Australian Navy Tuesday
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