The Prime Minister of Australia announced on April 26 in Adelaide, that the next generation of 12 submarines will be constructed in Adelaide, with DCNS of France selected as the preferred international partner for the design.
The AUD50 billion (USD38 billion) Future Submarine Project is the largest and most complex defence acquisition Australia has ever undertaken. It will deliver a regionally-superior submarine that meets Australia’s unique national security requirements, as detailed in the 2016 Defence White Paper.
Today’s announcement follows the comprehensive Competitive Evaluation Process involving DCNS, TKMS (ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems) of Germany and the Government of Japan. Each bidder submitted very high quality proposals and the Australian Government thanked both TKMS and the Government of Japan for their ongoing commitment to Australia and their participation in the process.
The rigorous and independent process was led by Head of the Future Submarine Program, Rear Admiral Greg Sammut, and General Manager Submarines, retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Stephen Johnson, who was previously in charge of the program to replace the Ohio Class ballistic missile submarines.
The process was overseen by an independent Expert Advisory Panel, chaired by former Secretary of the United States Navy, Professor Donald Winter. It was peer reviewed by retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Paul Sullivan and retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Thomas Eccles.
This decision was driven by the French bid’s ability to best meet the unique capability requirements. These included superior sensor performance and stealth characteristics, as well as range and endurance similar to the 3,400-tonne Collins class submarine. The Government’s considerations also included cost, schedule, program execution, through-life support and Australian industry involvement.
Subject to discussions on commercial matters, the design of the Future Submarine with DCNS will begin this year.