The Framework Agreement details the terms and conditions through which Naval Group Australia and ASC will collaborate through separate commercial arrangements for the provision of supplies and services to each other, including:
- Workforce development – co-ordinate resources and talent pools to plan future activities in support of both Australian Sovereign Submarine Programs. These measures will help ensure both Naval Group Australia and ASC have the skills and experience to meet the immediate and long term demands of the submarine programs.
- OH&S training and services – draw on ASC’s well established safety culture and system to support Naval Group Australia to grow its own safety program in Australia. Collectively, this will help build a better, safer sovereign submarine enterprise.
- Supply chain services – draw on each other’s existing supply chain knowledge to further develop the supply chains in the Australian Sovereign Submarine Programs. Leveraging this knowledge will provide many benefits, including maximising Australian Industry Capability, reducing through-life costs and promoting investment by industry.
Naval Group Australia and ASC will establish joint working groups to manage the Framework Agreement and identify, develop and recommend other collaboration opportunities.
“Naval Group and ASC are natural partners,” said John Davis, Chief Executive Officer, Naval Group Australia. “We share common values and are ideally placed to maximise the synergies between the ongoing Collins class sustainment program and the design and build of the Attack class submarines.”
“This innovative collaboration with ASC is a key enabling component of Naval Group’s commitment to design and build 12 Attack class submarines. It will support the development of a sovereign submarine capability, providing economic benefits and supporting industrial development to deliver a multi-generational submarine enterprise to Australia,” said Mr Davis.
ASC Chief Executive Officer Stuart Whiley said: “It’s an exciting time for ASC and our people to be working with Naval Group for the Attack Class Submarine program and this agreement will provide Collins Class
life-extension program access to Naval Group technology. With Naval Group and ASC working together, I’m confident that both Australian Sovereign Submarine Programs will deliver for Australia now and in the future.”
The construction and sustainment of the Collins class submarines by ASC since the 1980s has delivered beyond-world benchmark submarine availability to the Royal Australian Navy. Naval Group will work with ASC to leverage this experience and the achievements and lessons from the Collins Program, to help ensure the success of the Future Submarine Program.
The Australian Government selected Naval Group (then known as DCNS) as its preferred international partner for the design of 12 Future submarines for the Royal Australian Navy on April 26 2016. In the SEA1000 project, DCNS was competing with the Shortfin Barracuda design against Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) Type 216 and Japan’s Soryu-class designs. Based on the new Barracuda nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) of the French Navy (the first ship of the class is set to be launched this summer), Australia’s Attack-class submarine will be 97 meters in length and 8.8 meters in diameter.
In September 2016, Lockheed Martin was selected as the preferred combat system integrator and signed the contract for the Future Submarine Combat System Design, Build and Integration in January 2018.
Naval Group partnered with services provider KBR to support the design of a new construction yard at the Osborne Naval shipyard (South Australia) where 12 Attack-class submarines are expected to be built (with technology transfer from Naval Group).
The submarines are considered the backbone of the Australian government’s US$63.8 billion (A$90 billion) National Shipbuilding Plan. Unveiled in May 2017, the unprecedented plan calls for 54 new naval vessels to be built locally.