Sovereign control over the Attack Class Submarine fleet and maximising Australian industry involvement throughout all phases of the Attack Class Submarine Program are contracted objectives in the Strategic Partnering Agreement between Defence and Naval Group. Defence remains focused on these objectives and Naval Group is committed to their achievement.
At this stage of the Program, the preliminary design phase of the Attack Class progressing through the activities with Naval Group’s design team in France and Adelaide and Lockheed Martin Australia’s design team in Adelaide. Over 137 Australian companies and organisations have subcontracts at this point. A listing of many of these is attached and will grow.
Design of the Attack Class will continue into the 2020s, transitioning to Australia during the detailed design phase. The build of a hull qualification section in Adelaide is projected to commence in 2023 to certify the Australian workers and construction yard equipment ahead of the construction of the first Attack Class Submarine.
As these activities progress, we will also be systematically approaching Australian industry to identify suitable suppliers of the vast array of equipment to be fitted to the submarine, ranging from hydraulic systems to galley equipment. Providing Australian industry with opportunities to become involved in the Program during design of the submarine offers us the best opportunity to develop capability and build the enduring industrial base we will need for the sovereign sustainment of the Attack Class fleet.
Our current work is focused on understanding the capabilities in Australian industry for the manufacture of submarine equipment, which differ from the capabilities required to sustain existing equipment for our Collins submarine fleet. This work is helping us to understand how Australian industry, including the existing Collins Class Submarine supply chain, can be best prepared to participate in the Attack Class Submarine Program as the manufacture of equipment and construction of the submarines ramps up in the mid-2020s.
As all of these activities progress, the level of Australian industry participation and the development of Australian industry capability will continue to grow, meeting our goal of maximising industry’s involvement in the Attack Class Submarine Program and sustaining the sovereign control our nation requires over this strategic Defence capability.