The Future Submarine Program will deliver a future submarine capability to the Australian Defence Force, to replace the Collins Class submarine. It will be a long and complex design and construction project, which will need to harness an unprecedented amount of support from all corners of Australian industry, Defence and Government.
The 2009 White Paper called for a Future Submarine with longer range, higher endurance and a greater breadth of capabilities than the existing Collins Class fleet. The Future Submarine will be a unique design for Australia as there are no off-the-shelf solutions that meet our unique capability requirements.
In April 2016, the Australian Government announced following the conclusion of a competitive evaluation process, that DCNS of France had been selected as the international design partner to work with Australia to design the fleet of 12 Future Submarines.
Government further announced in September 2016 that Lockheed Martin Australia has been selected as the Future Submarine Combat System Integrator. Lockheed Martin Australia will partner with Defence and DCNS to design and integrate the combat system into the Future Submarine.
Design and mobilization activities between Australia and DCNS are underway as well as work to maximise Australian industry involvement and early planning for the construction of the submarines in Australia.
As outlined in the 2016 Defence Industry Policy Statement, involvement of Australian industry is critical to the delivery of the Future Submarine Program including construction and sustainment of the submarine fleet into the future. One of the objectives of the Competitive Evaluation Process was to maximise Australian industry involvement without compromising capability, cost, schedule and risk.
Australian Industry has and will continue to hold an important role in the largest Defence procurement program in Australia’s history, which represents an investment in the order of $50 billion in Australia’s security.
The future submarines are an essential component of Australia’s future naval capability and the Government is committed to ensuring that they provide the best possible capability and value for money for Australian taxpayers while maximising the involvement of Australian industry.