Submarine Institute of Australia

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Critical step in commitment to submarines


25th April 2016

 Media Release – 26 April 2016


The Submarine Institute of Australia (SIA) welcomes the announcement to award the next phase of development of Australia’s submarine capability to France’s DCNS.

“The announcement is a critical step in the ongoing commitment to Australia’s submarine capability,” said the SIA’s Executive Director, David Nicholls.

“The best submarine with the best capability represents the best outcome for Australia.

“The commitment to establish a strong relationship with an international design partner represents a sound way to achieve the capability Australia needs.

“This latest decision sets a path which assists with ensuring a sustainable and effective submarine capability, which must be maintained during the transition from Collins-class submarines to the future submarines.

“Australia requires 12 submarines to enable at least two submarines to be on patrol at long range and another two to be available at short notice, should they be required.”

The emphasis on construction in Australia is also a significant outcome – for both national security and local engineering innovation.

“Australia must gain and maintain sovereignty over its submarine capability so that it can maintain control over the stealth of its submarines,” Mr Nicholls said.

“Australian industry must be involved in the Australia adaption of the French-designed submarine from concept design onwards to ensure a successful outcome.

“The Australian Government is to be commended for making a commitment to construct 12 submarines in Australia, which is in line with the SIA’s consistent advice to government.”

With the successful design partner revealed, the next steps will include a rigorous and resource-intensive period of preliminary – then detailed – design, supported by research, development, testing and evaluation, and involving cost-benefit studies and decisions.

“The SIA stands ready to support all of this through to the final design and construction contract, which is expected to be signed in 2019,” Mr Nicholls said.

This year’s SIA conference will focus on the transition to Australia’s future submarines and we look forward to exploring these issues further at this event, which will be held in Canberra in November.

Further information:

Hamish Arthur

MCM Strategic Communications

+61 406 510 083                                                                                             SIA Ref: 16/REL/0426

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