Department of Defence officials told Senate estimates that the cost of the design and build of the Future Submarine project is estimated at $50 billion and an additional $50 billion has been estimated for the sustainment of the 12 vessels.
"The acquisition cost as quoted in the IIP for the Future Submarine Program is $50 billion on constant price basis – that is acquisition," Rear Admiral Greg Sammut, Head Future Submarine program, told Senate estimates.
"At this stage the estimated sustainment cost for the Future Submarine, and I caveat this by saying that we're still in the design process for the Future Submarine, so indeed many of the detailed costs of acquisition and sustainment will be determined during the design process through choices made.
"But at this point early estimation of the sustainment cost for the fleet are of the order of up to $50 billion on a constant price basis and that looks at sustainment out to the period of around 2080."
The breakdown costs of the design and the build are yet to be determined as the government prepares to enter into full contract with French shipbuilder and designer Naval Group.
"Those costs are being determined in greater detail as we complete preparations to enter the full contract for design and the build of the submarine," RADM Sammut said.
The first steel for the Australian submarines is expected to be cut by 2022 and the first vessels are due to enter service in the early 2030s. All 12 submarines will be built in Osborne, South Australia.