Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price have confirmed a major milestone for the multibillion-dollar SEA 1000 Attack Class submarine program, with two subcontractors awarded major subsystem contracts.
Safran Electronics subcontracted Adelaide-based Acacia Systems and Western Sydney-based Thomas Global Systems for the design of the optronics search and attack, navigation radar and navigation data distribution systems.
The signing of these most recent subcontracts is a positive next step in growing Australian industry involvement in the program as we transition towards detailed design and the construction of the fleet.
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds welcomed the contract signing, saying, “I am proud of this government’s commitment to build 12 Attack Class submarines here in Australia, with Australian steel, by Australian workers.”
“We remain firmly committed to maximising local industry involvement in this nationally significant program, which will deliver a regionally superior capability for our Navy,” Minister Reynolds added.
Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price echoed the sentiments, saying, “These contracts are building Australian industry capability while also involving Australian industries and their workers in the delivery of the Attack Class submarine.”
Under the subcontracts, Acacia Systems will deliver prototypes and interface simulators, enabling Lockheed Martin Australia to conduct test activities and validate the integrated performance of the combat system in its Adelaide-based Combat System Architecture Laboratory.
“Our $50-billion investment in this program will create 2,800 Australian jobs and ensure small businesses play an essential role in this program for decades to come,” Minister Price added.
Thomas Global Systems will carry out the design of processing hardware for the optronics masts, navigation radar and navigation data distribution systems.
Naval Group’s Shortfin Barracuda design, which serves as the basis for the Royal Australian Navy’s new Attack Class, is a conventionally powered variant of the nuclear-powered Barracuda fast-attack submarine currently under construction for the French Navy.
The 12 vessels will be built by Naval Group at a specialist submarine shipyard at Osborne, South Australia. The Commonwealth government’s Australian Naval Infrastructure program will support the development of the future submarine shipyards.
The Commonwealth government formally signed the strategic partnering agreement with Naval Group in February 2019 ahead of confirming the final design specifications and requirements for the Attack Class submarines.
The Attack Class will enter service with the Royal Australian Navy at a time when 50 per cent of the world’s submarines will be operating in the Indo-Pacific region.