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Naval Group appoints new head of Future Submarines program

Lilian Brayle

The global shipbuilding firm has announced the appointment of a new executive vice president for its Australian Future Submarines program.  

The global shipbuilding firm has announced the appointment of a new executive vice president for its Australian Future Submarines program.  

Naval Group Australia has appointed Lilian Brayle as the permanent replacement for Jean-Michel Billig as executive vice president of its Future Submarines program, effective from 31 May.

Brayle will take over from Laurent Espinasse, who has been serving as interim EVP.


The incoming EVP will be responsible for managing the teams in France and in Australia to deliver the 12 Attack Class submarines “on cost and on schedule”.

According to the firm, Brayle, a dual citizen of France and Australia, will also be charged with engaging Australian supply chain to deliver Naval Group’s commitment to spend at least 60 per cent of the SEA 1000 contract value in Australia.

The new head of program’s past experience includes a stint at Airbus, Safran Group, and French firm Messier-Dowty.

This is the latest of several changes to Naval Group Australia’s leadership, which included the appointment of former managing director of Rio Tinto, David Peever, as its new chair.

In December, Naval Group Australia also confirmed the appointment of Chris Jenkins, chief executive of Thales Australia and national president of the Australian Industry Group, to the board, along with Kim Gillis, former deputy secretary of the Capability, Acquisitions and Sustainment Group (CASG).

The pair replace independent board director Paul O’Sullivan and Naval Group’s Pascal Le Roy, who have stepped down after five years of service.  

The changes come amid ongoing scrutiny over Naval Group’s performance, with Minister for Defence Peter Dutton recently flagging that the government would carefully monitor the prime’s progress before determining whether to proceed with the program.

“[Like] with any contract that the Commonwealth enters into, those people that have contracted with us know that we are going to hold them to the conditions of the contract and if there are penalties to pay or there's other action that we can take, that will happen,” he said.

“I want greater performance than what we’ve seen previously.”

[Related: MINDEF demands ‘greater performance’ from Naval Group]

Charbel Kadib

Charbel Kadib

News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media

Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres.

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