Australia’s Future Submarine Program with France was examined yesterday when the joint standing committee on treaties held a public hearing in Adelaide.
The committee reviewed the Framework Agreement for the Future Submarine Program (FSP), which provides for the transfer of technology, Australia's sovereign operation, local industry engagement, research and development and the governance and performance of the contract with DCNS.
The FSP Framework Agreement is not the agreement to design or build the Future Submarines, but an agreement that establishes a framework for co-operation to support the delivery of the FSP.
The contract for the design and construction of the Future Submarines was awarded to the French government-owned company DCNS in April 2016 and signed in September 2016.
The government confirmed in April 2016 that the submarine fleet will be constructed in Adelaide.
DCNS has stated that over 90 per cent of the build will occur in Australia.
Committee chair Stuart Robert said the FSP will provide Australia with a regionally superior, sovereign submarine capability and the Framework Agreement under review is critical for the program's success.
"Submarines are an integral element of our maritime security strategy. By developing a skilled workforce and building the submarines here in Australia, we are securing the long-term future of the Australian Navy," Robert said.
"The agreement commits France and Australia to maximise the engagement of Australia’s local industry in the development and construction of the Future Submarine. It is important that Australia begins working towards developing the necessary skill sets and workforce capabilities in preparation for the largest defence acquisition in Australia’s history."
Representatives from BAE Systems Australia, Australian Submarine Corporation, Defence SA, University of Adelaide - Defence and Security, Australian Industrial Transformation Institute, Flinders University and Australian Industry and Defence Network WA spoke at the hearing.