More than 1,000 Australian businesses have formally registered interest in becoming part of the supply chain in support of Australia’s programme to build 12 next-generation submarines, the Department of Defence (DoD) in Canberra has announced.
In a statement on 9 August, Australian Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said that as of June 2018, 873 local companies had registered interest in supporting the programme’s lead constructor, French shipbuilder Naval Group, while another 227 had registered interest in supporting Lockheed Martin, the lead combat systems integrator.
The DoD said that local companies had registered interest in supporting the programme through a series of ongoing industry engagement events held by Naval Group and Lockheed Martin. To date, the two companies have held eight such briefing sessions across the country.
Naval Group has also started issuing request for information (RFI) notices to identify local companies with capabilities to support the programme.
The first tranche of RFIs was issued in late 2017 and requested information from companies capable of manufacturing a range of systems and components, including steel and titanium bars, copper alloy parts, titanium castings, anti-vibration mounts, static converters, hydraulic accumulators, and hydraulic power plants.
“Maximising Australian industry’s involvement in the Future Submarine programme is vitally important to the construction and sustainment of the submarine fleet into the future,” Pyne said. “This will create job opportunities across Australia and secure a long-term sovereign and sustainable local shipbuilding industry. It’s critical we establish the local capability to support the build, operation, and sustainment of the Future Submarine fleet.”
Naval Group was named in 2016 as preferred international partner for the AUD50 billion (USD36.5 billion) submarine programme – also known as Sea 1000 – proposing a 4,700-tonne conventionally powered Shortfin Barracuda derivative of the company’s 5,300-tonne Barracuda nuclear attack submarine.
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