The capability, cost and scheduling of Australia’s AUD80 billion (USD47.2 billion) Future Submarine programme have been criticised in a report by consultancy firm Insight Economics that proposes the introduction of a ‘Plan B’ involving Saab’s Kockums naval business area.
The report, which was prepared for Sydney-based businessman Gary Johnston and backed by an expert reference group, suggests Canberra should commission Saab’s Kockums, which designed the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) current fleet of six Collins-class submarines, to develop a preliminary design study (PDS) for an evolved version of the class.
Introducing a parallel pathway would create valuable competitive pressure as well as recognise that evolving a new submarine from an existing successful platform is the approach followed by all other countries that build and operate submarines, the report notes.
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