07/09/2016: After an extensive competition, the Australian government downselected the French firm DCNS to build a new class of advanced conventional submarines.
In a press release from the Australian government dated April 26, 206, the Australian government announced the decision and underscored that
“The decision was driven by DCNS’s ability to best meet all of the Australian Government’s requirements.
These included superior sensor performance and stealth characteristics, as well as range and endurance similar to the Collins Class submarine.
The Government’s considerations also included cost, schedule, program execution, through-life support and Australian industry involvement.”
Less obvious in the press coverage around the decision was the innovative nature of the program and the significant opportunity to leverage evolving technologies in shaping the largest conventional submarine, which DCNS has been involved in building.
In many ways, it is a “hybrid” submarine in the sense that it leverages the innovative technologies of the new Barracuda SSN being put to sea next year by the French Navy, leveraging the extensive experience which DCNS has in building the Scorpion class submarines in Chile, Malaysia, Brazil and India, and, for the first time, operating with a US combat system which will be shaped for this conventional submarine operating at range, speed and distance in the challenging waters of the Pacific.
It is also based on the extensive working relationship between DCNS and the French Navy along with the extensive experience which the French navy has had with the US and UK navies.
And the experience, which DCNS has in working a variety of infrastructure situations, means that there is a clear capability to leverage the extensive industrial experience already evident at Adelaide with the construction and sustainment of the Collins class submarine.
In this video from DCNS, the new class of submarines is described.
Credit Video: DCNS: April 2016