Aus­tralia’s fu­ture sub­ma­rine ca­pa­bil­ity


The Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment has con­firmed plans to buy 12 new sub­marines de­spite hav­ing run into se­ri­ous prob­lems with its four Collins class boats (above) and a man­ning short­age.

The Aus­tralian Min­is­ter for De­fence Stephen Smith, Min­is­ter for Fi­nance and Dereg­u­la­tion Se­na­tor Penny Wong and Min­is­ter for De­fence Ma­teriel Ja­son Clare an­nounced Aus­tralia’s Fu­ture Sub­ma­rine Sys­tems Cen­tre which will be based in Ade­laide con­tin­u­ing the strong re­la­tion­ship that has been formed be­tween South Aus­tralia and the Com­mon­wealth in sup­port of Aus­tralia’s maritime sec­tor.

The Sys­tems Cen­tre will be the home of the fu­ture sub­ma­rine pro­gramme. It will be for­mally es­tab­lished this year and over the next few years will ex­pand to in­clude hun­dreds of de­fence per­son­nel from Navy, the De­fence Ma­teriel Or­gan­i­sa­tion (DMO), the De­fence Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy Or­gan­i­sa­tion (DSTO) and the Aus­tralian and in­ter­na­tional de­fence in­dus­try.

The Sys­tems Cen­tre is a sim­i­lar fa­cil­ity to the one that was es­tab­lished for the Air War­fare De­stroyer project. It will un­der­take a va­ri­ety of tasks in­clud­ing eval­u­a­tion of op­tions, de­sign work, pro­gramme man­age­ment, engi­neer­ing, lo­gis­tics and pro­duc­tion plan­ning.

The Gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to ac­quir­ing 12 new sub­marines to be as­sem­bled in South Aus­tralia. This com­mit­ment will be re­in­forced as part of the 2013 De­fence White Pa­per. The Fu­ture Sub­ma­rine project will be the largest and most com­plex de­fence project ever un­der­taken. It will in­volve hun­dreds of com­pa­nies and thou­sands of work­ers.

With a length over­all of 87 me­tres, OPV L’Adroit of­fers three weeks’ blue-wa­ter en­durance, a range of 8,000 nau­ti­cal miles and a top speed of 21 knots. The de­sign in­cludes full pro­vi­sion for an or­ganic he­li­copter and un­manned aerial ve­hi­cles (UAVs), crew­ing by a com­ple­ment of 30 and ac­com­mo­da­tion for 30 pas­sen­gers.

Innovations and ca­pa­bil­i­ties of spe­cial in­ter­est to ship-based naval, com­mando and coast guard forces in­clude a panoramic bridge of­fer­ing 360° vis­i­bil­ity, a sin­gle en­closed mast of­fer­ing 360° sen­sor vis­i­bil­ity, covert de­ploy­ment of fast com­mando boats in less than five min­utes and full pro­vi­sion for un­manned aerial and sur­face ve­hi­cles (UAVs and USVs).

The Gowind range also ben­e­fits from DCNS’s vast ex­pe­ri­ence in IT and com­mand in­for­ma­tion sys­tems.

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