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.