Australian Navy signs agreement for $50b fleet of subs
After several years of negotiations, officials have signed an agreement for the construction of the Australian Navy's fleet of new submarines.
The federal government today announced the signing of the Attack class submarine Strategic Partnering Agreement with French shipbuilder Naval Group.
Defence and Naval Group officials have been locked in negotiations for several years to produce the 12 submarines.
In December there were reports the $50 billion project could arrive late and cost millions more than expected.
However, a joint statement from Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Defence Minister Christopher Pyne said work would continue on the first attack class submarine, to be named HMAS Attack, to deliver it within budget in the early 2030s.
The formal signing of the agreement is a "defining moment for the country," the statement said.
"The submarines will help protect Australia's security and prosperity for decades to come and also deepen the defence relationship between Australia and France," it continued.
Construction on the "regionally superior" submarines has already begun and work will continue under the agreement, which represents the contractual basis for the program, it said.
The submarines are a major pillar of the government's $90 billion National Shipbuilding Plan, under which 54 naval vessels will be built in Australia.
The development of the submarine construction yard at Osborne in South Australia is continuing as part of other activities required to deliver the program.
Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A
The Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A, designed by DCNS specifically for the Royal Australian Navy, will be the recipient of France’s most sensitive and protected submarine technology and will be the most lethal conventional submarine ever contemplated.
Pump jet propulsion means the Shortfin Barracuda can move more quietly than submarines with obsolete propeller technology. In a confrontation between two otherwise identical submarines, the one with pump jet propulsion always has the tactical advantage.
The sonar suite performance provided by Thales will be the best available ever for a submarine this size.
It is this coupling of excellent acoustic discretion, leading edge detection capabilities and pathways for technology development that will grant the Commonwealth the capacity to remain ahead of any regional adversary now and in the future.
By adopting DCNS’s technology, Australia will join an elite club of nations which includes only the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and France.
The Shortfin Barracuda is a magnificent, inspiring submarine which will remain technologically superior until well into the 2060s. Source: naval-group.com.au
Barracudas are going to be fitted with four 533 mm torpedo launchers. A special, automated ordnance loading system will be able to deliver 20 torpedoes or missiles to the launchers. Depending on the task carried out by the submarine, the available armament includes MdCN (missiles de croisière navale) cruise missiles, Exocet SM93 anti-ship missiles, F21 heavy torpedoes, A3SM anti aircraft missiles (based on the Mica system) or even mines. Source: foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com
Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A submarine
Defence Technology Review Magazine
Published on Jan 25, 2018