After an extensive competition, the Australian government down selected the French firm DCNS to build a new class of advanced-capability conventional (diesel/electric-powered) submarines.
The decision was announced on 26 April 2016, in a press release that stated: “The decision was driven by DCNS’ 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 that will be utilized in shaping the largest conventional submarine to date.
© 2016 FrontLine Defence (Vol 13, No 4)