French shipbuilder’s plan proposes a “sovereign and sustainable” industrial base in Australia
Plan focuses on technology transfers, job creation, innovation, exports, and education
The Australian government has made publicly available the industrial engagement plan submitted by French shipbuilder Naval Group that supports the company’s programme to build 12 next-generation submarines for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
Previously classified, Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne issued the document on 10 May in response to claims by an opposition politician, Senator Rex Patrick, that the government has not mandated a high degree of local involvement in the AUD50 billion (USD38 billion) programme.
Naval Group (then DCNS) was selected to build the submarines in 2016, proposing a conventionally powered derivative of its Barracuda nuclear attack submarine. In releasing the company’s Australian Industry Plan (AIP), Payne said the document formed part of its response to the competitive evaluation process through which it was selected as preferred contractor.
The AIP, which is dated November 2015, consists of 60 pages but with some sections heavily redacted. In the document, Naval Group says, “DCNS’s vision is to create a sovereign and sustainable industrial base within the Australian Future Submarine Enterprise to deliver innovative solutions over the life cycle of the submarine.”
The company adds, “DCNS will use a strategy of knowledge transfer, purposeful application of this knowledge and cultivation of the innovation environment to ensure the platform system integrator and combat system integrator can access as Australian industrial base to deliver the whole warship performance to the [Commonwealth of Australia] and enable the sovereign operation and sustainment of the future submarine.”