On 26 April 2016, Australia chose France as its preferred partner for its Future Submarine Program. This enormous undertaking — estimated at €34 billion over 50 years — calls for the design, construction and in-service support of 12 conventional blue-water submarines. It also aims to give the country a sovereign submarine construction industry and to supply the Royal Australian Navy with regionally superior subs that outclass those of other powers in the broader region. These requirements led to the decision in favour of a conventional diesel-electric variant of France’s next-generation Barracuda type attack submarines. With a length overall of around 100 metres and a surface displacement of 4,500 tonnes, the proposed Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A will carry a combat management system and weapons designed by US-based contractors.
The ASC shipyard near Adelaide, South Australia (© ASC)
DCNS, designer and shipyard operator
“Since 26 April 2016, we’ve put in place staffing and contracting arrangements and created the technical and political conditions to ensure the programme’s success. We’ve signed a number of contracts and are negotiating others. We recently received assurances that DCNS will indeed be the lead designer and shipbuilder as well as the operator of the shipyard, near Adelaide in the state of South Australia, where the …
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