Naval Group Australia has issued over $10 million in contracts to more than 100 local companies to supply and test common technology components which are being considered for use in the new Attack Class submarines. Common technology for the Future Submarine Program includes items which are manufactured by suppliers, and then submitted to a rigorous testing and qualification process to ensure they meet the exacting standards required for inclusion in Australia’s new and advanced submarines.
Naval Group Australia has now reached a milestone in the common technology program, achieving $10 million in contracts to local suppliers. The contracts include procurement of potential Attack Class components from more than 100 businesses, which are based right across Australia, as well as testing and qualification services to assess their suitability for use in the submarines. Items categorised as common technology for the Attack Class project include steels and alloys, insulation, fasteners, pipes, filters, O-rings, hoses, sockets, valves, seals, cables and switches. In collaboration with several Australian companies, the individual items are then independently qualification tested. For approved products and their suppliers, there is potential for larger volumes to be purchased for use in the multi-decade Attack Class construction program.
Naval Group Australia General Manager of Industry Capability Development Stuart Lindley said the opportunities for Australian suppliers with the Attack Class project were significant, and growing. “A contemporary and advanced submarine of the quality required by the Royal Australian Navy is an extremely complex machine, with around one million parts and components,” Lindley said. “There will be very significant levels of common technology, which has been verified as meeting the highest standards of quality, included in the Attack Class submarines that are sent to sea. This represents a huge opportunity for Australian industry to supply components, as we continue to grow the sovereign supply chains which are needed to support this great national endeavour.”
Naval Group is working with the Adelaide facility of Australian logistics business Customs Agency Services on the receipt, warehousing and distribution of its common technology products. Customs Agency Services Director Mark Callus said the Naval Group collaboration led his business to add more skilled workers and infrastructure, enhancing its defence logistics capability. “Our team is proud to be doing its part to support the Future Submarine Program, and working with both Naval Group Australia and businesses in the national supply chain,” Callus said. “It has required us to ensure additional levels of security and compliance, but those investments position us well to pursue future expansion as Australia’s defence industries keep growing.” Callus and his sister Louise Rigoni are co-directors of CAS, a proud and locally-owned company since 1976 which provides logistics for a range of industries including advanced manufacturing.
Naval Group Executive Vice President for the Future Submarine Program Lilian Brayle said there were also opportunities for local industry and businesses to manufacture new and complex items. “The common technology program offers local suppliers a chance to get their existing products into the program’s supply chain, and the Attack Class submarines themselves,” he said. “We also have other opportunities, including our $900 million local manufacturing package for the delivery of 23 complex items of submarine machinery, which is transferring technology from France to Australia and assisting local industry to make new items for the first time. The Future Submarine Program is creating hundreds of Australian jobs, and across a wide range of supplier opportunities. These are long-term opportunities which will last for decades.”
More than 2,000 businesses in Australia have now registered their interest with the Naval Group Australia Industry Capability Network portal. This provides an opportunity to become part of the wider domestic supply chain that is being built to sustain the 50-year submarine program.