Naval Group on Friday (16 October) launched its first ‘Local Manufacturing Package’ Expression of Interest (EOI) to Australian industry that will see the manufacturing of specialised submarine equipment take place in Australia, part of a package expected to be worth almost A$900 million.
In the first of many local packages to be offered throughout the life of the 50-year program, these specialised pieces of equipment include the steering gear system, weapons handling system and main shaft line and will support hundreds of Australian jobs. In contrast to previous submarine builds that have involved manufacturing similar equipment overseas, this announcement will deliver increased capability, technology and capacity in Australia.
Jean-Michel Billig, Naval Group executive vice president Australian Future Submarine, said that this significant package of work demonstrated Naval Group’s real action to maximise Australian capability and involvement as well as benefit local manufacturing and jobs. “Ever since Naval Group has been chosen as strategic partner for the Attack-class submarine program, we have had a strong focus on ensuring that significant benefits are delivered to Australians and local industry through the 50-year program,” Billig said. “This package, the first of many, demonstrates our clear commitment to Australian industry and will lead to increased manufacturing capability in Australia and local jobs. This is a milestone day for this program, Naval Group and Australian manufacturers. Importantly, through this manufacturing occurring in Australia, local business capability will be enhanced for generations meaning the legacy of this program goes beyond the regionally-superior submarines we will deliver.”
Naval Group Australia Chief Executive Officer, John Davis said that Naval Group was sending a clear message to Australian industry that Naval Group means business. “The release of the EOI marks the start of a competitive selection process for Australian capability partners to deliver specialised submarine equipment to the Attack Class Program,” Davis said. “Our team has been working closely with local industry to prepare for the significant work that is required to deliver these submarines and the selection of our capability partners will mark another significant milestone achievement for Australian industry and the Program.”
The EOI process will run until 16 November with businesses encouraged to apply to be a partner or sign up to the Industry Capability Network (ICN) to receive regular updates. Businesses are also encouraged to work with industry groups, associations and Naval Group to prepare themselves to become a supplier ahead of the roll out of Attack Class submarine work.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the government’s Future Submarine Program will deliver Australia a regionally-superior, sovereign submarine capability. “This commitment by Naval Group demonstrates the significant benefits to Australian industry that will flow from the Attack Class Submarine Program,” Reynolds said. “As we approach the next design phase in January 2021, this is a critical phase of the program where we are in the process of designing and selecting more than a million submarine parts that need to work perfectly together. The skills and knowledge to manufacture this equipment and others will progressively be transferred to Australian industry as work packages are released to industry as part of the government’s sovereignty objectives. The government continues to work with Naval Group to maximise opportunities for Australians, and in particular, train Australian workers in France, to generate the competency and skill to be able to then train the Australian-based workforce as early as possible.”
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said manufacturing such essential pieces of equipment in Australia supported Australian jobs and built confidence in the Australian defence industry. “I have said from the outset that our government will have the backs of Aussie workers,” Price said. “The decision to manufacture these essential pieces of equipment in Australia demonstrates our commitment to create new opportunities and jobs for Australian businesses. This is a significant step in the right direction to build up Australian capability in the…Future Submarine Program.”
Reynolds and Senator for South Australia and Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham on Friday also opened Naval Group Australia’s new office at Port Adelaide. Its opening marks a significant milestone in the expansion of Naval Group Australia’s workforce, as design work on the Attack Class submarines continues to progress.
The new Naval Group Australia office at Port Adelaide will host its 250 strong workforce, with the capacity to accommodate up to 350 employees. Further information on how Naval Group Australia is supporting local businesses and creating jobs is available here.