MELBOURNE, Australia (BulgarianMilitary.com) – Australia will acquire 12 large conventionally-powered attack submarines from Naval Group under a strategic partnering agreement. In that relation the Minister of Defence of Australia Christopher Pyne confirmed that the Australian government has officially concluded the negotiations for the formal signing of the relevant agreement during an Australian Government National Security Committee meeting in Melbourne on 10th December 2018, learned BulgarianMilitary.com
The submarines will be received under the Australian $50 billion (U.S. $36.12 billion) Project Sea 1000 (Future Submarine) and the intention is the new vessels to replace the fleet of six Collins Submarines from the early 2030s, according to the 2016 Defence White Paper. The new submarines will belong to the Attack class and the name of the lead vessel will be HMAS Attack. They will be made in Osborne, South Australia.
In despite of some recent reports that the Collins Submarines replacement has been endanger for some reasons, Christopher Pyne confirmed on 13th December 2018 that the program was still ongoing.
Pyne commented, “There’s been a lot of ill-informed mythmaking around the negotiations but I’m very happy to say today the negotiations are complete. The strategic planning agreement will be signed in February next year and we can continue to get on with the submarine project, which has been under the design and mobilization contract for the last two years.”
He declined to give further details regarding the intricacies of the agreement due to their commercial nature and added, “Suffice to say the Australian government’s interests, the Australian taxpayer’s interests, have been taken care of. Naval Group Australia will deliver 12 regionally-superior submarines on time and on budget.”
The Collins class of six Australian-built diesel-electric submarines originally had a predicted operational life of approximately 30 years and it was expected the decommissioning to take place around 2026. However, the 2016 Defence White Paper extended this schedule to the 2030s. The Collins class life will now be extended and will receive an unplanned capability upgrade, including but not limited to sonar and communications.
Australia’s Chief of Navy, Vice Adm. Mark Noonan, said, “We’ve got a very solid plan to ensure that there is no gap in our nation’s submarine capability, and there is a very advanced plan that will see a number of our current Collins class submarines going through a life of type extension program, which will ensure that capability gap doesn’t exist,” and thus denying reports of an emerging capability gap between the retirement of the first Collins submarines and the Attack boats entering service.
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Source: Defense News, Wikipedia