The Expert Panel of the Future Submarine Industry Skills Plan has begun consultations with defense manufacturers and educational institutions to identify the country's skills base within the ship construction supply chain as a prelude to tendering and production.
On the Expert Panel are senior executives from
main shipbuilders ASC, Austal, BAE Systems and Forgacs Engineering as well as
chief executive officers of major naval systems integration companies --
Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, Thales, Saab Systems and BAE Systems. Australia
Also on the panel are representatives from unions and the government's Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.
Last month the government set aside $214 million for initial studies to determine the country's submarine building capability to construct the 12 ships, none of them to be nuclear.
The government is also looking at land-based test facilities.
"The Future Submarine Project is the biggest and most complex defense project
has ever embarked upon," Minister for Defense Materiel Jason Clare said. Australia
"Hundreds of companies and thousands of workers will be required to support the construction of
's future submarines. The
Industry Skills Plan will establish a road map to build and sustain the skills
required to successfully deliver Australia 's Future Submarine
capability," he said. Australia
The panel's terms of reference means it will be looking at systems design, naval architecture, propulsion and combat system engineering, production engineering, project planning and control, production scheduling, material procurement, risk management, budget control and financial accounting.
Also investigated will be
's supply of hard
manufacturing and trade skills such as welders, boilermakers and electricians. Australia
The government is considering the purchase of off-the-shelf ships from French builder DCNS, designer of the Scorpion, HD of Germany which builds the Type 212 and Type 214 submarines and from Nirvana in Spain, designer of the S-80 submarine.
In December the Department of Defense issued requests for information to DCNS, HD and Nirvana. It also signed a deal with Babcock for a study into a land-based propulsion test site, a report by Defense.com news Web site said.
But the government, in an effort to keep its six Collins class submarines updated until the new boats arrive, is talking with Swedish ship designer and builder Kockums to study obsolescence issues that may arise.
The Collins class submarines were built in the 1990 and 2000s and decommissioning will start likely by 2025.
The fleet is being enlarged because of concerns over increases in the naval forces of
Southeast Asian neighbors, in particular which is in the process of
introducing its first aircraft carrier. China