Australian company PMB Defence and Greek company Systems Sunlight S.A. have signed subcontracts with Naval Group Australia to design the main storage batteries for the Attack class submarines through a competitive process.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the design of the main storage batteries is one of the “Top 5” critical equipment items to the overall design of the Attack class submarine.
“The main storage batteries are the main source of power when the submarine is submerged,” Minister Reynolds said. “The selection of these two companies to develop designs of this subsystem is another significant milestone in the design and delivery of the Attack class submarine program.
“A competitive process will ensure the final designer selected will deliver the very best battery technology to meet the key performance requirements of the Attack class submarine.”
Defence has engaged PMB to explore a new battery technology that could offer significantly improved performance and may prove a suitable replacement for lead-acid batteries over the life of the Attack class submarine.
“The supply contract will be awarded to the organisation that provides a technically superior design, represents the best value for money and demonstrates a strong commitment to the program’s Australian Industry Capability requirements," John Davis, CEO, Naval Group Australia said. "Naval Group will continue to work with both parties in a range of areas moving forwards to ensure best program outcomes and the maximisation of the involvement of Australian industry in all phases on the contract.”
PMB’s Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Faulkner, welcomed the news. “PMB looks forward to applying its unique understanding of Australian submarine operations to the design and manufacture of a superior Attack Class submarine battery system. This contract supports PMB’s ongoing growth of its skilled workforce and Defence exports from its Australian facilities.”
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the Attack class submarine program is providing significant opportunities for Australia’s defence industry.
“I am pleased to confirm that regardless of whoever wins the preferred design, the main storage batteries will be manufactured in Australia,” Minister Price said. “This commitment will provide enormous opportunities for more local companies to be part this world-class advanced manufacturing project.
Adelaide-based PMB is a supplier of energy and specialised engineering solutions for submarine platforms, and is already contracted to Defence for the supply and sustainment of batteries for the Collins class submarine fleet, from its dedicated facility at Osborne.
Systems Sunlight specialises in the development and production of batteries and energy storage systems for naval, industrial and advanced technology applications.
Further contracts will be awarded for the manufacture of the batteries in Australia following selection of the preferred battery design.