Patrick Durrant | Sydney
The tender for Australia's largest ever defence contract – the Sea 1000 Future Submarine Program – has been awarded to the French defence contractor DCNS.
The Prime Minister made the announcement at the ASC shipyard in Osborne, South Australia together with the Minister for Defence Marise Payne, the Minister for Industry Science and Innovation Christopher Pyne and the Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Tim Barrett.
The Prime Minister said the selection team had been "unequivocal" in its assessment that DCNS had offered the capabilities best able to meet Australia's needs.
"These included superior sensor performance and stealth characteristics, as well as range and endurance similar to the Collins Class submarine. The Government’s considerations also included cost, schedule, program execution, through-life support and Australian industry involvement," PM Turnbull said.
All three bidders had been required to submit options on a complete build, a hybrid build and a wholly foreign build. The announcement centres on all boats being built in Australia, but more decisions regarding the precise nature of the build strategy are expected in the future.
DCNS have indicated in the past a preference towards the first boat being built in France with Australian workers, but have also stated they stood ready to fulfil any requirement stipulated by the Commonwealth.
Details of the preferred build strategy have not been announced by government at this time but ADM understands that each of the models put forward under the CEP were fully costed in both dollars and timescales.
TKMS said in a statement it respected the decision of the Australian Government to award Sea 1000 to DCNS.
“Thyssenkrupp will always be willing to further contribute to Australia’s naval capabilities," Dr Hans Atzpodien, Chairman of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems said.
"We are committed to Australia and our local customers – also in our elevator, mining & mineral, and material services businesses. We respect the Government’s decision. We were ready from day one as a partner of the Commonwealth to build all of Australia’s Future Submarines in Adelaide. We wish the Government and DCNS success in this important National ‘Endeavour’.
“The competitive evaluation was conducted with high integrity and professionalism and we were privileged to be part of it," TKMS Australia chairman White said.
"We are naturally disappointed, but we stand ready to provide support for Australia’s Future Submarines project with our unrivalled experience, leading technology and track record in building submarines in the customer’s own country."
The Japanese bid was rumoured to be trailing both those of the Germans and the French as early as last week. The Japanese Soryu class submarine Hakuryu was in Sydney Harbour this morning following the completion of the recent Exercise NICHI GOU TRIDENT, but by the time the PM made the announcement it had slipped its berth and departed between the heads.