DCNS to brief industry on submarine opportunities

24 May, 2017

With the Federal Government’s $90 billion naval defence renewal program whirring into life WA businesses are invited to a briefing on opportunities in the submarine construction program on 7 June.

The future submarine industry briefing will see the future submarine enterprise (Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, French company DCNS and Combat System Integrator Lockheed Martin) talk about the program and supply chain opportunities.

“Western Australia companies are eager to understand the specific supply chain opportunities available in the SEA 1000 program, and the detailed level of capabilities and standards required to meet defence needs,” says CCI National Policy Adviser Joe Doleschal-Ridnell.

“Without specific discussion about what is and is not needed – and fundamentally the timing of when contracts will be tendered – it makes it very difficult for SMEs to plan and prepare for the opportunity.

“We are looking forward to CASG, DCNS, and Lockheed Martin continuing their national industry briefing here in Perth, and shedding further light on the SEA 1000 program."

In April last year the Turnbull Government announced the nation’s new future submarines – the SEA 1000 program – would be built in South Australia by French company DCNS, dashing hopes that WA could lure part of the $50 billion program to these shores.

It would have been a nice LNG-sized project to shore up WA industry following the abrupt end of the resources construction boom three years ago.

Instead, all 12 of the new generation Shortfin Barracuda submarines will be constructed at shipyards in Adelaide, with WA providing a second “hub”, mainly for vessel maintenance and patrol boat construction.

US defence giant Lockheed Martin has been named as the preferred combat system integrator for the new submarines, designed to replace the existing Collins-class fleet.

DCNS says the design stage is expected to take at least five years, with construction not slated to begin until the early 2020s.

According to DCNS, the program will be the most “complex defence procurement” ever undertaken in the country.

About 2900 direct Australian jobs would be created – two thirds in Adelaide and the remainder “in areas around Australia”, it says.

This may include some minor construction-related work in WA but the lasting benefit to the State’s Henderson marine complex is likely to come from the long-term sustainment of both the new Barracudas, and the Collins-class submarines before they become obsolete.

The briefing will take place on 7 June at the Perth Exhibition and Convention Centre.

Visit here to register.

Looking to break into the defence market? Join us at the next WA Works Sundowner to hear from Forgacs Managing Director, Mike Deeks CSC, as he outlines their upcoming defence projects and the opportunities for WA businesses.