Australia’s next generation of submarines will be built in Adelaide in partnership with French company DCNS.
The project is expected to create 2800 Australian jobs which will see 12 new submarines built in Adelaide.
On paper, the decision to buy the French submarine was easy, especially when taking into consideration the range requirements for a conventional submarine operating from Australia:-
The new generation of subs will not be ready until the early 2030s, so the life of the beleaguered Collins fleet will need to be extended by five to six years.
Mark Thomson, a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), has said that with a project of this size and complexity, delays were unavoidable.
Mr Thomson said we could learn from mistakes made in both the construction and maintenance of the Collins class submarines.
The Collins class submarines were beset by myriad design and maintenance issues.
“(With) the construction of the submarines, we had a situation where we tried to be too ambitious,” he said.
“We tried to have our own unique combat system built into the submarines and we faltered twice on that front. And finally we had to get the United States to come and bail us out and put a US combat system on the submarines.
“In terms of the maintenance of the submarines, I think it’s not too harsh to say that we spent more than a decade mismanaging a multi-billion-dollar class of critical defence assets.”
Lets hope the lesson was learnt and this isn’t a $50Bn mistake.