Navy welcomes historic agreement for future submarines

February 11, 2019 – The Australian Government today ratified a Strategic Partnering Agreement with the French shipbuilding company Naval Group that will see 12 regionally superior submarines designed and built in Australia for the Royal Australian Navy as part of the Future Submarine Program.

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mike Noonan welcomed today’s important milestone.

(L to R) Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Naval Group Australia, Mr John Davis; Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Naval Group, Herve Guillou; the Head of the Future Submarine Program, Rear Admiral Greg Sammut, AM, CSC, RAN; Assistant Secretary, Materiel Procurement (Department of Defence), Racheal Kuczma; and Executive Director, Australian Future Submarine Program and Chairman of the Board of Naval Group Australia, Jean-Michel Billig, sign additional Strategic Partnering Agreement documents for the Future Submarine Program.

“The $50-billion Attack Class program will deliver submarines that will meet our Navy’s capability requirements, will be at the forefront of Australia’s defense strategy and will help protect Australia’s security and prosperity for decades to come,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.

“With their inherent stealth, long-range endurance, and formidable striking power, the Attack class are a key part of our Navy’s future,” he said.

The Strategic Partnering Agreement was signed at Russell Offices in Canberra by the Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, the Minister for Defence (Australia), Christopher Pyne, and the Minister for the Armed Forces of France, Madame Florence Parly.

Some work on the future submarines has already taken place under a Design and Mobilization Contract and this will continue uninterrupted under today’s Agreement. The formalization of the Strategic Partnering Agreement represents the contractual basis for the program.

The full range of other activities required to deliver this major program, including the development of the submarine construction yard in Osborne South Australia, are continuing.

The first ‘Attack’ class submarine, to be named HMAS Attack, is due to be delivered in the early 2030s.

The decision to partner with Naval Group (formerly DCNS) was made in 2016, following a competitive evaluation process commenced by the Australian Government.

The Attack class submarines are a major pillar of the Australian Government’s $90 billion National Shipbuilding Plan, which will see 54 naval vessels built in Australia, to meet the strategic requirements set out in our 2016 Defence White Paper.