Thursday, 4 July 2013

New subs to be much bigger than Collins

Australia's next submarine will be much bigger than the existing Collins boats but the likely cost won't be known for years, a senior defence official says. 
David Gould, general manager for submarines in the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO), said he couldn't estimate the cost of a vessel not yet designed and could not endorse estimates of $36-40 billion in some studies.

Under the 2009 and 2013 Defence White Papers, Australia is looking to replace the six Collins submarines with 12 new vessels of greater range, longer endurance and expanded capabilities.
This is set to be Australia's largest ever defence procurement.

Mr Gould said the new boats would have to be larger than the 3500-tonnes Collins.

"It will be in my opinion larger, much larger. That's the work we are doing at the moment," he told an Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) national security lunch.

The 2013 White Paper reduced the acquisition options from four to two, ruling out the cheapest options of an existing overseas design or an existing model with some Australia-specific systems.
That leaves either an evolution of the Collins or an all-new design.

Mr Gould said Australia had reached agreement with the government of Sweden on intellectual property rights to allow a start on concept designs for an evolved Collins.

That work would be undertaken by German shipbuilder TKMS, now the parent of Swedish firm Kockums, the original Collins designer.

Mr Gould said TKMS would have to correct known defects with Collins and propose improvements.
"But we will not allow them to increase the diameter of the pressure hull - to do so would clearly cross the threshold of a new design," he said.

Mr Gould said two concept designs should have been completed in two years and a decision made on the propulsion system for the first two or three boats.

There would be a much better handle on costs of design and construction.

"But we will not have contract quality costs for a build by any stretch of the imagination at that point," he said.

1 comment:

  1. MHalblaub

    Mr. Gloud wants a far bigger submarine because the big Collins-class didn't made, makes and will made not enough trouble? Now Australia has the intellectual property rights for that junk. So what's the use of that?

    ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems knows quite well the defects of Collins-class: Garden Island engines, no AIP, no composite propeller ... but the diameter of the pressure hull is sacrosanct just like an US command & control system (C³-system another C for cronyism).

    According to released data Type 214 submarines have more endurance than the far bigger Collins. Will Royal Australian Navy gets this time the command & control system the officers want?

    Why is Mr. Gloud so fixed at Collins-class design? Why would a new design like a Type 216 submarine so bad? What was really good about the Collins-class?

    Is an Australian made submarine worth $40 billion or is it smarter to buy 12 Type 214 submarines for $6 billion? First Type 214 could be commissioned about 2020. I expect the first submarine made Australian around 2040.

    Btw. it is expected that maintenance costs for Collins-class will raise over $1 billion per year within the next years. That's the price for two new Type 214 submarines.