Australia, Naval Group Sign Design Contract for Attack-Class Submarine Program

The Commonwealth of Australia and the French shipbuilding major, Naval Group have signed the design contract for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN)’s Attack-class submarine program.

The Submarine Design Contract comes less than a month after the Strategic Partnering Agreement (SPA) was signed, and just days after the signing of the Framework Agreement between Naval Group Australia and ASC.

Christopher Pyne MP, Australia’s Minister for Defence, said the signing of the design contract is the first contract inked under the SPA.

“The detailed architecture for the hull, including the placement of main systems, will be developed under this key contract,” said Minister Pyne. “It’s great to see our Attack class submarines well and truly taking shape.”

Linda Reynolds, the Minister for Defence Industry, said the Submarine Design Contract is worth $605 million and will see design work progress through to 2021.

“The timeframe for the Submarine Design Contract takes into account the detailed design work required, ensuring we have a mature design which avoids costly rework,” Minister Reynolds said. “This will help deliver a sovereign, regionally superior submarine capability, which will be built, operated and sustained in Australia.”

The contract is part of the $50 billion investment in the Attack class outlined in the 2016 Integrated Investment Program. It’s estimated the program will generate an annual average of around 2,800 jobs.

The Attack-class submarines are Royal Australian Navy’s future diesel-electric attack submarines which are based on the French Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A design developed by Naval Group. The first submarine, HMAS Attack, will be delivered to the Navy in the early 2030s.

According to the Royal Australian Navy, the Attack-class submarines will displace 4,500 tons (surfaced), measure 97 metres in length, have an 8.8-metre beam, use pump-jet propulsion, have a range of 18,000 nautical miles, a top speed of greater than 20 knots, an endurance of 80 days and a crew of 60.

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