November 5, 2014

Future Australian Submarine - French and German Sales Activity

Two days after meeting Australian Defence Minister Johnston, in Perth on 2 November 2014, French Defence Minister Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian (front row, 3rd from right) was spotted (4 November 2014) aboard the DCNS produced Scorpene submarine KD Tun Abdul Razak at Sepanggar Naval Base, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. 

It is natural that the French Government would be working alongside DCNS to market such a major potential export as the SMX Ocean large conventional submarine.

What may have been the initial phase of marketing the SMX Ocean to Australia at Euronaval 2014, Paris ended on 31 October 2014


Now in November 2014 marketing continues with Australia future submarine needs likely to have been an item for discussion between the French and Australian Defence Ministers meeting in Perth, Australia on 2 November 2014

The Media Release following the meeting between Australia's Defence Minister, Senator David Johnston and French Defence Minister, Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, did not specifically mention marketing weapon systems. However the Media Release noted:

"Both Ministers noted close cooperation on naval capabilities and the importance of continued exchanges. The Ministers concluded that France and Australia should continue to work closely on defence capabilities and to share best practices and lessons learned in operational and technical fields."

Corridor discussions with the French Delegation were likely - probably including defence officials, military officers and officials from DCNS Group Australian Branch (the Branch is based in Canberra).


Later in November the Submarine Institute of Australia is holding a Centenerary Conference (100 years since Australia's first submarines were commissioned) 11-13 November 2014, Fremantle Western Australia. In terms of marketing opportunities the publically available program includes short presentations by potential main contractors from:


DCNS - Benoît Gueguen - Submarine Naval Architect, DCNS concering "The SMX Ocean, a world première" 

also a representitive of French company Sagem Defense and Security.


TKMS - Manfred Klein - Senior Vice-President, Product Management, TKMS on "Establishing a new submarine design capability: the TKMS experience."
TKMS - Daniel Mahon - Design Concepts Submarines, TKMS on "AIP - Reflections of a former German Submarine Captain."

also representatives from the German Navy and Siemens.

Note that a high level delegation from TKMS earlier visited Canberra in mid-October 2014.

TKMS Australia has offices in Adelaide and Melbourne, Australia.

Spain, US and Sweden

Representatives of Spain (Navantia), the US and Sweden (Navy) will also be giving presentations.

Speakers from the Japanese Navy and Japanese submarine building firms were notable by their absence - reasons may be many and varied.


All this French, German, Spanish and Swedish marketing activity may be in vain if the frequent Australian-Japanese ministerial level negotiations going on now result in increasingly firm proposals to buy Japan's Soryu, Mark 2 (non-AIP but Lithium-ion battery). 



nkp said...

hi Pete,
why would Australia buy submarine from japan when they are fully sufficient to build there own?? I read it somewhere that its cheaper but is it possible that a foreign make sub will be cheaper(including there profit) and self made is costly? also will it also provide its technology to you? lastly why non AIP. it is now must for ssk

Pete said...

Hi nkp

As Australia has lost its skills, designers and builders of submarines Australia would take twice as long at twice the price to build submarines compared to sub builders Japan, Germany or France.

Australia wants/needs a very large conventional submarine. Japan's Soryu is the only large enough conventional submarine in production.

To meet the Australian need: Germany has a design for the never built HDW 216 and France is offering to convert its nuclear attack submarine (Barracuda) design into a conventional submarine to be called the SMX Ocean (really a new sub).

Concerning Project 75I - it would be best for India to complete the current 6 DCNS Scorpenes "Kalvari Class" first before ordering more conventional subs.



nkp said...

hi pete

even i feel the same way - first complete 6(or 10 as tot can go upto 10) then go for higher weight class ssk( or ssn as arihant can be a good ssn except for speed)
my projection for india

30 sub
1) 12 ssk
2) 6 ssn
3) 3 ssbn
4) 3 ssgn

Pete said...

Hi nkp

I had a thought that "a higher weight class ssk" might for India logically point to a submarine from France's DCNS. That ssk would be:

- heavier than the 6 DCNS Scorpenes India is already buying, and

- related to the DCNS proposeed "SMX Ocean" SSK derivative of DCNS Barracuda SSN

This may contribute to India's SSN development which, in negotiation with DCNS, could be an Indian version or development of the Barracuda SSN.