Submarine Matters provides an expanding database on submarines worldwide. Australia should contract in 2016 to only buy a batch of 6 Shortfins - then, in the 2030s, decide whether to buy: 6 more Shortfins or 6 Barracuda SSNs or 4 Virginia SSNs. With increasing numbers of Chinese, Russian and Indian SSNs in Australia's region Australia's Shortfins cannot attain any 2016 Defence White Paper goal of being "regionally superior". Australia would need to buy SSNs to be "superior".
March 26, 2015
Documents for Competitive Evaluation Process sent to (Likely) Bidders
Australia'sFuture Submarine Summit (“Sub Summit”) Adelaide, South Australia, March 24-26, 2015 is just finishing. Many Australian politicians,
military officers, officials and some lucky journalists took part as well as foreign industry representatives and
foreign naval officers.
Kevin Andrews reaffirmed that the competitive evaluation process would
continue. Andrews said that Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s [of the ALP “Labor
Party”] alternate policy of a Tender (that also included Sweden) would not be
adopted. Significantly Shorten promised he
would honour any submarine contracts signed by the Abbott Government.
Andrews said the Abbott government will appoint an expert
advisory panel to ensure accountability for the first phase of the future
submarine project. That "The panel will oversee the “competitive evaluation process”
between companies from Germany and
France and the Government of Japan. Industry representatives questioned the
move and many wondered how the evaluation process could possibly be fair when Japan was being dealt with on a
government-to-government basis while the German and French builders were on a
“It looks to me
like the decision might already have been made,” said one CEO who asked to
remain anonymous. “This whole process clearly favours Japan.”
CEO of DMO, Harry Dunstall, said the project…would include maximum
Australian industry involvement regardless of where the vessels were built. There
are three build options on the table, an overseas build, an Australian build or
a hybrid build between Australia and an overseas yard.
Mr Dunstall said potential build partners would submit
pre-concept plans by November 2015
with a decision to be made by government in early 2016.
[Another source advised “Harry Dunstall, …told the
conference that after the bidding contracts had been signed, there would be an eight-month period during which the
companies would prepare their preliminary design proposal and present it to the
government for consideration. [Question - Is that an additional stage of the process?]
Dunstall said Australia would insist on full access to
all technical and intellectual property
details related to the project for the life of the boats.
And firms would be
banned from entering exclusive teaming arrangements with the bidders before
a contract was signed.
“All potential international partners are to be treated
fairly,” Mr Dunstall said. “We want industry to be available to work with any
international partner that we choose.”