70% of the future submarine may be built in Australia but if Australia accepts the US's pro Japan bid policy then Japan will win. Australia will have to tolerate Japanese inexperience while Japan attempts to develop the build in Australia project. This may be expensive and risky for Australia.
US influence and involvement issues include:
1. Australia's on the record preference for the US combat system
- the combat system may amount to 30% of the cost of the submarine.
- On February 20, 2015 Defence Minister Andrews declared: "...the Government has endorsed a set of key strategic requirements for our future submarines:...c) The combat system and heavyweight torpedo jointly developed between the United States and Australia as the preferred combat system and main armament."
- see further Australian Ministerial and Defence-DMO support and planning for future use of the US combat system
2. Given the highly confidential nature of combat system technology (and its reliance on US SeaWeb sensor infrastructure) it may be effectively up to the US which country such technology can be transferred to.
- US technology transfer powers may limit Australian decision-making and also influence how our future submarines are built.
- It is widely believed in the submarine industry that the US would not wish combat system technology transferred to French submarine builders.
- as the US is believed to have already transferred much of its combat system technology to Japan it is assumed that integration of the combat system into a future Australian submarine designed by Japan would not be a problem.
- parts of the US combat system have been integrated with some German (TKMS) designed submarines. Such as Lockheed Martin modifying Brazil's Tupi (Type 209) class submarines to use US Mark 48 torpedoes . So TKMS may stand between Japan and France in terms of ease of integration of the US combat system.
- perhaps to reinforce that the US combat system will go into the future Australian submarine Lockheed Martin has announced that it is opening up a Combat System for Australia office at Mawson Lakes, Adelaide, in November 2015 "The laboratory is all about risk reduction. It gives us the flexibility to work with the SEA 1000 hull designers and combat subsystem providers in every step of the process" said Raydon Gates [Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin Australia].
- in terms of proconsular imperium Vice Adm. Robert Thomas, commander of the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet, reportedly said Oct. 24  in Tokyo that then-Australian Defence Minister David Johnston was very interested in Japan’s Soryu-class subs. “I talked to him about it four years ago and I said: ‘You want to find the finest diesel-electric submarine made on the planet - it’s made at Kobe works in Japan,’
4. In terms of the Expert Advisory Panel the US has further influence in the submarine selection process.
- Of the four Expert Advisory Panellists for the Competitive Evaluation Process (CEP) the most senior is an American, Donald C. Winter. He is "senior" by virtue of his position as a former senior politician (US Secretary of the Navy) and former Corporate Vice President Northrop Grumman
- This may favour Japan and the US stake in the combat system.
5. The US combat system (known as the AN/BYG-1) is closely integrated with the Collins' current weapons including: the American made Mark 48 torpedoes and Harpoon anti-ship cruise missiles. The combat system is also tailored to the long range US Tomahawk land attack cruise missile system that Australia wishes to mount in the future submarine.
6. There is an argument that integrating the whole US combat system into the winning competitor's submarine design in Australia is more efficient in terms of minimising contractual disputes, commercial-in-confidence problems and US and Australian national security problems.
7. There is a counter argument that greater technical and cost efficiencies can be achieved by integrating the US combat system with the standard systems already used by the three competitors; France (DCNS), Germany (TKMS) and Japan (KHI, MHI and Japanese Government).
Along the lines of 7. - at Submarine Matters' Turnbull Govt New Policy - 70% Future Submarine to Be Built in Australia, September 17, 2015 "MHalblaub" (on behalf of Germany) made some interesting comments on September 21, 2015 8:58 PM along the lines:
Regarding "the combat system I have to mention a few thoughts: