October 5, 2015

TKMS Reducing Reliance on ASC in South Australia?

Chairman of TKMS Australia, Dr John White. (Photo courtesy Noelle Bobrige via News Corp Australia)

 Model of a TKMS Type 216, the German contender for Australia's future submarine, at a defence exhibition. (Youtube published December 5, 2013).

Full cutaway of a TKMS Type 216 (Courtesy defense-update

Part cutaway of TKMS Type 216. Note at least one Vertical Multi-Purpose Lock (for Tomahawk cruise missile vertical launch and other uses) and some larger torpedo tubes (for swim out capability or LDUUVs). Crew may be an efficient 35. A small crew that takes into account Australia's usual  crew shortages). (Diagram courtesy TKMS via news com au). 


TKMS in the West Australian (see article below) considers shipbuilders at Henderson, Western Australia, as more than capable of building sections of submarines and/or assemble whole subs. But TKMS is also saying most of the work can still be done in South Australia and that the Type 216 will have a longer range than the proposed Australian Soryu.

Much of the Future Frigate and Offshore Patrol Vessel work was prematurally promised to South Australia by Abbott on August 4, 2015. The work was meant to be announced after the planned October release of the 2015 Defence White Paper. But Abbott rushed forward the announcement to ensure MPs from South Australia voted for him in any leadership spill - this did not work.

Abbott's haste has confused the normal process of dividing up of shipbuilding work - a process that usually takes years. Clearly South Australia cannot get most of the work in Future Frigate and Offshore Patrol Vessel assembly AND Submarine assembly.

Now that South Australia feels entitled to all three shipbuilding projects this is an unworkable expectation from the point of view of other States and the new Turnbull Federal Government. This  entitlement would also compound ASC's famous inefficiency. ASC, which wishes to assemble the subs in South Australia, is currently building 3 Air Warfare Destroyers at a cost of AU$10 Billion (so far). That is 200% more expensive than the world's most efficient shipyards, in Spain and South Korea.

Hence contenders like TKMS (while being asked to compete themselves) are also trying to encourage some competition between the major Australian shipbuilders.

TKMS is hedging that work can be done in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria. New Defence Minister Marise Payne, from NSW, will also need to guarantee that sections will be built in NSW.

One only hopes a Collins II "efficiency build" is not repeated - in Adelaide or elsewhere.


Nick Butterly (in Canberra) for The West Australian, October 5, 2015, reports, https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/29720117/german-company-backs-wa-for-subs/ :

German company backs WA for subs

TKMS "...says WA could play a central role in building Australia’s next generation submarine if it wins the multibillion-dollar contract to replace the ageing Collins Class fleet.

ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems believes the shipbuilding infrastructure at Henderson, south of Perth, is world-class and would be perfect for building sections of boats - or even entire submarines.

“There’s the capacity to do the whole submarine there if you wanted to,” TKMS Australia chairman John White said. “It’s really just a question of what the Government wants to do.”

TKMS is considered the leading contender to win the submarine contract after Tony Abbott was removed as prime minister. 

...[Nevertheless] "TKMS would base the bulk of its submarine work in Adelaide, where thousands of manufacturing jobs had been lost because of the death of the local car industry.

...WA-based shipbuilder Austal has long said that it would like to play some role in the submarine contract - possibly managing the project...." WHOLE ARTICLE

Please connect with Submarine Matters' Australia's $90 Billion Naval Shipbuilding More Complex Under New Government, September 29, 2015


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