The MP from South Australia, Christopher Pyne, has made some hopeful, damage-control, claims regarding Arrium and Future Submarine submarine steel which seem to show a lot of ignorance.
Australia's ABC News Online, April 8, 2016 reported:
“While the Federal Government is not promising a bailout package, Mr Pyne strongly indicated this morning the company could get contracts linked to the next fleet of submarines.
"Because of the Government's commitment to the 12 subs, the nine frigates, the patrol vessels and so on, there will be a whole body of work coming through the pipeline," Mr Pyne told Channel 9.
An industry source told the ABC Arrium does not produce the type of steel needed to build submarines but said it could modify its operations or produce steel beams supporting the construction of the submarines….”
The steel plant at Whyalla, owned by Arrium, makes “long steel” products - mainly steel reinforcing bars and beams for homes and buildings.
It is possible that Arrium could gear up to make the few hundred tonnes of steel beams needed in Australia's Future Submarine project. But this would only be needed in the mid 2020s based on the Turnbull Government's plans to delay the Future Submarines build until the late 2020s. For an Australian submarine build, first steel might only be cut in 2028.
The example of any Australian company making submarine steel overwhelmingly involves a fundamentally different type of product, that is flat steel for submarine hulls.
Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) was also involved - see "High-strength steel and welds" here.
It is unlikely an Australian steel maker could make submarine steel with economies of scale or have an export market for that steel. It is highly unlikely that the submarine contenders Japan, Germany or France would rely on Australia to be the sole/only source of submarine grade steel for the winning submarine type. Unsurprisingly Japan, Germany and France would value their own steel industries' ability to make highly strategic submarine steel.
Germany, France and Japan would probably be nervous about their key classified pressure hull steel technology finding its way to any foreign companies affiliated/associated with Australian steel companies. Germany, France and particularly Japan would worry about Chinese affiliated companies due to Western strategic distrust of China and economic competition with it.