June 18, 2016

DCNS, ASC Negotiating Shortfin Build Partnership

Pete's Comment - In about 2030 ASC will be launching Shortfins (faster, quieter, world class, bold and cutting edge) maintaining ASC's Collins and Air Warfare Destroyer (above) standards. (Photo courtesy ASC)

IHS Jane's Defence Weekly, June 17, 2016 reports: 

"DCNS and ASC negotiate new commercial partnership for Australia's future submarines"

(102 of 740 word whole IHS Jane's article) "French naval shipbuilder DCNS and Australia's ASC are working through the terms of a new commercial partnership through which they intend to build the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN's) 12 Future Submarines, Sean Costello, chief executive officer of DCNS Australia has confirmed.
In comments to IHS Jane's on 15 June, Costello said DCNS is currently in talks with the shipbuilder about the "framework" for the collaborative arrangement. DCNS was selected by Canberra as preferred design partner in the AUD50 billion (USD38 billion) programme in late April.
Costello said, "DCNS has proposed to work with ASC on the industrialisation of the Future Submarine programme.""
Click to read whole of IHS Jane's subscription article. 


An issue influencing negotiations would be the possibility of ASC being split into two separate companies and privatised by its Government owner. This should allow ASC to be sold off more easily and would recognise that just one ASC may be fully committed to surface shipbuilding issues. 

ASC has the three Air Warfare Destroyers (AWDs) to complete. Then ASC will likely be fairly fully involved in the Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV)(steel cut from 2018) and Future Frigate (steel cut from 2020) builds. 

A separate offshoot of ASC, committed to the Shortfin submarine build, makes sense.

A split of ASC and privatisation seemed to be supported in different quarters in April 2016 before the pre-July 2, 2016 Election "caretaker period" suspended such thinking unti after the Election.



Anonymous said...

2030. Truth is do we know how the world will look like 15 years from now? Let's look back 15-18 years ago, the world we lived in then was quite different. High speed internet was only in its early phases, ditto for e-commerce (how many of us see Amazon then), smartphones were nearly non existent (how about Apple). Facebook has yet to make its marks. I am only pointing out that with the pace of technology development, may be a handful today will be able to predict accurately what "advanced" will mean 15 years from now. And that is just for technologies. In addition, the world we live in and know it is at a crossroad of changes, important changes on so many key dimensions, economic, political, religion, weather, etc..

Nicky K.D Chaleunphone said...

Hi Pete,
I think what Australia needs to do is let DCSN supervise the Submarine construction and let ASC build it under DCNS supervision

Peter Coates said...


Thats true.

Decision-makers should be flexible enough to act on changing circumstances. A subs's electronics and weapon systems should be built so they are easy to update.

Also the uncertainties of UUVs and other major new technologies should be watched closely.



Peter Coates said...

Hi Nicky K.D Chaleunphone

Yes certainly ASC should not be again permitted to become a complacent, government "company".

Privatising the submarine half of ASC and selling that half to DCNS might be a good idea.