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Australian Minister Details Future Submarine Plans

Greg Combet, Parliamentary Secretary of Defence Procurement, tonight addressed the Submarine Institute of Australia (SIA) in a speech titled – ‘The National Interest –Challenges of a Submarine Building Industry’.

“The Government is committed to retaining a viable submarine warfare capability for Australia, and Defence will now conduct studies in preparation of a submission for consideration by Government in the second half of 2009,” Mr Combet said.

“The construction of the next generation submarine will be a nation building program unrivalled in our history and it would not be an exaggeration to compare it to the construction of the Snowy Mountains scheme.”

“Submarines provide a vital military capability for Australia and we are committed to supporting Australian industry involvement.”

Mr Combet also addressed the issue of skills required for the construction of the next generation submarine. He said “without doubt the workforce required for the future submarine will probably be the most advanced workforce the defence industry has ever required, if not also the largest.”

Mr Combet said the Government recently announced a major step forward with $4.67 million in funding being approved for a program of studies in support of the acquisition of Australia’s future submarines.

“A Project Office of seventeen people is being established to manage the Future Submarine Project, designated SEA 1000 and this will expand over the coming years.”

“Some funded studies are also proposed to gain an appreciation of how companies might approach specific design problems in order to encourage risk reduction.”

“To support early decisions on critical design aspects, some DSTO and company technology studies are also proposed. These will cover areas such as battery technology and conceptual designs for weapons and payload handling and storage.”

“This is yet another demonstration that this Government is committed to ensuring that Australia’s future Defence capabilities are carefully considered and well-planned.”

“The Future Submarine is expected to enter service around 2025 when the Collins class will begin to be withdrawn from service at the end of their planned lives”

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Combet Addresses Submarine Institute of Australia on Future Submarines