Defence officials revealed the future submarine program has already missed a key milestone by six months but they insist they will meet their commitment for the new boats to enter service by the mid-2030s.
Under questioning from Senator Rex Patrick, officials told Senate estimates on Wednesday that a planned review of its system requirements was meant to begin in March but had yet to get under way.
Defence's acting general manager of submarines Rear-Admiral Greg Sammut said the review would now start later this year.
Rear-Admiral Sammut said the criteria for the review was still being assessed. He said officials decided it would be "prudent" to allow more time to do preliminary work before the review so designing the submarine could be done more expeditiously.
"We have not changed delivery date for the future submarine," he said.
During questioning, Senator Patrick clashed with Defence Minister Linda Reynolds after he quipped "all is well in the Soviet state" in frustration over the answers he was getting from officials.
"This is a project running late minister and if you don't recognise that you shouldn't be in the chair," Senator Patrick said. (end of excerpt)
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