In the context of the SEA 1000 programme, which will equip the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) with 12 new submarines, in July Naval Group (formerly DCNS) and Lockheed Martin Australia welcomed the official opening of Australia’s Future Submarine Office by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Cherbourg, France.
The Office, known as ‘Hughes House’ in recognition of RADM ‘Oscar’ Hughes and his invaluable role in Australia’s submarine history as Director of the ‘Collins’ class Submarine Project, is a tripartite secure facility that will house Submarine designers, naval architects and engineers. All will work side by side on Australia’s Future Submarine Programme.
"Today marks an important and tangible milestone for the program as the facility allows all three partners to work together in a modern and highly secure environment to further enhance and develop the already close partnership," said Hervé Guillou, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Naval Group. "We are looking forward to establishing an Australian workforce in Cherbourg to develop the skills and understanding required to establish a regionally superior submarine and develop a sovereign Australian industrial capability."
Over 50 Australians will join the Naval Group and Lockheed Martin Australia employees in the development of a mature design of the Future Submarine. "At Lockheed Martin Australia, we are proud to partner with the Australian Government and Naval Group to deliver a regionally superior, sovereign, sustainable submarine programme," said Vince Di Pietro AM, Lockheed Martin Chief Executive Australia & New Zealand. "This office will provide a collaboration space for the Naval Group and Lockheed Martin Australia to work closely with our Australian Government partners to provide the best possible submarine fleet to provide protection for Australia's trade and assure the nation's maritime security."
While today's announcement is the first major milestone event, the design of the Future Submarine is already well underway, as is engagement with Australian Industry. The Future Submarine Program is hosting industry briefings across all states and territories reaching more than 850 Australian companies, detailing how they can become involved. It is this collaboration between Naval Group, Lockheed Martin Australia and the Australian industry that will guarantee Australia’s sovereignty for the maintenance and operation of the Future Submarines throughout their life.
Dr. Alix Valenti