Now that all three competitors have issued final proposals in Australia's AU$ 50 billion (US $36.44 billion) Future Submarine program, an expert advisory panel will begin its evaluations and issue findings next year to guide the government's selection.
Up to 12 large conventional submarines will be acquired under Project Sea 1000. The Australian government selected France’s DCNS, TKMS of Germany and the government of Japan to participate in a competitive evaluation process (CEP).
“Since the CEP began in February, all three participants have worked closely with [the Department of] Defence and they should be congratulated for the hard work and significant investment they have made to reach this point,” Australian Defence Minister Sen. Marise Payne said in a statement.
“Submarines are Defence’s most complex, sensitive and expensive capability, so it is important that evaluation process is fair and robust.”
Each of the three bidders is required to submit three strategies for construction of the Future Submarine, from full completion in their home shipyards; through a hybrid model where initial boats are built in the home yard and the remainder in Australia; and a complete build in an Australian shipyard.
DCNS is proposing a conventionally powered derivative of its Barracuda nuclear attack submarine, known as the Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A. The company announced that its proposal, which includes a government-to-government agreement between the Australian Department of Defence and France’s Direction Générale de Armament, was submitted on Nov. 27.
TKMS is bidding a submarine which uses its existing HDW Type 216 boat as a reference design, but will be significantly scaled up to meet Australia’s requirements.
During the Pacific 2015 Maritime Exposition held in Sydney in October, TKMS Australia Chairman John White announced that the design would be named "Endeavour," after the barque of Capt. James Cook who landed on Australia’s east coast in 1770.
The Japanese government, in partnership with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Shipbuilding, is dealing directly with the Australian Defence Department’s procurement organization, the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group. The Japanese are proposing a new submarine design based upon the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force’s current Soryu-class boat.