Submarine construction programme lifts Australia’s ambitions
Our friends at the Submarine Institute of Australia were due to run a seminar today. The question they were to consider is ‘Might submarines lead a nuclear industry in Australia?’. Unfortunately, rising cases of Covid’s ‘Delta’ variant has caused the event to be postponed. We of course wish everyone there all the best.
In 2015, Australia’s government commissioned the building of 12 conventionally powered submarines as replacements for its Collins class. The boats are being built in Adelaide to a French design. The programme is the most complex defence acquisition project in Australian history.
The premise of the seminar is that the transfer of engineering skills to Australia that the build programme is creating will enable the country to step up its ambitions. Building nuclear powered submarines in Australia may become possible.
SMI is committed to Australia and we will be part of its story of capability growth.
Our company was founded to manufacture cable and connector systems for submarines and we supply to the British Royal Navy’s nuclear-powered boats. We currently have a sales and administrative office in Perth. To this, we are adding a manufacturing facility. This will see the transfer of technology, processes and skills from our Andover head office in the UK to the new site. When complete, SMI products used in Australian submarines will be manufactured in Australia.
We will recruit the team for our facility in Australia, with some of our UK staff spending time in the country to provide comprehensive training. Their aim will be to ensure the standards of design and manufacturing quality our Australian colleagues deliver are consistently equal to the exceptional level delivered in Andover.
This is a potentially transformative time for Australia. The submarine programme will result in a significantly more capable Royal Australian Navy and marine construction industry with the confidence and resources to take on further complex procurement programmes. We are very much looking forward to being part of the country’s success.