On November 23, Naval Group announced that Babcock International Group PLC will provide the weapon discharge system for the Attack class submarines.
Babcock will transfer the intellectual property of the system to Babcock Australia, the Australian subsidiary of the London-headquartered company.
Babcock Australia has delivered similar systems to Australia’s current fleet of Collins class submarines, including the weapons launch systems, weapons handling system, and submerged signal ejectors. In addition, Babcock supplies systems for the Hobart class guided missile destroyers.
As part of the contract, Babcock Australia will be the Engineering Design Authority for the installation of weapon discharge systems for the Attack class submarines, to be built by Naval Group. Training, maintenance, and supply chain management will be carried out by Babcock Australia. According to a statement from Minister for Defence, Linda Reynolds, 170 jobs will be created by the contract.
The local ingredient in defence contracts has been the subject of recent criticism by the Australian Industry & Defence Network (AIDN), however John Davis, CEO of Naval Group Australia assured Australian industry that they will be involved.
“Babcock’s investment in local infrastructure and intellectual capital will be critical to the success of the program and will ensure we create and sustain a sovereign submarine capability now and into the future,” said Davis.
Local involvement in the program will include mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic components, assembly and testing. Suppliers registered on the ICN Gateway can lodge expressions of interest in early 2020. CEO of Babcock Australia & New Zealand, David Ruff, emphasised the local nature of the program.
“Babcock is pre-eminent in the global submarine industry and the transfer of this class-leading IP, know-how and expertise – together with a significant investment in manufacturing, engineering and skills that will ensure the Attack weapons launch system is manufactured, built and sustained in Australia – is confirmation of Babcock Australia’s commitment to grow our national defence and export industry; and continue to play our part in the security of this nation,” said Ruff.