Naval Group engages KBR in $50b SEA1000 project

Naval Group Australia, a subsidiary of French shipbuilding company Naval Group, has partnered with South Australian engineering company, KBR, to develop the concept design for the proposed Future Submarine (SEA1000) construction yard at the Osborne Naval Shipbuilding precinct in South Australia.

The submarine construction yard concept design will include the facilities and infrastructure required to construct a fleet of twelve regionally superior Future Submarines for the Royal Australian Navy.

Announcing the decision, Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher Pyne, said the Future Submarine construction yard would sit alongside the surface shipyard, which will deliver the Royal Australian Navy’s Future Frigates.

According to Minister Pyne, the contract, worth around $7 million, will employ 100 of KBR’s South Australian staff.

Naval Group Australia had been in the look out for qualified local partners ever since it won the contract in 2016 to build Australia’s $50 billion fleet of new submarines, which will hit the water in the early 2030s.

Minister Pyne had earlier announced that at least 60 per cent of the work on the submarines would be done by Australian firms.

“The Future Submarine Program is expected to generate an annual average of around 2,800 Australian jobs, including 1,100 direct and a further 1,700 in the supply chain,” Minister Pyne noted.


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A team of KBR and Naval Group Australia engineers will undertake design workshops within Australia and France to inform the concept design and facilitate knowledge transfer. The team will draw on Naval Group’s international experience as a reference point for Australia’s Future Submarine yard.

“We will be utilising Naval Group’s extensive experience building and maintaining nuclear and conventional submarines for the French, Brazilian, Malaysian, Indian and Chilean navies to ensure that the facility is appropriately equipped to build Australia’s Future Submarine fleet” said Brent Clark, Interim CEO, Naval Group Australia.

“KBR is excited to be providing our expertise to Naval Group for this nationally significant project that will deliver a world-class future submarine facility, a significant component of the infrastructure enabler of Australia’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan. Having designed the original Collins submarine facility in South Australia in the 1980’s and more recently the Air Warfare Destroyer shipyard, KBR brings extensive local defence infrastructure engineering and program management experience to this important project” said Greg Conlon, KBR President Asia Pacific.