Schneider Electric to produce Main DC Switchboards for subs

The contract for the procurement of Main Direct Current (DC) Switchboards for the Future Submarine Program has been signed by Naval Group and Schneider Electric France.

Although the contract signatory is Schneider Electric France, capabilities for the delivery of the program will be transferred to Schneider Electric Australia, which according to a statement from Naval Group, will ensure the sustainment of the Main DC Switchboards is carried out in Australia.

“Naval Group is committed to maximising opportunities for Australian industry in all phases of the Future Submarine Program and ensuring we create a sustainable sovereign submarine capability,” said John Davis, chief executive officer, Naval Group Australia.

In the proposed delivery of the Main DC Switchboards, the first, pre-qualification switchboards will be built in Grenoble, France, while the remaining switchboards and the Land Based Prototype facility will be built in Australia by Schneider Electric Australia.

This will allow Schneider Electric Australia train engineering and technical management staff during the design and build, while transferring manufacturing, quality control and factory acceptance testing capabilities to Australia.

In addition, program management, asset management, product lifecycle management, sustainment and integrated logistics support will be carried out in Australia, and components will be sourced from Australian suppliers. Gareth O’Reilly, Australian president of Schneider Electric pointed to the local benefits of the contract.

“While the contract is directly with Schneider Electric France and they will transfer appropriate capabilities, this project delivers significant work for our local suppliers in manufacturing, fabrication and material supply, based in Adelaide and across Australia,” said Reilly.

Schneider Electric has indicated that they will seek local suppliers for the fabrication of switchboards, and heat exchange manufacturers.

The Main DC Switchboards will supply power from the submarine’s batteries and diesel generators, to the systems that run the submarine.