DCNS Australia celebrated the founding of its Australian headquarters in Keswick, Adelaide, which will be dedicated to delivering the Future Submarine Program.
The ceremony was attended by Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia, Minister for Defense Industry, Christopher Pyne MP, Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister for Defense and a number of parliamentarians and defense sector figures.
“This is an important initial milestone in DCNS’ decades long commitment to the design and construction of 12 regionally superior submarines in Adelaide,” said Herve Guillou, Chairman and Global CEO of DCNS Group.
“This facility, and our local Adelaide workforce starting with 50 people in 2017, marks the beginning of our relationship as part of the community,” Guillou said.
The facility will become operational in early 2017 to support DCNS’ activities around Australia, including the transfer of technology from France to Australia, the development of the Australian supply chain and the design of a new shipyard in Adelaide.
“We are planning from the beginning to maximize the participation of Australian business in this $50 billion project,” said Sean Costello, CEO, DCNS Australia.
“Australian industry participation is not just good for local business and the community, but critical for the transfer of knowledge and the creation of Australian sovereignty for the operation and sustainment of the submarines,” Costello said.
The signature of an inter-governmental agreement (IGA) between the French and the Australian governments marks a major step for the Australian future submarines program and cover the whole commitment between the two countries, according to DCNS, who is now allowed to execute the submarines contracts.
The IGA fully launches the Australian future submarines program which will include several successive contracts between DCNS and the Australian government. The next contract between DCNS and the Australian government should be signed next autumn. It will deal with complete studies and conceptual designs of the future submarines. The framework contract was signed at the end of September 2016; it includes preliminary design activities, coordination with Lockheed Martin the Combat System Integrator, and the building of infrastructures.
The start of the first submarine construction is expected to take place around 2020, with the first delivery planned for 2030.
The Australian future program should employ about 2,900 persons in Australia directly involved in the submarine program in Australia. Furthermore, 50 persons will be employed in DCNS Headquarters near Adelaide.