The Australian Government is considering an order of twelve new submarines to replace its ageing Collins subs.
However, the Government is still not 100 percent sure where these new vessel will be built.
Currently the Japanese Soryu class subs are leading the race as favorites, but the final decision on this project could be announced mid-year, as part of the new Defence White paper.
According to the Australian Associated Press, Australia’s Defence Chief Mark Binskin commented that more focus should be put on timely delivery of the appropriate vessels, than on where they will be built. He added that building the submarines in Australia might not necessarily be in the best interest for the project. ABC News quoted Binskin as saying:
I don’t believe you have to build to be able to sustain in the country.
Binskin’s main concern is that, if the project gets held up, the country could lose its defence capacity.
This venture, the largest and most complex Defence procurement, will presumably cost anywhere between $20 billion and $40 billion.
The existing six Collins class submarines are expected to start retiring sometime in the next ten years.
Naval Today Staff, Image: SAAB