Civmec, in collaboration with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS), unveiled December 14 a newly-built submarine hull section constructed by Civmec at their Henderson facility in Western Australia.
This construction is a self-funded initiative, used by the companies to prove that they have the expertise and capabilities to play a part in the construction of Australia’s future naval submarine fleet.
Civmec Executive Chairman Jim Fitzgerald said the work shows that Civmec has the appropriate skills and can meet the fine tolerances required for building submarines.
“We’ve never done anything like this before, so to get into the business if we build a section of the submarine at our cost, we can demonstrate to everybody that we have the ability,” he said.
The hull section was designed in Germany by TKMS before the plans were digitally transmitted to Civmec for the construction phase.
ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems is participating in the Federal Government’s Competitive Evaluation Process to select the International Partner to build Australia’s next generation of submarines and sees advanced manufacturing, using digital design, construction techniques and data management, as a key part of its approach.
Chairman of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems Australia, Dr John White, said that ThyssenKrupp was able to design the hull section at its Kiel, Germany shipyard for the West Australian shipbuilding and engineering company Civmec to use the latest technology to complete the build.
Dr White said: “Importantly, it means that having agreed on the final design of the new submarine fleet in accordance with the Department of Defence’s specific requirements, the process of building the fleet can be completed in Australia using local companies like Civmec, Austal and ASC among others. They will effectively have TKMS as a partner in their workshops and drawing offices, 24/7, as part of a seamless digital data link – effectively an industrial internet.”
Dr White also said that ThyssenKrupp has already engaged with approximately 500 companies around Australia who could take part in a local submarine build.