Australia’s Future Submarine Program is the largest defence capital investment program in Australia’s history and is a truly national endeavour. Design of the Future Submarine has commenced, with platform construction due to begin in 2022-23 and the first Future Submarine likely to enter service in the early 2030’s. Lockheed Martin Australia is the combat system integrator for the Future Submarine Program (FSP), collaborating with the Australian Department of Defence and Naval Group to design the combat system, maximising the involvement of Australian industry and using a local workforce.
After selection as the Attack class submarine Combat System Integrator (CSI) in late 2016, with an initial mobilisation contract period, LMA signed a Design, Build and Integration Contract (DBIC) in January 2018. The DBIC is a multi-decade contract for the design, build and integration of the Combat System.
The Program will deliver a submarine combat system designed and integrated in Australia as the basis for warfighting capabilities of the Royal Australian Navy for the next 40 years and beyond after decommissioning of the Collins class submarines. In this endeavour, LMA is working collaboratively with all FSP stakeholders to realise a regionally superior combat system design which is planned to be regularly evolved to allow for technology updates and enhancements to meet the future warfighting requirements of RAN Submarine Force.
The Lockheed Australian submarine combat system design and integration capability resides in South Australia with reach back to US based Lockheed Martin team. We have developed an Australian FSP combat system team of over 200 new Australian jobs.
For the procurement of combat system subsystems and equipment, LMA will release more than 25 Requests for Quotation (RFQ) which are scheduled to be released to in excess of 90 individual companies. The current Sourcing focus in the CSI program is on negotiating the first contracts with the preferred Tenders for critical and major subsystems. In addition, evaluation of RFQ responses from Industry continue along with preparation of Source Evaluation Reports with recommendations to the Commonwealth on preferred suppliers as well as finalising the remaining combat system RFQ packages yet to be released.
As of mid 2019, LMA has released some 85 individual RFQs to 45 companies, and has registered some 340 companies as potential combat system suppliers.
The current Program technical focus has been on requirements analysis and system/subsystem specification development progressing towards future combat system Design Reviews and in preparation of Procurement Specifications to support the release of further combat system RFQs.
All 12 Future Submarines will be built in Adelaide with an Australia workforce which is why industry involvement is so vital to the construction and sustainment of the fleet. In 2016-17, Lockheed Martin Australia joined with the Department of Defence and Naval Group regularly hosts industry briefings across the country to highlight the industrial capability requirements and opportunities for Australian industry.
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The CSI Research and Development (R&D) Program for the Future Submarine Program has been established to collaborate with industry to deliver ongoing state-of-the-art sovereign capabilities and technology to the Future Submarine.
In March 2019, LMA announced the first contract awards for the CSI R&D Program. Ten industry partners were selected, after a competitive process, to develop a white paper in alignment with R&D topics released for industry response. The first tranche of $75,000 seeding grants had a combined total of more than $900,000.
The next set of R&D topics available for industry response is expected to be released in Q3 2019.
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Flinders University is a leading Australian University that has substantial expertise in defence, including innovative research for unmanned marine vehicles, spanning from simulation-based research through to testing and validation on advanced prototype vehicles.
Flinders University was one of the ten organisations selected to develop and R&D concept to deliver the future potential capability upgrades for the combat system of Australia’s Future Submarines. Flinders University were selected to write a White Paper on the following research topic: The identification of novel operational concepts associated with the use of uninhabited and autonomous systems by a submarine.
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L3 Oceania is the partner of choice in the provision of world class maritime, land and situational awareness systems. A customer-focused company, acknowledged as a global leader in the provision of acoustic systems and solutions to the naval and maritime domains particularly in the areas of through-water communications and portable tracking, and geospatial support systems.
With more than 20 years of experience, the company prides itself in the capability of its people and the pursuit of excellence in program management and engineering. L3 Oceania was selected to develop two research White Paper on the following topics:
1. Methods and technologies to improve communications with and between submarines; and
2. Improving the performance of video communications for use between a submarine and emergency rescue forces.
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Naval Group Australia (formerly DCNS) – a subsidiary of French shipbuilding company Naval Group – is Australia’s international design and build partner for the Future Submarine Program.
Naval Group is one of the most experienced submarine designers and builders in the world, having built more than 100 submarines for nine navies.
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Helen is a Graduate Software Engineer in the Human Factors team working on Australia’s Future Submarine Fleet. She is currently focused on understanding the proposed design of the Future Submarine’s Control Room and looking at way the space can be optimised for Australia’s future submariners.
Mike is the Director of Lockheed Martin Australia’s Submarine Program. In this video, Mr Oliver speaks of the importance of Human Factors, the operators needs (cognition and information flow) in a constrained space. “We want to ensure that there is an appropriate communal system integration by where the submariner has access to the right information, at the right time, in the right context,” he
Jack’s Honours project at university was to automate a small unmanned submarine, so when the opportunity to work on Australia’s Future Submarine fleet came up, he jumped at the opportunity. Jack is a Hardware Engineer Associate working in a team that is laying the groundwork for the development of Australia’s Future Submarine fleet. Jack joined the team this year after graduating with a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronic) (Honours) and a Bachelor of Math and Computer Science (Computer Science).