Home' Defence Technology Review : DTR DEC JAN 2015 Contents 27
DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 05 | DEC/JAN 2015
competitive tender for Sea 1000
WHAT THEY SAID ABOUT...
WHAT THEY SAID ABOUT...
THE NEED FOR A COMPETITIVE TENDER
There are significant technical, commercial and capability gap risks invoked by prematurely
and unilaterally committing to a preferred overseas, sole-source supplier. – Dr John White
If the Government were to make it known that it was sole-sourcing a contract...then it would
place that Government in a negotiating position where it would be difficult, if not impossible, to
get a good deal on both price and terms and conditions. This would de facto expose Australia
to an unacceptable level of risk in the national security domain. – Professor Goran Roos
The only way to pick it is to conduct a competitive project definition study where you can get
the answers back to your top-level requirements. – Rear Admiral Peter Briggs (Rtd)
It just beggars belief that you would go with one provider without testing the market.
– The Hon Martin Hamilton-Smith, South Australian Minister for Defence Industries
You will never know the true potential cost of a project until you get multiple companies to put
their names to dollar figures on firm tender bids. – Mr Chris Burns, Defence Teaming Centre
THE MOTS OPTION
There are no MOTS options. Even the most capable of available overseas submarines will
require modification. – Commander Frank Owen (Rtd), Submarine Institute of Australia
A MOTS design will not suit Australia and the design will have to be heavily modified. A
MOTS design even slightly modified ain’t MOTS. There is no shortcut.
– Commodore Paul Greenfield (Rtd)
It is apparent therefore that SORYU would need to be heavily modified to meet the Australian
requirements, particularly for long ocean transits and patrols. This would carry cost,
performance and schedule risks and will amount to a new design; it will not be a Military Off
The Shelf (MOTS) acquisition. – Rear Admiral Peter Briggs (Rtd) and Commodore Terrence
Chair: Are you saying that, if we went from where we are now to here, we would be going
backwards? Commander Roach: If we went with Soryu, as described in that publicly available
information, yes, we would.
Buying an off-the-shelf submarine with a 6,000 mile range would be worse than a waste of
money; it would be an illusion. You will think you have submarine capability and the day you
want to use it you will find that it cannot get there or stay there and do the job. – Rear Admiral
Peter Briggs (Rtd)
If a Soryu and a Collins left Fleet Base West near Perth together and travelled at 10 knots to
Darwin, the Soryu might not actually make it or, if it did, it would be very low on fuel.
– Commodore Paul Greenfield (Rtd)
AUSTRALIA’S SENATE ECONOMICS
References Committee in November ta-
bled a report – Future of Australia’s Naval
Shipbuilding Industry - Future Submarines
strongly recommending that the Gov-
ernment go to competitive tender for the
supply of up to 12 new submarines for the
Royal Australian Navy (RAN) rather than
entertain a sole source procurement.
Fearing that the Government was about
to make critically important decisions
about Project Sea 1000 Future Subma-
rine without adequate public consultation
and moreover without a fair, proper and
transparent competitive tender process,
the committee heard evidence from nu-
merous subject matter experts, including
Australia’s foremost submariners, under-
sea capability and shipbuilding experts.
The input received compelled the com-
mittee to make the following recommen-
1. The Government should not enter
into a contract for Sea 1000 without con-
ducting a competitive tender, including a
funded project definition study.
2. The Government should begin this
competitive tender immediately to ensure
a submarine capability gap is avoided.
the associated technical and commercial
risks and anticipated impact on future
upgrade and through-life support were
raised as significant concerns.
One of the main objectives of a competi-
tive tender, the report noted, is to tease out
the sort of deep detail required to under-
stand the merits and risks of individual
tender responses and compare candidate
The committee also recommended that
a competitive tender should invite at least
two bidders, but preferably up to four, to
respond. This would include ThyssenK-
rupp Marine Systems with the 4,000 tonne
Type 216, Saab proposing its Type 61/612
design, a modified Japanese Soryu-class
and the 4,700 tonne SMX Ocean concept
design from French shipbuilder DCNS.
Saab recently submitted both solic-
ited and unsolicited proposals to the
Defence Materiel Organisation for the
design and construction of 12 of its
Type 61 submarines.
At around 4,000 tonnes (surfaced) dis-
placement, the Type 61 design is an up-
scaled version of the A26 diesel electric
submarine under development for the
Swedish Navy, itself based on the success-
ful Gotland-class submarines, as is the
Collins-class. Sea trials of the A26 are set
to commence in 2021.
With the integration of Kockums into
the Saab Group now believed to be near-
ing completion, Saab is deeply immersed
in a number of contracts in the undersea
warfare domain, and is in full control of
submarine design, build and maintenance
activities in Sweden.
The Type 61 (the version with air in-
dependent propulsion is designated Type
612) draws from the best of Collins and
injects the latest submarine technology
from the A26 program including new
battery technology, non-penetrating peri-
scope and improved stealth features.
DTR understands that the Type 61 is
the only submarine designed specifically
to meet the unique requirements of the
RAN, such as range, endurance, speed of
advance, sensor performance and stealth.
Saab told DTR that it has also proposed
local build of the Type 61, with the con-
struction schedule put forward avoiding
any potential capability gap.
Whilst other potential respondents to a
competitive tender have received higher
media exposure of late, Saab in fact enjoys
a significant and well-established footprint
in the Australian naval shipbuilder sec-
tor that includes a successful track record
of technology transfer to Australia, and is
keen to compete hard for Sea 1000.
– Ian Bostock
3. Given the weight of the evidence
about the strategic, military, national se-
curity and economic benefits, the com-
mittee recommends that the Government
require tenderers for the future submarine
project to build, maintain and sustain
Australia’s future submarines in Australia.
4. The Government should formally
and publically rule out a military-off-the-
shelf (MOTS) option for Australia’s future
5. The Government should strengthen
and build a more collaborative relation-
ship with Australia’s defence industry and
engender a co-operative environment in
which industry is encouraged to marshal
its resources in support of a broader Aus-
tralian shipbuilding industry capable of
acquiring and building a highly capable
fleet of submarines.
Australia’s geography alone ensures
that the RAN’s next submarine be
capable of deploying over very long distanc-
es, remain on station for extended periods
of time and perform a wide range of tasks.
It is such fundamental requirements
which continue to drive most subject
matter experts to conclude so emphati-
cally that no submarine design currently
in production or available as MOTS can
meet the needs of Sea 1000.
Respected naval and shipbuilding ex-
pert Dr John White told the committee
that a MOTS design, that allowed for
modifications to meet minimal essential
RAN requirements, held the most prom-
ise because it recognised the advantage of
evolving a proven MOTS design from a
prominent submarine company to include
specified RAN requirements.
The committee recommended that
Canberra suspend all investigations for ac-
quiring a MOTS submarine, including the
Japanese Soryu-class, and instead focus its
efforts on a ‘new design’ or ‘son of Collins’
options for the Future Submarine.
Extensive evidence was heard pointing
to the inherent risk involved in the poten-
tial transfer of Japanese submarine tech-
nology to Australia given Japan’s lack of
track record in such arrangements and the
highly secretive nature of the technology
surrounding the Soryu design.
In view of the paucity of in-depth infor-
mation available about the Soryu-class,
the level of information the Japanese
would be prepared to provide Australia,
HMAS Dechaineux navigates on the surface
during an exercise in northern Australian waters.
A version of Saab’s Type 61 fitted with an
air independent propulsion system, the
Type 612 is purpose designed to meet the
requirements of Sea 1000. Image: Saab
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