After a history of poor performance and unreliability from its Kockums-designed submarine fleet, the Royal Australian Navy has snubbed the Swedish defence contractor by not inviting it to participate in proposals for its future submarine programme. The company has not been asked to provide information about its state-of-the art A26 submarine project, even though it will have the requisite blue-water capability, air-independent propulsion and stealth technology.
Three other European manufacturers, France’s DCNS (Scorpène), Germany’s HDW (Type 216) and Spain’s Navantia (S80), have received tenders for the Collins class replacements. Japanese designs from Kawasaki and Mitsubishi are also being considered. Australia is looking at an ‘off-the-shelf’ solution for new submarines to halve the A$36 billion projected cost of producing a design.