By Andrew Green
The Australian Navy has quietly begun to investigate whether German-built submarines could provide temporary capacity to Australia before a future $ 90 billion French design fleet goes into service within a decade.
- A French-designed fleet is expected to enter service in the 2030s
- The Department of Defense refuses to confirm or deny whether a senior naval officer is investigating the submarine Type 216 Manufactured by the German company TKMS.
- Another confidential defense review recommended that unmanned submarines be tested and updated for the current class of fleets. Collins Australian policy has been made.
The Department of Defense is also exploring other drastic options, such as rapid upgrades to the current Australian-class fleet Collins, Which would mean that the submarine’s attractive maintenance work would likely remain in Adelaide.
Sources in the department said Commodore Timothy Brown, director general of Navy Submarine, has recently begun a preliminary study of type submarines. 216 Manufactured by the German company TKMS, however refuses to confirm or deny defense activity.
The format 216 Is a diesel-electric submarine operated by several navies, including South Korea, Portugal and Greece, But does not meet all Australian requirements For future fleets that will eventually replace old class submarines Collins.
A defense man, who spoke to ABC on condition of anonymity, said Commodore Brown’s scope was being studied exclusively by the Navy and was separate from the Department’s Capability and Stability Group (CASG), which is Australia’s Oversees military takeover of.
Commodore Brown is exploring whether it would be possible for the Navy to modify one type 216 For Australian purposes, long before the expected delivery date of future French submarines.
A Department of Defense spokesman declined to say whether Commodore Brown was tasked with exploring a possible German submarine alternative to the Australian Navy.
In 2016, Germany’s TKMS presented Unhealthy offer A $ 90 billion defense contract that was eventually awarded to the French company Naval Group (then known as DCNS), to design and build Australia’s future submarine fleet, another from the Japanese government The proposal also prevailed.
In recent months, the federal government’s frustration with the naval group has increased and the defense sector fears Australia will receive a new submarine capability long before the first of the French-designed submarines come into service in mid-2030. May be required. .
Independent Senator Rex Patrick, who has long been a critic of the Naval Group, welcomed the Navy’s apparently renewed interest in potential options that German TKMS Australia could offer. “For some time I have been defending Plan B for my Navy; This project is very important for national security, ”he said. “Tipo has many capabilities 216 Which far exceeds the capabilities of class submarines Collins. “
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Source: ABC News Australia