More than 120 companies in Australia have applied to Naval Group to become tier one capability partners for the 12 new Attack class submarines, after the release of a landmark local manufacturing package worth almost $900m.

In addition, almost 2000 Australian businesses have now also registered their interest with the Naval Group Australia Industry Capability Network (ICN) portal. This provides an opportunity to become part of a wider domestic supply chain being built to sustain the 50-year submarine construction program and enhance Australia’s sovereign capability.

Naval Group in October called for expressions of interest from local companies to make more than twenty separate items of equipment for the program including the steering gear system, weapons handling system and the main shaft line. Naval Group Australia Chief Executive Officer John Davis said there had been an impressive response from Australian businesses seeking to become part of the Attack class submarine program.

“Our local manufacturing package sent a clear message to Australian industry that we mean business,” Davis said. “Australian manufacturers have shown in this response that they stand ready to step up and play their part in building submarines that will be critical for Australia’s defence. The potential benefits for the nation from this program are immense and will last a generation.”

Jean-Michel Billig, Naval Group Executive Vice-President – Australian Future Submarine, explained: “We will continue working closely with local industry on the significant work that is required to deliver this specialised equipment. We will help by transferring the skills and expertise which have been gathered over 100 years of submarine construction in France to our Australian partners.

“These partnerships will also deliver the transfer of cutting-edge technology and skills from France to Australia, while increasing domestic manufacturing capability at a time when a premium has been placed on sovereign capability and self-reliance.”

Naval Group Australia already employs almost 300 people in South Australia, with that number expected to grow to about 1,700 direct jobs by 2028 with hundreds more jobs created through the supply chain.