Naval Group and Airspeed, a specialist of composites manufacturing based in South Australia, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to respond to the design competition launched by Lockheed Martin Australia for the masts of the Attack-class submarines.
Thanks to its long history in building submarines for both French and export markets, Naval Group has developed a new carbon composite mast implementing the latest innovations in composites. Naval Group’s solution offers outstanding performance in terms of weight, resistance and operational efficiency, but also in terms of integration with the Attack-class platform.
Recently, Steve Barlow, Airspeed’s Managing Director was in France to visit Naval Group’s facilities at Angoulême-Ruelle and Lorient.
Representatives from Airspeed also took part in a test for Automated Manufacture of Advanced Composites (AMAC) hosted by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Training Centre at the University of New South Wales in November and will be closely involved in the research Naval Group is leading with Australian universities on composites and additive manufacturing.
François Romanet, Naval Group Pacific CEO says, “Naval Group has developed a solution that will meet all operational requirements of the Royal Australian Navy. Airspeed has impressive capabilities when it comes to composites manufacturing. If successful in the competition, we have decided to start working together as soon as the design phase to ensure theses masts will be produced and maintained in South Australia”.
Steve Barlow, Managing Director, Airspeed says “We are excited to be working on this composites project with Naval Group and believe the Naval Group technical solution is truly unique. If successful in the competition, the opportunity to work on the Future Submarine Program will be a defining step in the development of our company and our national sovereign capabilities and we look forward to be part of this defining national journey.”
The Attack-class submarine is a future class of submarines for the Royal Australian Navy based on the Shortfin Barracuda proposal by French shipbuilder Naval Group (formerly known as DCNS) to replace the Collins-class submarines. The class will enter service in the early 2030s with construction extending into the late 2040s to 2050. The Program is estimated to cost $50 billion and will be the largest, and most complex, defence acquisition project in Australian history.