It was one of the biggest international defense contracts in recent memory. Australia’s Collins class submarine replacement program, also known as SEA1000, looked to procure 12 highly advanced diesel-electric multi-role submarines, each equipped with the latest in air independent propulsion (AIP)and quiet running technologies.
These new foreign-designed submarines, which would be outfitted with American combat systems, would be fielded in the next decade and would serve into the latter half of the century. The program’s total cost is estimated just shy of $40 billion. Shipbuilders from Germany, Japan and France were in the running to land the contract. So who was Canberra’s final choice?Let’s meet the competition:
Germany’s Thyssen Krupp, known the world over as master builders of submarines, put forward an enlarged variant of their extremely popular and capable 1,900 ton displacement Type 214 AIP capable attack submarine, known as the Type 216. Its bid was predicted to be the lowest of the lot, landing somewhere around half the cost.
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Image courtesy of DCNS