PMB Defence and Systems Sunlight have been awarded subcontracts to design the main storage batteries for the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Attack-class submarines.

The subcontracts have been awarded by Naval Group Australia through a competitive process.

Under the A$50bn SEA 1000 Future Submarine programme, 12 Attack-class submarines will be designed and developed in Australia using an Australian workforce.

The submarines will be built at Osborne Naval Shipyard. The first submarine is expected to enter service in the early 2030s.

The Attack-class submarines will replace the Collins-class submarines.

Australian Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said: “The main storage batteries are the main source of power when the submarine is submerged.

“The selection of these two companies to develop designs of this subsystem is another significant milestone in the design and delivery of the Attack-class submarine programme.

“A competitive process will ensure the final designer selected will deliver the very best battery technology to meet the key performance requirements of the Attack-class submarine.”

Currently, Australian company PMB is engaged with the Australian defence to develop new battery technology.

The batteries developed under this contract are expected to replace lead-acid batteries over the Attack–class submarines’ service life.

The company is also under contract to deliver and sustain the Collins-class submarine fleet’s batteries.

Once the preferred battery design is finalised, manufacturers would be awarded contracts for battery production.

Australian Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said: “I am pleased to confirm that regardless of whoever wins the preferred design, the main storage batteries will be manufactured in Australia.

“This commitment will provide enormous opportunities for more local companies to be part of this world-class advanced manufacturing project.

“It also demonstrates the Morrison Government’s commitment to Australian industry involvement across all elements of the Attack-class submarine programme.”