The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has presented its report on the competitive evaluation process to select a successful international partner for the country’s Future Submarine programme.

The report has independently found that the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has effectively designed and implemented a competitive evaluation process to choose the international partner that would construct the 12 new submarines under the project.

The Future Submarine will replace the Royal Australian Navy’s six Collins-class submarines that are due to be withdrawn from service by 2036.

The findings of the ANAO report have been welcomed by the Australian Government and the Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne.

Pyne said: “The ANAO’s findings clearly demonstrate that the competitive evaluation process was a fit-for-purpose process and was effectively implemented by DoD.

“Sovereignty over the operation and sustainment of the Future Submarine was a key consideration, as was the requirement to maximise Australian industry involvement without compromising capability, cost or schedule.”

“The government is well and truly ahead of schedule at this stage with the Future Submarine project."

Last year, naval defence company DCNS was chosen as the preferred international partner for the design of the Future Submarines. According to Pyne, the government has since made major inroads into the project.

He added: “The government is well and truly ahead of schedule at this stage with the Future Submarine project.

“On 30 September 2016, we signed the design and mobilisation contract with DCNS and announced that Lockheed Martin Australia has been selected as the Future Submarine Combat System Integrator.”

Since the announcement, the DoD, DCNS and Lockheed Martin Australia have been working in collaboration to design the 12 Future Submarines, all of which will be constructed in Australia, creating a local supply chain and several job opportunities in the country.

Image: The sixth and final submarine of the Collins-class, HMAS Rankin. Photo: courtesy of US Navy, photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman James R. Evans.