Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee
Defence Materiel Organisation
20 November, 2013
Senator WRIGHT: I really just have one question with a couple of sub-parts to it, regarding submarines. I am interested to know: what are the government's plans on the number of submarines it intends to build via the Adelaide Submarine Corporation over the forward estimates?
Mr King: The current planning is to acquire 12 submarines. Just to clarify it: the policy is 'to be assembled in Adelaide'.
Senator WRIGHT: To be assembled in Adelaide?
Mr King: Correct.
Senator WRIGHT: So you are drawing a distinction there between 'assemble' and the verb I used which was 'build'?
Mr King: No, I thought you named a company.
Senator WRIGHT: I am sorry. If you could explain why you are making that distinction, that would help me. Thank you.
Mr King: The distinction is simply that we have not chosen a company yet.
Senator WRIGHT: Can I please just clarify that with you then. You have said that it is planned that there will be 12 submarines assembled. Is that part of the SEA 1000 project, as has been reported?
Mr King: That is correct. SEA 1000 deals with that project.
Senator WRIGHT: Is it possible that fewer than 12 will be built or is it definite that it will be 12?
Mr King: It is very early days of the project, but that is the plan at this stage. All I can say is that that is what we are working towards. Other things could happen, but that is what we are working towards.
Senator WRIGHT: Has the department settled on the evolved Collins class submarine as the best model, or is that yet to be decided?
Mr King: That is yet to be decided. There are two options being considered—an evolved Collins and a new design effectively.
Senator WRIGHT: Sorry?
Mr King: There is an evolved Collins and the other option being looked at this stage is a new design.
Senator WRIGHT: A new design?
Mr King: Yes.