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Babcock to design weapon deployment system for Australian Attack submarines

Royal Australian Navy Attack-class submarine
Photo: Naval Group

UK technology company Babcock International has been contracted to design a “weapon discharge” system that will allow the Royal Australian Navy’s new generation of Attack-class submarines to launch torpedoes and anti-ship missiles.

The deal between Babcock and France shipbuilder Naval Group, the main contractor on the future submarine program, was announced by Australian defense minister Linda Reynolds.

“The subcontract with Babcock will support the operation and sustainment of the Attack class while maximizing the involvement of Australian industry,” the defense minister said.

Babcock will transfer the necessary intellectual property to its Australian subsidiary Babcock Australia to act as the engineering design authority. This includes training, maintenance and managing the supply chain.

This is the fourth subcontract for major subsystems for the Attack-class submarine established by Naval Group this year.

Australia signed a contract with France’s Naval Group for the construction of 12 new submarines for the Royal Australian Navy in February this year. The contract signing took place after two years of negotiations after Australia selected the French shipbuilder over Japanese and German competitors in December 2016.

A total of 12 diesel-electric boats are to be delivered under the AU$50 billion program. HMAS Attack, the first unit in the class, is slated for delivery in the early 2030s. With a design based on the Barracuda-class submarines Naval Group is currently building for the French Navy, Australia’s Attack-class will measure 97 meters in length and have a surface displacement of around 4,500 tons.