Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR November 2015 Contents incorporate Australian unique requirements and
regulations in the concept design.’
Clearly the Japanese shipbuilders expect to have
modern 3D CAD systems networked between
Japan and Australia. When questioned further
on numbers they told APDR “Depending on the
design phases, number of designers working at
the Design Centre in Japan would vary. At the
peak of Detailed Design, Japan anticipates 30-50
Australian Designers could be employed in Japan
and work with 10-20 Japanese Designers. Japan
also considers another Design Centre in Australia in
which 60-100 Australian Designers would work with
5-15 Japanese Designers.
Asked about how Australian shipyard workers
would receive skills transfer, they stated ‘If the
Australian Government would like to take secure
know-how transfer approach, Japan would consider
following steps for intensive know-how transfer.
‘On the first submarine, Japanese skilled workers
(trainer) would primarily show and teach skilful
works and Australian workers would learn the works.
‘On the second submarine, Japanese skilled
workers would primarily oversee Australian workers
and give an On-the-Job training, and Australian
workers would actually perform the work.’
Japan plans to establish Australia Training
Centre where Australian people can take the skills
training that is absolutely required to construct
the submarines in Australia. In Japan the training
would take 3-5 years, so the same period would be
necessary before construction starts in Australia.
Since Japanese engineers will work together with
Australian engineers at the Dual Design Centre,
design know-how will be transferred from the
concept design through all design phases. Entire
drawings and design documents will be transferred
at the end of each design phase. All manufacturing
data will be transferred when detailed design data
is completely transformed to manufacturing data.
Manufacturing skills will be transferred at the
Australia Training Centre which will be established
prior to the construction starting. The Australia
Training Centre will provide sufficient training
throughout entire construction phase in Australia.
Regarding IP, Japanese Industry will provide
sufficient technical support throughout entire
life time of the submarines, and updated IP will
be continuously transferred and maintained.
Sustainment Support Centres in Australia and
Japan, which Japan is establishing, will be hubs of
the technical support.
Subsequently to APDR’s questions, in an
interview reported by The Australian newspaper on
25 September 2015, the Japanese Ambassador to
Australia, His Excellency Sumio Kusaka, said that
‘Japan could work with Australia’s government-
owned submarine builder ASC in whatever
arrangement best suited the Turnbull government.’
He was quoted as saying ‘We will go along with
whatever decision the Australian government makes.
It is very important to Japan to be able to design
world-class submarines. Not many countries can
The Japan response provided this summary of
their bid: ‘We are confident that Japan will be able to
provide proven and the State-of-the-Art technology
on future submarine to Australia. Japan has never
shared this technology with any other nations
including the closest ally, the United Sates. We
believe this program will significantly enhance Asia
Pacific security with collaboration of two democratic
nations in this region.
‘Our advantage is that Japan is the only country
in the world, which is building and operating four
thousand ton class conventional submarines with
ocean going capability. Our big submarines are
operating today at sea.
‘The CEP proposal is an offer from Government
of Japan (GOJ) to the COA. The assurance on
Technology Transfer and IPR comes from the highest
Japan has confirmed it had an initial supply
chain engagement exercise with 20 companies in
Adelaide on August 26 and briefings in Sydney
and Melbourne with a further 50 companies early
October. The Japanese team is planning additional
visits to Perth and Brisbane in November.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
The CEP responses are due to be presented to
Defence by 30 November 2015.
Sometime in 2016 (early 2016?) Defence
will decide which contender is to go forward
with a detailed design contract funded by the
Commonwealth. This is expected to take two years
to reach fruition, after which the Commonwealth
expects to enter into a construction contract in
Many people will breathe a sigh of relief if all this
happens to the current schedule. With a Federal
election due in 2016 and the possibility of a
change in Government, could this whole process
go nowhere, as it did during the six years of the
Hopefully enough sensible and timely processes
have now been established to ensure that Australia
gets great new submarine capabilities by 2026
when the first current submarine, HMAS Collins, is
due to decommission after thirty years’ service.
Although each CEP contender will respond as
competitively as they can to each of the three
requested build options, in summary there are at
least four important reasons why a hybrid build IS
NOT the Commonwealth’s best option for building
Australia’s Future Submarine fleet.
Firstly, any serious design and construction
problems do not usually come to light until high
level testing at sea for the first submarine. By this
time, construction of the second submarine will have
started in Australia, therefore there may be a lengthy
construction halt and possibly costly remediation.
Secondly, the creation of two submarine
construction program management and shipyard
locations is expensive and inefficient in the use of
vital skilled manpower and other resources. This
is a lot of management, supervision, mentoring
and training effort that could have been applied to
ensure that the first boat in an all-Australian build
program goes smoothly.
Thirdly, experience shows that the hybrid build
effect on the local content will be high, leading to
higher costs for through-life sustainment, which
has two to three times the cost impact of initial
capital cost of construction, and also creates less
Fourthly, Australian construction, operation and
maintenance standards are not necessarily the
same as overseas. And an overseas yard will be
compelled by its own Government to conform
to their standards. For example, wiring colours,
earthing (grounding), lifting above certain weights,
and working at heights, etc. All these have come to
play in AWD, but were never a problem in Collins
Class and in ANZAC, because the designs were
set up for construction in Australia in the first place.
This healthy debate on which of the three CEP
options to choose will continue until the Government
finally makes a decision.
" What happens after 30 November 2015? The Expert Advisory
Panel chaired by Professor Don Winter will report to the Defence
Minister on the process and their observations as to its fairness or
otherwise for the three contenders "
22 Asia Pacific Defence Reporter NOV 2015
14/10/2015 10:38 pm
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