WHY DOES AUSTRALIA NEED NEW SUBMARINES?
- The navy's fleet of six Collins Class subs is ageing. The first called the Collins came into service 20 years ago in 1996 with the last, the Rankin joining the fleet in 2003.
- By the time they are replaced, all six will be more than or approaching 30 years old.
BUT WHY SUBMARINES?
- Surface ships are increasingly vulnerable to the latest generation of missiles.
- Submarines are seen as survivable and deadly with the ability to launch special forces and missiles. Given Australia's location a fleet of long-range submarines is considered paramount to national security.
SO WHAT IS PROPOSED BY THE BIDDERS?
- French Defence shipbuilder DCNS plans to build the Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A designed specifically for the Australian navy. It uses pump jet propulsion instead of conventional propellers and at 97 metres is longer than a jumbo jet.
- A Japanese consortium, including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, is bidding to build a version of the Soryu Class submarines currently in service. The Soryu Class is 89 metres long, carries a crew of 65 and has a range of 6100 nautical miles.
- German group ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems has proposed an 89-metre submarine known as the Type 216. It has a range of 10,400 nautical miles and is designed to carry 18 torpedoes or anti-ship missiles.