ThyssenKrupp AG secured the chance to help develop a submarine for Australia after the country signed an agreement with Sweden’s government clearing the way for the involvement of the company’s Kockums AB unit.
The accord gives Australia the right to use Swedish intellectual property for submarine design and technology, the Canberra-based Department of Defence said in a statement. The deal was necessary to begin working with Kockums, it said.
Australian authorities have been exploring replacement of six Collins Class submarines, which were based on a Kockums design. The government said on May 3 that it’s proceeding with the project, dubbed SEA 1000, to assemble 12 of the vessels domestically and narrowed options to a new design or building an evolved version of the Collins configuration, with an off-the-shelf purchase discarded.
“This agreement will pave the way for Swedish involvement in Australia’s future submarine program,” Defense Minister Stephen Smith said in today’s statement. “The ability for Australia to utilize Swedish submarine technology is a critical element, not only of the work on the Future Submarine Program but also in addressing the continuing challenges with the maintenance and sustainment of the Collins Class fleet.”
HMAS Collins, the lead submarine, was commissioned in 1996. The last of the current six vessels isn’t scheduled to be retired until about 2031, after entering service in 2003.
ThyssenKrupp doesn’t break out figures for Kockums. A spokeswoman at the Essen, Germany-based parent company wasn’t immediately available to comment.
Kockums was part of ThyssenKrupp’s marine-systems business, which generated 3 percent of group sales at the steelmaker in the year through Sept. 30. The newly combined marine-systems and plant-technology division, dubbed industrial solutions, accounted for 15 percent of ThyssenKrupp’s revenue in the fiscal first half ended March 31.