The ADF’s SEA 1000 Attack class submarine project prime contractor, Naval Group has awarded a contract to Schneider Electric France for the procurement of Main Direct Current (DC) Switchboards for the submarines.
A company release says the Main DC Switchboards supply power from the submarine’s batteries and diesel generators to the many systems inside the submarine. It says they are a critical component of the submarine and have significant impact on the arrangement studies and performance of the submarine.
While the contract is with Schneider Electric France, the release says the company will transfer capabilities to Schneider Electric Australia which it says will provide opportunities to bring new knowledge, advanced technology and skills to Australia and ensure the sustainment of the Main DC Switchboards in-country.
“Naval Group is committed to maximising opportunities for Australian industry in all phases of the Future Submarine Program and ensuring we create a sustainable sovereign submarine capability,” CEO Naval Group Australia John Davis said in a statement.
Schneider Electric France will build the pre-qualification Main DC Switchboards at its facilities in France, while the remaining Switchboards for the fleet and the land-based prototype facility will be built in Australia by Schneider Electric Australia.
“Schneider Electric is a recognised global expert in energy management and power systems where safety, reliability and high performance are key,” Australian President of Schneider Electric Gareth O’Reilly said in a statement. “A local Australian project kick-off team has been working closely on this project with colleagues in France for two years and the team will grow to match the project.
“While the contract is directly with Schneider Electric France and they will transfer appropriate capabilities, this project delivers significant work for our local suppliers in manufacturing, fabrication and material supply, based in Adelaide and across Australia,” he added.
The agreement will see the training of Schneider Electric Australia engineering and technical management staff during the design and build of the first switchboard, and the transfer of manufacturing, quality control and factory acceptance testing capabilities to Australia.
Other elements of it will see Schneider Electric Australia manage the build and sustainment from the second switchboard onwards in Australia including program management, asset management, product lifecycle management, sustainment and integrated logistics support. It will also source the fabrication of the switchboards and heat exchangers, including the production of land-based switchboard prototypes, and non-commercial components, from Australian suppliers.