Babcock has begun work on a short term scoping study into land-based propulsion system testing capabilities in support of the SEA1000 future submarine, under a contract awarded to Babcock at the end of 2011 by the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO).
Babcock has been contracted to undertake a study into the possible requirement for a Submarine Propulsion Energy, Support and Integration Facility (SPESIFy), which would inform engineering development of the future submarines. The scope of the study includes identification of the benefits that can be realised from such land-based test facilities, and the related technology de-risking aspects.
A report released last month (December 2011) into Australia's Submarine Design Capabilities and Capacities identified that submarine propulsion systems is an area in which Australia needs to build expertise, and suggested land-based development and test facilities may be a way to begin that process.
Babcock has assembled a team of Australian and worldwide domain knowledge specialists to conduct the study from its Adelaide office. Babcock will draw on its own staff with knowledge of submarine land based propulsion and energy, test, integration and support systems. In addition it has engaged others with specific expertise of conventional submarine propulsion and energy systems, including Frazer-Nash Consultancy, Converteam, Ricardo and PMB.
To ensure informed analysis and innovative solutions, Babcock has involved Sydac, IPACS and Australian SMEs with cutting edge expertise in novel propulsion test and integration as well as the best European expertise in the state of the art facilities, together with Ryder Levett Bucknall, Australian experts in feasibility stage building costing and program definition
Commenting on the contract, Babcock Strategic Development Director Ken Grove said: "We are delighted to be undertaking this study in support of the SEA 1000 Future Submarine Project, which has been described as the biggest and most complex defence project Australia has ever embarked upon. In delivering this contract we will be applying our extensive knowledge and expertise in generating effective, available submarines to the fleet".
Under the six month contract, Babcock will deliver the findings of study to the DMO by mid 2012.