Highly charged competition could see Greek-designed batteries in Australia’s new submarines

Australian company PMB Defence Pty Ltd and Greek company Systems Sunlight S.A. have signed subcontracts with Naval Group Australia to design the main storage batteries for the Australia’s future Attack-class submarines through a competitive process.

CAPTION: The conventional powered (diesel engine and battery storage) will be fitted to Australia’s new Attack-class submarine. Naval Group Australia artist’s impression.

The government’s $50 billion Attack-class program will see 12 new submarines designed and built in Australia, with growing concerns about how much Australian content will end up in the construction.

Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the design of the main storage batteries was one of the ‘Top 5’ most critical equipment items to the overall design of the Attack-class submarine.

“The selection of these two companies to develop designs of this subsystem is another significant milestone in the design and delivery of the Attack-class submarine program,” Minister Reynolds said.

“A competitive process will ensure the final designer selected will deliver the very best battery technology to meet the key performance requirements of the Attack-class submarine.

“Already, Defence has engaged PMB to explore a new battery technology that could offer significantly improved performance and may prove a suitable replacement for lead-acid batteries over the life of the submarine.”

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said that regardless of which company wins the preferred design, the main storage batteries would be manufactured in Australia.

“Adelaide-based PMB is a supplier of energy and specialised engineering solutions for submarine platforms, and is already contracted to Defence to supply and sustain batteries for the Collins-class fleet,” Minister Price said.

“Systems Sunlight specialises in the development and production of batteries and energy storage systems for naval, industrial and advanced-technology applications.

“Further contracts will be awarded for the manufacture of the batteries in Australia following selection of the preferred battery design.”

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: The minister’s press-release headline reads – “SUBCONTRACTS SIGNED FOR THE ATTACK CLASS SUBMARINE MAIN STORAGE BATTERIES“. Not withstanding that mine is deliberately more ‘click baitey’, to draw attention to this question – which headline is more truthful do you think, mine or her’s? Comments below. 

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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