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French firm Naval Group tweets about lunch room after audit office report slams submarine project


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A French company building Australian submarines boasted about the lunch room being full as a damning report slammed the nine-month delay on the $80billion project.

The Australian National Audit Office was scathing of the program to build 12 next generation subs in Adelaide to defend Australia from 2036.

French shipbuilder Naval Group, which is in charge of designing and manufacturing the submarines, hasn’t refuted criticism of the $80billion project being delayed by nine months.

On Tuesday, however, it tweeted a message about its eating quarters as the damning report on the Future Submarine Program was released.

‘It wasn’t easy to find a spot in the lunch room yesterday,’ it said.

A French company building Australian submarines boasted about the lunch room being full as a damning report slammed the nine-month delay on the $80billion project. The Australian National Audit Office was scathing of the program to build 12 next generation submarines in Adelaide to defend Australia from 2036

The Naval Group, majority owned by the French government, was more focused, publicly at least, on the recruitment of new staff. 

‘We are absolutely thrilled to welcome sixteen new starters to the team this week,’ it said.

‘Here they are joined by members of Security and HR. A big welcome to all – we look forward to getting to know you.’

The Australian National Audit Office has criticised the idea of designing and building the new submarines at the Osborne Shipyard in Adelaide’s north instead of fully importing new ones.

‘At a reported cost in the order of $80 billion, the design and construction of the Future Submarine represents the largest Defence procurement in Australia’s history,’ it said in a report released this week.  

‘The decision not to acquire a military‐off‐the shelf submarine platform, and instead engage a “strategic partner” to design and deliver the submarines with significant Australian industry input, has increased the risk of this acquisition.’

French company Naval Group, which is in charge of designing and manufacturing the subs, hasn't refuted criticism of the $80billion project being delayed by nine months. On Tuesday, however, it tweeted a message about its eating quarters as the damning report on the Future Submarine Program was released

French company Naval Group, which is in charge of designing and manufacturing the subs, hasn’t refuted criticism of the $80billion project being delayed by nine months. On Tuesday, however, it tweeted a message about its eating quarters as the damning report on the Future Submarine Program was released

In October 2017, Naval Group had insisted the submarine project would be delivered on time.

‘The future submarine program remains on track & visible milestones are being achieved,’ it tweeted.

Centre Alliance senator for South Australia Rex Patrick, an Adelaide-based former Naval technician, described the audit office findings as ‘one of the most concerning reports I have ever seen’ in light of submarines having ‘strategic importance’ to national security. 

Naval Group Australia is designing and building the next-generation submarines while American defence giant Lockheed Martin is developing the combat system.

Since 2007, Australian governments from both sides of politics have been planning the replacement of six Collins class submarines mainly built during the 1990s (pictured is MHAS Sheean, a Collins class submarine based at Garden Island south of Perth)

 Since 2007, Australian governments from both sides of politics have been planning the replacement of six Collins class submarines mainly built during the 1990s (pictured is MHAS Sheean, a Collins class submarine based at Garden Island south of Perth)

Centre Alliance senator for South Australia Rex Patrick, an Adelaide-based former Naval technician, described the audit office findings as 'one of the most concerning reports I have ever seen' in light of submarines having 'strategic importance' to national security

Centre Alliance senator for South Australia Rex Patrick, an Adelaide-based former Naval technician, described the audit office findings as ‘one of the most concerning reports I have ever seen’ in light of submarines having ‘strategic importance’ to national security

The Department of Defence is embarking on a program to build new 12 submarines so the Royal Australian Navy’s existing fleet can all be retired by 2036.

Since 2007,  Australian governments from both sides of politics have been planning the replacement of six Collins class submarines mainly built during the 1990s.

The design phase of the Future Submarine Program is already nine months behind schedule.

As of September 2019, $396million had already been spent on design work.

‘Defence cannot demonstrate that its expenditure of $396 million on design of the future submarine has been fully effective,’ the audit office report said.

The Department of Defence is embarking on a program to build new 12 submarines so the Royal Australian Navy's existing fleet can all be retired by 2036

The Department of Defence is embarking on a program to build new 12 submarines so the Royal Australian Navy’s existing fleet can all be retired by 2036

The Australian National Audit Office, however, said ‘Defence cannot demonstrate that its expenditure on design work has been fully effective’.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Defence had advised the government of delays to design milestones but was confident they would be resolved by January 2021.  

‘The government is working to ensure we keep the project on track, as it is,’ he told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

‘It’s a big task, it’s a hard task, it’s a challenging task, but we have the best people working on it to get the job done.’

In 2016, Defence put the cost of building the new submarines at $50billion.

By November 2019, Defence officials advised a Senate committee the cost would be $80billlion with that bill set to rise to $145billion by 2080 when the cost of operating the submarines was factored in. 

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Naval Group for a comment. 

In October 2017, Naval Group had insisted the submarine project would be delivered on time

In October 2017, Naval Group had insisted the submarine project would be delivered on time

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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