Australian Government: Department of Defence
Defence Capability Plan 2009 - Public Version

SEA 1000

Phase 1A Future Submarine – Concept Design

Phase 1B Future Submarine – Preliminary Design

Phase 1C Future Submarine – Detailed Design

Phase Scope

This project seeks to acquire an increased and enhanced submarine capability that will provide the ADF with a potent submarine capability beyond the planned withdrawal date of the COLLINS Class submarines. Phase 1 will commence the design of the new capability.


As part of the 2009 Defence White Paper preparations, significant work was undertaken to identify and quantify the maritime capability developments that would be required to meet Government’s expectations. This process resulted in SEA 1000.

SEA 1000 will provide Australia with a new and more potent defence capability with greater range, longer patrol endurance and increased capability compared to the COLLINS Class. Key capabilities will be in the areas of anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; strike; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; electronic warfare; mine warfare; and support to both special forces and advance force operations.

The project will undertake a competitive, staged acquisition process to acquire this capability. It is expected that the phases of this project will be:

  • Initial Definition Phase (currently in progress). This will be complete in December 2009 and identify the top level requirements for the future submarine;
  • Phase 1 – Design. This comprises Concept Design, Preliminary Design, and Detailed Design. Funding and commencement of each design stage will be approved separately by Government;
  • Phase 2 – Construction. This will commence around 2016; and
  • Phases 1 and 2 also intend to define and integrate the primary requirements for the weapons capabilities, including a precision strike capability, with the weapons to be acquired in later phases.

Australian Industry Opportunities


This project will place significant demands upon Australian industry and provide commensurate opportunities. Its scale will exceed that of any previous project. This project will need a project management, industrial, and research and support capability capable of constructing and sustaining the future submarine capability over its entire life-cycle and which encompasses all integrated logistics support elements.

The acquisition strategy is yet to be determined, however, it is expected that opportunities for Australian industry involvement will be significant, ultimately growing and developing the foundations of Australia’s technological and industrial based sectors.

Through-life Support

The support concepts are yet to be determined, however, it is expected that opportunities for Australian industry involvement will be significant, particularly as the future submarine will be maintained and sustained in Australia. The Royal Australian Navy, supported by DMO, will be the Parent Navy for the future submarine.

Industry Capabilities and Activities

Capabilities and related activities that may provide opportunities for Australian industry in these phases include:

Phases 1A, 1B and 1C Capability
Activity Acoustic Technologies & Systems Composite & Exotic Materials Electronic Warfare Guided Weapons Signature Management Submarines Support of Mission & Safety Critical Software System Assurance Capabilities (H’ware & S’ware) System Life Cycle Management Systems Integration (High End, System of Systems) Targeting & Precision Navigation Facilities & Infrastructure
Design D D O O D O D D D D O D
Modelling / Simulation D D D D D D D D D D D D
Project Manage D D D D D D D D D D D D
Research and Development D D D O D D D D D D D D
Systems Definition / Development D D D D D D D D D D D D
Acquisition Category (ACAT)
SEA 1000 Program
ACAT Attribute Complexity Level Assessment
Acquisition Cost Level 1 Very High >$1500m
Project Management Complexity Level 1 Very High
Schedule Level 1 Very High
Technical Difficulty Level 1 Very High
Operation and Support Level 1 Very High
Commercial Level 1 Very High

The ACAT Level assessed for this Program is ACAT I.

Planned Schedule Highlights


Phase 1A

Phase 1B

Phase 1C

FY 2009-10 to FY 2010-11

FY 2011-12 to FY 2012-13

FY 2013-14 to FY 2015-16

Initial Operating Capability

Phases 1A, 1B and 1C


Not Applicable

Points of Contact

Capability Staff:
Defence Materiel Organisation:

Future Submarine Project Coordinator

(02) 6265 6178

SEA 1000 Project Director

(02) 6265 3519

Defence Capability Plan / 2009 / Public Version