The objective of this audit is to examine the effectiveness of Defence’s administration of the Future Submarine program to date. The deliverables under the program include the design and construction of 12 diesel-electric submarines, and the development and acquisition of the submarines’ support systems for the Royal Australian Navy at a cost of over $50 billion. On 11 February 2019 the Commonwealth signed a Strategic Partnering Agreement with Naval Group which sets out the principles of cooperation for the Future Submarine program.

This is the third in a series of audits of the Future Submarine program. The first audit in this series, Auditor-General Report No. 48 of 2016–17 Future Submarine—Competitive Evaluation Process, reviewed the competitive evaluation process used to select a partner for the design of the submarine. The Future Submarine program was also considered in the context of Auditor-General Report No. 39 of 2017–18 Naval Construction Programs—Mobilisation.

Audit criteria

The audit criteria are:

  • Is Defence meeting the planned milestones for the Future Submarine program?
  • Has Defence’s expenditure to date been effective in achieving the Future Submarine program’s milestones?
  • Has Defence established a fit-for-purpose strategic partnership in accordance with government requirements?