The contract is for a term of approximately 16 months. The comprehensive qualification process, involving more than 4500 tests, is expected to be completed in the first half of 2025.
Bisalloy Steels will perform the advanced heat treatment process on the raw plate steel to produce high grade submarine pressure hull steel that meets or exceeds both the UK and US standards. The raw plate steel will be supplied by BlueScope.
The qualification of the steel to both the UK and US standards will increase the resilience of the AUKUS trilateral supply chain.
Not only will the steel produced under this contract be used for qualification purposes, it will also be used to develop the necessary welding procedures, and used in early production demonstration activities occurring ahead of the commencement of construction of Australia’s first SSN-AUKUS submarine later this decade.
Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Pat Conroy MP said:
“The qualification of Australian steel is an important step in the Australian Government’s strategy for acquiring state-of-the-art conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarines.”
“The strength and quality of Australian steel will keep Australian submariners safe in the SSN-AUKUS nuclear-powered submarines for decades to come, just as it does today on our Collins Class submarines.”
“Crucially, this contract will support jobs in an industry which is not only of strategic importance but also a source of innovation and employment, and part of the Australian fabric.”
Bisalloy Steel Group Managing Director and CEO, Mr Rowan Melrose said:
“Bisalloy is very pleased to reach an agreement with the Commonwealth to supply plates for grade qualification to the UK and US naval hull plate standards.”
“This is a significant announcement for Bisalloy as it highlights the quality of our products, our ability to deliver to the highest standards, and the recognition and trust of a long-standing supply relationship with Australia’s Defence industry.”
“This is a great outcome for Bisalloy, the Illawarra and Australian Manufacturing”
Read the full ASX release below.