Airspeed and Naval Group to enter composites design competition

Submarine builder Naval Group and composites manufacturer Airspeed have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enter a design competition organised by Lockheed Martin Australia.

Lockheed is a major contractor for systems for the Attack Class submarine which will be built in Adelaide by Naval Group itself.

The two companies, strangely including the submarine builder itself, will respond to the design competition with a new carbon composite mast implementing the latest innovations in composites.

Naval Group believes its solution offers outstanding performance in terms of weight, resistance and operational efficiency, while Airspeed has built composite structures for the Collins Class submarine.

Naval Group Pacific CEO François Romanet said: “Airspeed has impressive capabilities when it comes to composites manufacturing.

“If successful in the competition, we have decided to start working together to ensure these masts will be produced and maintained in South Australia.”

Recently, Airspeed CEO Steve Barlow visited Naval Group’s facilities located at Angoulême-Ruelle and Lorient in France.

Representatives from Airspeed also took part in a test for Automated Manufacture of Advanced Composites (AMAC) hosted by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Training Centre at the University of New South Wales in November.

Barlow said: “We believe the Naval Group technical solution is truly unique.

“If successful in the competition, the opportunity to work on the Future Submarine Program will be a defining step in the development of our company and our national sovereign capabilities.”

Picture: Airspeed/Collins class submarine

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