The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper is reporting that Australian Defence officials knew Australia’s new fleet of submarines would cost almost $80 billion AUD as early as 2015, despite publicly stating at the time that the estimated price tag was $50 billion.
Australian Defence officials budgeted for the Future Submarines project, SEA 1000, to cost $78.9 billion as far back as October 2015 – and during the same month Defence officials told a parliamentary hearing that the anticipated ‘out-turn cost’ was $50 billion.
After the proposed cost of the project increased by 60%, the Australian National Audit Office reviewed the project, in a report that identified flaws in the acquisition process. The proposed cost of the project now stands at $90 billion.
The cost (and opportunity cost) aside, there has also been an ongoing debate about the strategic rationale for the proposed new submarines.
Image: The (former) Australian prime minister and others, December 2016 (Naval Group)