An Australian defence delegation visited Kiel on May 13, telling German representatives that their losing design was too noisy, while being deliberately vague on details.
According to The Australian, the TKMS-led proposal created “unacceptable… radiated noise” at a certain frequency, an unimpressed audience was told. The consideration wasn’t mentioned to bidders as it was classified, they were also told.
“The might of Germany’s military-industrial complex could easily solve a technical issue like this if only the Australians had been more forthcoming about the issue itself before we submitted the bid,” an unnamed source told The Australian of the unspecified noise issue.
Five Australian defence officials travelled to the Kiel shipyard, giving a two-hour presentation to TKMS and German government officials.
The French consortium was announced as the winner of a competitive evaluation process, ahead of German and Japanese bids, to build Australia’s next fleet of submarines. The quietness of the French design was given as a significant advantage over rival bids.