Donald Winter served as US navy secretary from 2006 to 2009 and will now help oversee the competitive evaluation process for Australia's future submarines.
5 June 2015
Defence Minister Kevin Andrews has appointed an expert advisory panel to oversee the so-called "competitive evaluation process" for the Navy's future submarine fleet.The four-member panel includes former US secretary of the navy Donald Winter, as well as a former Federal Court justice, and the chair of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation.
"This competitive evaluation process is due to have the bids finalised by the three potential partners — Germany, France and Japan — by the end of the year," Mr Andrews said.
"In the first part of next year we expect to make a decision about the preferred international partner."
Amidst growing suspicions that a Japanese option is being favoured, Mr Andrews said the panel would ensure the assessment "is conducted in accordance with probity and accountability principles".
South Australia's Defence Industries Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith welcomed the appointments but said the announcement failed to address the key question of where the subs would be built.
"The Australian public are waiting with baseball bats for any Federal Government that refuses to build these submarines and surface ships in Australia," he said.
"Without a defence industry capability, you don't have a defence capability. You can't sustain your ships. You can't support your sailors."