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Michael Houghton

Commodore Michael Houghton

Director General Future Submarines, Australian Department of Defence

Commodore Michael Houghton, RAN joined the Navy in 1982 as an undergraduate engineer officer while studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Queensland. On completion of his studies and initial sea training he transferred to the Submarine Service in 1986. He was promoted to Lieutenant and posted as the Engineer Officer HMAS OTAMA in Sep 1987.

In August 1989, he joined the New Submarine Project in Canberra where he served 2 years before being posted to the Director of Naval Engineering Requirements (Submarines) which was followed by promotion to Lieutenant Commander and a posting to Sweden in 1992 as the Submarine Project Liaison Officer in the Swedish Defence Materiel Acquisition. Commodore Houghton then completed a Military Staff Course at the Swedish War College in Stockholm.

Returning to the Submarine Squadron as the Squadron Marine Engineer in 1996, Commodore Houghton was involved in the introduction into service of HMAS COLLINS. In 1998 he was posted to the Submarine Training and Systems Centre and was promoted to Commander in Jul 1999. He then took over as the Collins Class Logistics Manager in Sep 2000 and was responsible for the in-service support of the Collins Class Submarines. Upon the formation of the Defence Material Organisation he became the Submarine Sustainment Manager.

Selected for Shore Command in 2002, Commodore Houghton served as the Senior Naval Officer – South Queensland from Jan 2003 to Dec 2004 after which he was selected for promotion to Captain. This was followed by a posting to Washington DC as the Deputy Project Manager for the Joint Heavyweight Torpedo Project, a joint development, procurement and support project for the Mk 48 Mod 7 torpedo for use in RAN and USN submarines. During his tenure the first Mk 48 Mod 7 torpedo achieved Initial Operational Capability in the USN.

Upon his return to Australia in January 2008 Commodore Houghton was posted as the Amphibious Deployment and Sustainment Deputy Program Manager and subsequently became the Amphibious Ship (LHD) Project Manager. During his time as Project Manager he oversaw the Preliminary and Detailed Design phases of the project as well as the keel laying of the first LHD in Sep 2009.

In Jan 2010 Commodore Houghton commenced a full time Executive Masters in Complex Project Management through the Queensland University of Technology upon completion of which he was promoted to Commodore and took over as the Director General Major Surface Ships.

During his time leading Major Surface Ships Branch Commodore Houghton reformed Naval ship repair and maintenance through the implementation of long term Group Maintenance Contracts in the ANZAC and Oliver Hazard Perry class ships. He also negotiated the return of Garden Island Dockyard to Commonwealth control, established the follow on Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrade project in the ANZAC Class ships and delivered large elements of the Rizzo Reform Program.
Commodore Houghton was appointed Director General Future Submarines in Dec 2014 where he was heavily involved in the Competitive Evaluation Process for the selection of the international partner for the Future Submarine Program before moving to France as the Director Future Submarine Program (France) in Oct 2017.

Commodore Houghton is married with four adult children.

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