Australia signed a production contract with French shipbuilder Naval Group for a fleet of 12 new submarines, worth A$50 billion ($35.5 billion), ending a two-year wrangle that cast doubt over one of the world’s most lucrative defence deals. The first of the new submarines is scheduled to be delivered in the early 2030s and the final vessel during the 2050s.
The agreement sets out the principles of cooperation between the two partners for the Attack class Submarine Program which will see the delivery of 12 regionally superior submarines to Australia with leading edge capabilities.
The deal will also create thousands of direct and indirect Australian jobs which will positively impact many generations of Australians, and provide opportunities and long-term planning certainty for industry, allowing Australian companies involved in the submarine program to invest in the capabilities needed to support their involvement in construction and sustainment activities.
“Naval Group is known for building world-leading, technologically advanced submarines and has built 100 of them for nine different countries,” said Herve Guillou, Chairman and CEO, Naval Group.
“This agreement with Australia will see Naval Group transfer the “know-how” and “know-why” to Australia to become a sovereign submarine nation.
“We are very excited about the opportunities that lay ahead of us and are committed to delivering the Future Submarine Program for Australia.
Australia selected the French builder as its preferred bidder for the fleet of submarines in 2016 ahead of other offers from Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Germany’s ThyssenKrupp AG.
“We are grateful to the teams from the Commonwealth of Australia and Naval Group who have worked hard to achieve this agreement,” added Guillou.
Since being selected as Australia’s partner for the Attack class Submarine Program in April 2016, a lot has been achieved.