Australia has signed a production contract of 50 billion dollars (AUD )worth defence deal with the French shipbuilder Naval Group on Monday in order to produce 12 new attack-class submarines for the Australian naval forces while ending a two-year wrangle that has cast doubts on one of the world’s most profitable defence deals.
According to CNBC news reports, Australia has selected the French shipbuilder as its preferred bidder in order to produce submarines in 2016 ahead of other deal offers from Germany and Japan. Though the final contracts were still delayed amid at domestic media reports of the cost production delays and blowouts. Naval Group and Australia have signed a strategic partnering agreement in order to end the impasse.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra: “This means we are ensuring we are at the front of the pack when it comes to the latest naval vessels and firepower.”
12 new Australian submarines are the central part of its plan to expand its military capabilities in order to protect trade and strategic interest in the Asia-Pacific region.
The first delivery of the new submarines is expected to be done in the early of 2030s and the final vessels are expected to be delivered in 2050s.
When it has accepted French submarines offer, Australia had rejected offers from Germany’s ThyssenKrupp AG as well as from Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries.