Australia signs major submarine deal with France

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Australian officials have pledged to buy 12 attack submarines from France’s Naval Group in Canberra’s biggest ever defence procurement project.

Representatives of France and Australia signed off on a record-breaking submarine deal in Canberra on Monday after nearly two years of frustrating talks.

In the document, Australia commits to paying 50 billion Australian dollars (€31.4 billion) to France’s state-backed Naval Group for 12 new military submarines. The vessels are part of Australia’s plan to boost its power in the Asia-Pacific region, where strategic interests of China, the US, and other nations collide.

“This means we are ensuring we are at the front of the pack when it comes to the latest naval vessels and firepower,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

The new Shortfin Barracuda submarines will be conventionally powered, using a combination of electric and diesel engines. Their design, however, will be based on Naval Group’s nuclear Barracuda model.
Paris and Canberra agreed to have the vessels built in a new shipyard in South Australia.

The first ships are set to be delivered to the Australian navy in the early 2030s, and the project is set to be completed sometime in the 2050s.

Source Midi Libre, DW.com