Australia and the France-based Naval Group will apparently ink an agreement for the construction of a new fleet of submarines for the Australian navy. As per credible reports, the signing of the contract has come to fruition after several years of negotiations. The announcement had been made by the federal government after the official inking of the deal – the Attack class submarine Strategic Partnering Agreement.
According to sources familiar with the knowledge of the matter, the officials of the Defense and the Naval Group had been negotiating on the deal in question for several years, with the intent to manufacture 12 submarines. Back in December, there were rumors abound that the project, presently worth $50 billion, is likely to cost much more than expected. However, Defense Minister Christopher Pyne and Prime Minister Scott Morrison released a joint statement claiming that the work on the first attack class submarine (to be named HMAS Attack) would continue, and that it may be delivered within budget somewhere in the early 2030s.
Branding the inking of the deal to be a ‘defining moment or the country’, the official statement declares that these submarines will help in protect Australia’s security for the many decades to come and in addition, will also help deepen the defense relationship between France and Australia. The statement further affirmed that the official construction on the submarines (dubbed regionally superior) has already commenced, and that the work will be continued under the terms of the agreement, which represents a contractual basis for the program.
For the record, it has been reported that these submarines stand as a major pillar of the Australian government’s National Shipbuilding Plan $90 billion, under which around 54 naval vessels will be constructed in Australia.
The submarine construction yard development at Osborne, South Australia, will apparently continue as a part of the other activities that are required to deliver the program, claim sources familiar with the matter.