29 April 2016
Australia has chosen the French option for its new submarine acquisition project. While offering a range of strategic, political and technical advantages over the German and Japanese options, it confirms a long-standing security relationship between Australia and France.
Australia has awarded the French firm DCNS the contract to design and build new submarines for its Navy (une victoire française). It will build a scaled down conventional version of its Barracuda-class nuclear submarine with all, or most of the submarines, to be built in Adelaide, South Australia.
The decision has been highly controversial. As well as the French option, there were two other contenders – ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) of Germany with a Type 216 Class submarine, and the Government of Japan with a proposal based on the existing Soryu class submarine. Japan’s contender had appeared the ‘captain’s pick’ of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, but this was overturned following domestic political outrage over the extent to which Australian industry and workers would be involved in building the Japanese option.
… Sam Bateman is an adviser to the Maritime Security Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. He is a former Australian naval commodore who has worked in force development areas of the Department of Defence in Canberra.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 03/05/2016