The australian Prime minister Malcom Turnbull has estimated Sunday that the 12 submarines ordered to the Naval Group (ex-DCN) is “a challenge of sovereignty”, in the margin of a visit to a shipyard in Cherbourg (Manche). “The contract of the 12 sub-marine products in Adelaide is the agreement the most important of which was initiated by Australia. It is a challenge for us of sovereignty, we want to control our destiny,” said Malcolm Turnbull at the inauguration of the building in which will be installed in the australian team of some fifty people in charge of the design of future submarines. This building would also host the nearly fifty employees of the Naval Group, a dozen Lockheed Martin (responsible for the combat systems) and a team of the directorate-general of armament (DGA).
The australian Prime minister was accompanied by the new minister for the Armed forces Florence Parly, who assured that “France is fully committed to bring this project to its term and opens a new phase of cooperation”. “We have common interests with Australia in the Asia-Pacific region, those of defending the rights of the sea and regional security”, she said.
Macron, in support of the French industry
Naval Group had won the April 26, 2016 the “contract of the century” for a total amount of 50 billion australian dollars (35 billion euros) to pay the costs of the German ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) and a japanese consortium led by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and supported by the japanese government. The commissioning of the first submarine with a conventional drive system is expected in the beginning of the 2030s, and the latter by 2050. At the end of the first works of design, their construction will be mainly carried out in Adelaide, in south Australia.
The president of the Republic Emmanuel Macron, who had dinner Saturday with Malcolm Turnbull, has welcomed the choice “which honors the French industry” and assured that “he will(t) that we will take the necessary provisions to be obviously the height requirements of this contract, but, more broadly, to accompany you in this strategic partnership.” The australian Prime minister, who visited Paris at the end of the G20 summit in Hamburg, said he was also in favour of concluding a free trade agreement with the european Union by the end of 2019.