France wins contract to build next Australian submarines

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull phoned president Francois Hollande last night to congratulate France on winning the contract to build Australia’s next fleet of submarines, according to reports.

According to The Australian, an official announcement is expected at 11 am this morning on the winner of the three-way contest between French, German and Japanese groups vying for the estimated $50 billion contract. AAP reports that the winner will be announced at 10:30 am.

Last week it was reported that a defence committee (headed by Rear Admiral Greg Sammut) overseeing the “competitive evaluation process” had judged the proposal by France as the strongest, followed by Germany and Japan.

France’s DCNS would build a conventionally-powered version of its Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A submarine, using pump jet propulsion.

Update: 

DCNS was announced as the winning bidder by Turnbull, who visited Adelaide’s Osborne shipyard this morning.

He claimed that 2,800 local jobs would be created in Australia through the project.

“Australian built, Australian jobs, Australian steel, here right where we stand,” the ABC reports him as saying.

TKMS, which led the German bid to construct the vessels, expressed disappointment but said it respected the decision and was ready to assist if needed.

“The competitive evaluation was conducted with high integrity and professionalism and we were
privileged to be part of it,” said Australian chairman Dr John White in a statement.

“thyssenkrupp remains committed to the essence of its ‘Project Endeavour’ for SEA 1000 – to transition Australia’s naval shipbuilding industry to world class naval capability and competitiveness, capable of export.”