Australia developing ‘regionally superior’ Attack-class submarines

The Australian government announced on February 11 that it has signed the Attack-class submarine Strategic Partnering Agreement with French Naval Group.

“The $50 billion Attack class program will see 12 regionally superior submarines designed and built in Australia for the Navy,” Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Defence Minister Christopher Pyne said in a joint statement. “The formal signing of the Agreement is a defining moment for the country.”

They said that the submarines will help protect Australia’s security and prosperity for decades to come and also deepen the defence relationship between Australia and France.

“Work on the submarines has taken place under the Design and Mobilisation Contract and this will continue uninterrupted under this Agreement,” they added.

“The decision to partner with Naval Group (formerly DCNS) was made in 2016, following a competitive evaluation process commenced by our Government after the Labor Party failed to commission even one single new ship for our Navy. During the negotiations, the Government focused on delivering an equitable and enduring agreement in the interests of our nation,” says in their statement.

They said that the program includes development of the submarine construction yard at Osborne in South Australia.

“The Attack class submarines are a major pillar of our $90 billion National Shipbuilding Plan, which will see 54 naval vessels built in Australia, to meet the strategic requirements set out in our 2016 Defence White Paper and giving our Navy the edge it needs in an uncertain world,” they said.