The government today signed an Attack-class submarine Strategic Partnering Agreement with French company Naval Group.
FILE IMAGE (supplied)
The $50 billion Attack-class program will see 12 submarines designed and built in Australia for the Royal Australian Navy.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the formal signing of the agreement was a defining moment for the country.
“These submarines will help protect Australia’s security and prosperity for decades to come and also deepen the defence relationship between Australia and France,” he said.
“Work on the submarines has already taken place under the Design and Mobilisation Contract and this will continue uninterrupted under this agreement.
“Our Government is committed to maximising local industry involvement in the program to ensure Australians get the most out of this important national investment.
“It’s estimated the program will generate an annual average of around 2,800 jobs, helping end the ‘valley of death’ in naval shipbuilding jobs we inherited from the Labor Party” – [because building submarines is as much about political point scoring as defending the country].
The first Attack-class submarine – to be named HMAS Attack – is scheduled to be delivered in the early 2030s.
Prime Minister Morrison said formalisation of the agreement with Naval Group represented the contractual basis for the program.
“The decision to partner with Naval Group (formerly DCNS) was made in 2016, following a competitive evaluation process” [more political point scoring deleted here].
“During the negotiations, the government focused on delivering an equitable and enduring agreement in the interests of our nation.
“Other activities required to deliver this major program, including the development of the submarine construction yard at Osborne in South Australia, are continuing.
“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.”