Saturday, May 07, 2016

Excitement and Concern Over France's Win of the Australian Submarine Contract

Australia’s choice of French shipbuilding giant DCNS to lead the country’s ambitious 12-ship submarine construction program caught most observers by surprise. The quasi-government-owned DCNS — which often competes in international naval programs but rarely scores a major win — had been seen as an also-ran in competition with Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) and the Japanese government for the lucrative, Australian $50 billion (US $38 billion, €33.2 billion) Future Submarine contract.

But Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s April 26 announcement that the decision was “unequivocally” in favor of the French design set champagne corks popping in Paris even as Australian politicians and commentators debated the choice.

“This was the absolutely unambiguous recommendation from the Department of Defence that came through the competitive evaluation process,” Turnbull said, adding that all three bids were of a “very high quality.”

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