one year after the cancellation of the contract, will Australia turn to France again?

one year after the cancellation of the contract, will Australia turn to France again?

one year after the cancellation of the contract, will Australia turn to France again?

A year later, Australia may find it difficult to renew its submarine fleet. The Labor government, elected last May, announced that with orders from full American and British shipyards, its partners would not be able to supply it with nuclear submarines before 2040. Although the lifespan of current Australian submarines has been prolonged, these “will be demolished before their replacements are built,” explains the Australian correspondent of RFI.

No delivery before 2040

The stakes are high, however, as China intends to strengthen its positions in the Indo-Pacific and its hold on Taiwan. Australia is therefore looking for alternatives to avoid the collapse of its navy capabilities. It is difficult for Canberra to consider the production of these submarines itself. Having no experience, the option would be more expensive and the delivery longer. The island-continent could therefore urgently turn to suppliers of conventional submarines: Sweden, for example, which already supplies it with conventional Collins submarines.

France would also be a candidate: according to the Australian press, “Emmanuel Macron proposed to Anthony Albanese, during their meeting in Paris last July, to deliver four submarines that this time would not have been built in Adelaide [en Australie-Méridionale, NDLR]as foreseen in the original contract, but in Cherbourg, in the Naval Group lands ”, explains Le Figaro.

France again candidate

During the meeting in early September between Sébastien Lecornu and his Australian counterpart Richard Marles, the French defense minister insisted that “the French industrial base [était] available to the Australian government “. The two ministers had visited Brest and its nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SNLE) base. Emmanuel Macron’s announced arrival in Australia in mid-November could also be a step in the warming of negotiations.

The Australian Navy, however, may be “reluctant to the idea”, not having “the human resources necessary to support a new type of submarine,” explains RFI. It is in March 2023 that Richard Marles, the Australian Defense Minister will announce the defense investments, deciding the matter.

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