17 February 2020
by Jon Grevatt
Australia and France have reaffirmed their “full commitment” to the AUD80 billion (USD55.15 billion) project to build 12 Attack-class submarines for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
The joint declaration – announced 15 February – follows comments attributed to John Davis, the chief executive of French-owned Naval Group’s Australian subsidiary, in which he questioned the capability of Australian firms looking to participate in the construction project.
This participation is framed through Canberra’s Australian Industry Capability (AIC) programme, which commits prime contractors to engage with local industry.
Australia and France have reaffirmed an agreement through which Australian industry will participate in the project to construct Attack-class submarines for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). (Naval Group)
Australia’s defence minister and her French counterpart Florence Parly said in a joint statement that they have reviewed the implementation of the ‘Strategic Partnering Agreement’ (SPA) that underpins the Attack-class programme. The SPA was signed by Australia and France in February 2019.
“Both of us [have] reaffirmed our full commitment to the programme in particular with respect to schedule and the Australian Industry Capability [requirement],” said the joint statement. “We have agreed on an ongoing process to review, at our level, the implementation of the programme on a quarterly basis for the rest of this year, meeting again in France in April and Australia in mid-year.”
Earlier, on 13 February, Naval Group Australia’s John Davis said in an interview with The Australian newspaper that the company was encountering “specific challenges” regarding Australian industry that were “new to Naval Group”.
Australia and France have reaffirmed their “full commitment” to the AUD80 billion (USD55.15 billion)...