11 February 2019
Australia signed a production contract with French shipbuilder Naval Group on Monday for a fleet of 12 new submarines, worth A$50 billion. However, final contracts were delayed amid domestic media reports of cost blow-outs and production delays.
Australia and Naval Group signed a Strategic Partnering Agreement, the overall contract to guide the construction, to end the impasse. Australia selected the French builder as its preferred bidder for the fleet of submarines in 2016 ahead of other offers from Japan and Germany.
Australia's 12 new submarines are at the centre of its plan to significantly expand its military to protect strategic and trade interests in the Asia-Pacific region. The first of the new submarines is scheduled to be delivered in the early 2030s and the final vessel during the 2050s.