Australia’s Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne and France’s Minister of Defence, Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, today welcomed the signing of an Agreement on Australia’s Future Submarine Program. The agreement establishes the framework between the Governments of Australia and France required for the development of the Royal Australian Navy’s new fleet of submarines.
“This historic agreement builds on the strength and depth of the Australia-France defence relationship and is another significant step forward for Australia’s Future Submarine Program,” Minister Payne said.
“Australia’s 2016 Defence White Paper established the need for a highly sophisticated and regionally superior submarine fleet. This fleet will, with the assistance of France, be built in Australia. The agreement signed today will enable France to transfer cutting-edge skills, knowledge and technology to the Australian Government and Australian industry to achieve a sovereign operational and sustainment submarine capability in Australia.
“Underpinning Australia’s long-term partnership with French company DCNS for the design and build of Australia’s future submarines, the agreement also recognises the importance of maximising Australian industry involvement in the Future Submarine Program, including through deepening partnerships between Australian and French defence suppliers. This will drive innovation, jobs and economic growth right across Australia.”
Minister Le Drian said France was committed to working with Australia to deliver a regionally superior sovereign submarine capability. “I am pleased to sign this agreement today and I thank Australia for hosting today’s historic event,” Minister Le Drian said.
Minister Le Drian said the agreement would also strengthen the broader relationship between Australia and France. “The agreement is an important milestone in the deepening bilateral relationship, including operational cooperation between our Navies, and investment in innovation and technology. While in Sydney I visited the French Navy’s multimission ship d’Entrecasteaux, which was deployed to Noumea this year. Its presence in Sydney is a testament to the vitality of our operational cooperation.”
The agreement will be made publicly available through both nations’ respective ratification processes.