Australia has chosen France to build a new fleet of submarines, turning down Japanese and German bids.
The lucrative contract to build 12 submarines has gone to the state-owned DCNS Group
It is being described as one of the world’s most lucrative defence contracts, worth the equivalent of 34 billion euros.
The Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, told reporters: “These submarines will be the most sophisticated naval vessels being built in the world and they will be built here, in Australia, with Australian jobs, Australian steel, Australian expertise and this will secure our future security.”
The awarding of the contract to France is a blow to Germany and Japan, which has been attempting to boost its military exports.
The Japanese bid had earlier been seen as a frontrunner, but there appeared to be initial reluctance to build the submarines in Australia.
The French have offered a diesel-electric version of their Barracuda nuclear-powered submarine.