France and Australia will sign a multibillion dollar for 12 state-of-the-art submarines tomorrow.
Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and France’s Minister of Defense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, will ink the intergovernmental accord estimated 50 billion Australian dollars ($37 billion) in Adelaide on Tuesday with the French shipbuilder DCNS designing and building the Shortfin Barracudas, AFP reports.
Defense Minister Marise Payne was quoted as saying in Sydney that the fleet of subs was the “largest defense procurement program in Australia’s history”. The new contract will lay out the “legal framework under which Australia and France will partner on the future submarine program over the coming decades,” she said.
Australia awarded DCNS the main contract in April to design and build its next generation of submarines, conventionally powered version of France’s 4,700-ton nuclear-fueled Barracuda but boast the same stealth capabilities.
The Barracudas are to replace Australia’s aging diesel and electric-powered Collins submarines.