Australian Defense Ministry is considering developing its next generation submarines locally instead of buying it from Japan as favoured by former prime minister Tony Abbott.
France, Germany and Japan are in the running to secure Australia's defence procurement programme worth Aus$50 billion (US$36 billion), to replace current diesel and electric-powered Collins Class submarines.
"I see that one of the bidders has said that they can build a significant part of a submarine here in Australia -- some 70 to 80 percent," Defence Minister Kevin Andrews told parliament Thursday, in comments seen by some local media as a major shift since Turnbull became prime minister.
One of the bidders, French naval contractor DCNS told a parliamentary inquiry into naval shipbuilding in July 2015 that the company would be able to carry out more than 70 percent of construction in Australia.
DCNS Australia chief executive Sean Costello welcomed the minister's comments and said the firm would be able to build all the submarines in Australia or in conjunction with a shipyard in France, AFP reported.
John White, the Australian head of Germany's TKMS, which is also trying to win the contract, said that the defence firm could also build all the submarines locally with some imported parts.