Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and French Minister of Defence Jean-Yves Le Drian have signed the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for the construction of Australia’s fleet of Future Submarines.
This agreement represents “the last foundation stone needed to ensure Australia is able to develop a cutting-edge, sovereign submarine capability”, Turnbull said in a statement, following the selection of French naval shipbuilding company DCNS as design and mobilisation partner, and Lockheed Martin Australia as the combat system integrator.
“The Future Submarine program will generate thousands of jobs in Australia, and will be a significant part of our Defence capability well into the second half of this century,” the Prime Minister said.
“The submarines will be built in Australia, by Australians, using Australian steel. Manufacturers, small businesses and high-tech innovators across the country stand to benefit from this project.”
The agreement establishes the legal framework between the governments of Australia and France that is required for the development of the submarines for the Royal Australian Navy.
“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,” stated Minister for Defence Senator Marise Payne.
“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.”
Separately, Attorney-General George Brandis has signed an agreement that is intended to improve the sharing of classified information between Australia and France, which will directly support the delivery of the Future Submarine program.