Additional costs, schedule delay, unfulfilled local content commitment… The controversy is swelling in Australia around Naval Group, which in 2016 won the “contract of the century” to supply the Australian Navy with twelve Barracuda-class ocean-going submarines .
On the spot, some evoke a possible breach of this contract with France, while unsuccessful candidates such as the Swedish Saab Kockums are agitated hoping to return to the race before the first submarine goes under construction in 2023. In Paris, this scenario is considered improbable.
France and Australia, which regularly conduct joint exercises in the Pacific and Indian Ocean, are bound by a strategic and military intergovernmental agreement.
"Neither party can afford to fail on this program, which is structuring for Naval Group, important for France and crucial for Australia which has, in front of it, an aggressive China in the region"
, underlines a knowledgeable expert.
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