France

A year after the breach of the “contract of the century”, Naval Group could sell four submarines to Australia – Economy



A year after the breach of the “contract of the century” by Australia, Naval Group seems to be regaining a foothold in the Asia-Pacific zone. Paris has indeed confirmed that it is making an offer to the Philippine government for the supply of conventionally powered submarines of the Scorpène type. Manila, under pressure from Beijing on its coasts, is seeking to strengthen its maritime capabilities. “France is ready if the Philippines were to make a decision,” French Ambassador Michèle Boccoz said at a forum in Manila on September 14.

But the most surprising would be a return to grace from Naval Group in Australia, where a page seems to be turning. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is indeed seeking to rebuild the relationship with Paris, after his predecessor Scott Morrison had dealt, just a year ago, “a blow in the back”, in the words of Jean-Yves Le Drian. The former Australian Prime Minister then broke the contract with Naval Group for 12 conventional submarines for 56 billion euros.

US and UK late

The Australian reversal comes from the fear of not having, as soon as hoped, the nuclear submarines promised by the Aukus alliance, signed with the United States and the United Kingdom. The Royal Australian Navy would face, within ten years, a “capacity rupture”: its submarines will reach the end of their life after 2030 while the American and British shipyards, saturated, promise delivery only to from the following decade. This would place the island-continent in a delicate position, especially if Beijing became even more aggressive.

The Australian press reported in August that Emmanuel Macron had proposed to Anthony Albanese, during his trip to Paris on July 1, to provide four submarines. Unlike the canceled Attack-class twelve, they would be built in Cherbourg rather than Adelaide.

The information is not denied at the Elysée. “All the oils of industry and the Ministry of Defense were present in Brest at the beginning of September for the visit of the Minister of Defense Richard Marles, it is necessarily that there is a contract at stake, judges a deputy from the Defense Committee. Australians seeking nuclear propulsion, Paris could offer a downgraded version of its Suffren-class SNA.”

Macron in Australia mid-November?

A tempered assertion to the Ministry of Defense. “The Australian Minister’s program contained symbolic points to mark the will of the two countries to overcome the crisis phase of a year ago, confirms a source familiar with the matter. But the field of discussion is very broad, without it yet concerning a particular piece of equipment”. However, the purchase of new Airbus helicopters was discussed. An official visit by Emmanuel Macron to Australia is scheduled for mid-November, on the occasion of the G20 summit being held in Bali.



letelegramme Fr Trans

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