Australia says France was aware of “serious” submarine concerns

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canberra Prime Minister Scott Morrison said France would know Australia would have “serious concerns” that the submarine fleet under construction would not meet Australia’s needs as the cancellation of the contract caused a diplomatic crisis. Rice field.

France has accused Australia of concealing its intention to cancel a $90 billion ($66 billion) contract for the majority of France’s state-owned naval groups to build 12 conventional diesel electric submarines.

President Joe Biden last week unveiled a new alliance to send an Australian fleet of at least eight nuclear submarines, including to Australia and the United Kingdom.

Morrison attributed the change to the deteriorating strategic environment in the Indo-Pacific. He makes no specific mention of China’s massive military build-up, which has been growing rapidly in recent years.

“The capabilities that the attack-class submarines were trying to provide were not necessary for Australia to protect our sovereignty interests,” Morrison said.

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“He would have every reason to know that there are deep and serious concerns that the capabilities provided by attack-class submarines do not serve our strategic interests. We are our strategic. He made it very clear that he Will take decisions based on their interests. Strategic national interest,” he said, referring to the French government.

France responded by canceling the deal, which Morrison said would cost his government at least $2.4 billion ($1.7 billion) by recalling ambassadors from Australia and the United States.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called the abrupt termination of the deal “repetition, contempt, lies” on Saturday, adding that France is now questioning the strength of the coalition. where did it go.

China has accused him of being irresponsible in sharing US and British nuclear technology.

France won the contract in 2016 with offers from Germany and Japan. The Short Fin Barracuda was designed to be a nuclear submarine powered by surface diesel and underwater batteries.

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Japan was particularly disappointed as then-prime minister Tony Abbott promised a contract with a close defense ally before being expelled by his party in 2015.

The government discussed the media coverage of the uproar among the partners of the French submarine project and the delay in initial delivery to 2027.

There were concerns that a gap was emerging in the defense capabilities of the aging Australian Collins-class submarine.

The supply of Australia’s first nuclear submarine is not scheduled until the close of 2040.

Defense Minister Peter Dutton said his government was ready to lease nuclear submarines from the United States while the Australian fleet was being built.

Secretary of State Dutton and Maris Payne are in the United States for their annual meeting with their American counterparts and their first meeting with the Biden administration.

Morrison will fly to the United States on Monday to meet the leaders of India and Japan, which make up Biden and the Quad Security Forum.

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Australia says France was aware of “serious” submarine concerns

source link Australia says France was aware of “serious” submarine concerns

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