France will offer Australia its stealth technology for submarines, never before shared abroad, if it wins a lucrative deal to build Australia's fleet of next-generation submarines
15th Jul 2015
France will offer Australia its stealth technology for submarines, never before shared abroad, if it wins a lucrative deal to build Australia's fleet of next-generation submarines, state-controlled French naval contractor DCNS said on Wednesday.
Germany's ThyssenKrupp and DCNS separately are competing with a Japanese government-led consortium for the A$50 billion ($37.38 billion) contract to replace aging Collins-class subs, the biggest contract in Australian defence history.
Japan, which has had a ban on exporting defence technology since World War Two, had been seen as the front runner for the contract, but political pressures in Australia for domestic production have given fresh momentum to the European bidders.
A spokesman for DCNS said that, while the company had privately informed the Australian government of its willingness to share the stealth technology, it hoped a public acknowledgment would generate good will with the Australian public.
"These technologies are the 'crown jewels' of French submarine design knowhow and have never been offered to any other country," DCNS spokeswoman Jessica Thomas added in an email exchange.
"By the very nature of these stealth technologies and the decision to release them to the Australian government, this is a significant demonstration of the strategic nature of this programme for the French authorities."