France Will Build Australia's $50 Billion Submarine Fleet

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is set to announce that France's DCNS Group has won the competitive tender process to build Australia's next fleet of submarines, the replacement for the locally-built diesel-powered Collins class. The nuclear-powered DCNS Barracuda will reportedly be adapted to use conventional power sources, beating out competing designs from Japan and Germany.

Business Insider reports that the French bid won out against Germany's Thyssenkrupp and Japan's Mitsubishi and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, and that the tender process will be concluded with a speech by the Prime Minister in Adelaide later today. According to The Australian, Turnbull called France's President François Hollande Monday to congratulate him on the country's state-owned DCNS Group winning the $50 billion contract bid.

The Barracuda in its current form is a 4800-ton nuclear attack submarine approximately 99 metres in length, powered by a 150MW (200,000 horsepower, or 150,000kW) nuclear reactor with electric backups — approximately a third larger again than the Collins class. Other competing designs were a scaled version of ThyssenKrupp's Type 214 and Japan's Soryu.

Partial local production of the French-designed fleet is expected to create 1200 to 2000 Australian jobs. [Business Insider / The Australian]

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