Australia's $36.15 billion deal with France to build it a fleet of 12 submarines has been finalized, Defense Minister Christopher Pyne said yesterday.
Despite earlier reports that negotiations over the huge project had hit problems, Pyne said all key aspects of the strategic partnership agreement were completed.
It will be signed early in 2019 and the first of 12 submarines will be delivered to the Australian Navy in the early 2030s.
The Chief of Navy Michael Noonan described the new fleet of French-designed non-nuclear Shortfin Barracuda-class submarines as "regionally superior."
"The Attack class will meet the Navy's capability needs and help protect our security and prosperity for decades to come," Vice Admiral Noonan added.
Earlier this week, a group of retired naval officers said the French submarines were too expensive and complicated and that cheaper alternatives should be considered.
In 2016, the French state-owned company Naval Group was selected to build 12 submarines in Adelaide over competing proposals submitted by Germany's ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and the Japanese government.
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