Germany Joins The Race To Build Australia's New Submarine Fleet

KIEL, GERMANY – JUNE 5: A submarine anchors in front of docks of the Howaldts-Deutsche Werft (HDW) (Picture: Getty)

Yesterday, the Opposition Leader Bill Shorten harked back to the days of World War II in decrying the possibility that Australia’s new fleet of submarines will be built in Japan and might have to go back there for a grease and oil change in times of conflict.

The AFR reports this morning that Defence sources “confirmed that German submarine builder ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) has submitted a bid for a joint venture with Adelaide-based ASC that comes in at under $20 billion”.

While a decision has yet to be announced by the Government, Prime Minister Abbott has certainly intimated that the Japanese are the front-runners

But the fact that the TKMS, through its HDW subsidiary, has built submarines for Israel and South Korea, and the bid is a joint venture with the Adelaide based ASC means, given election promises and political climate, such a bid will have to be seriously considered.

As the AFR reports:

“Australian Strategic Policy Institute budget analyst Mark Thomson said whatever the merits of the Japanese submarine, the Abbott government should hold an open competition given there were at least three or four credible contenders including companies in France and Spain”.

This new is likely to ignite a furious argument politically but if a decision has been made, it is also likely to bring forward the announcement date.

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