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Nuclear submarines deal opens way to fix other Australian defence blunders

This article by ROBERT GOTTLIEBSEN for The Australian dated 17.09.21 sheds new light on the reason why Australians have dumped their contract with the French for diesel powered submarines with these comments:

The French appointed a brilliant team of salespeople led by Madame Marie-Pierre de Bailliencourt. They presented Australia with a concept whereby we would have a large submarine driven by conventional batteries and using a controversial propulsion technique, 80 to 90 per cent Australian content and the opportunity to be a submarine research hub in the region.

Back in Paris, the French had no intention of honouring the undertakings of de Bailliencourt’s team and indeed as Malcolm Turnbull was announcing the French bid the French president was announcing that 3000 to 4000 jobs would be created in France, which was totally incompatible with the de Bailliencourt deal.

The French quickly sacked de Bailliencourt plus all her Australian team and sent out the French heavies to explain the real contract. We had been “conned”.

One of the great lessons of business and government is when you enter into a deal and that deal starts to go wrong you need to exit quickly. Your first loss is the best loss.

Meanwhile not only was the contract revamped but as time went on the costs ballooned, as it became a cost-plus contract, with the French dictating the terms. They wanted their suppliers, not Australians.

It took the combination of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Defence Minister Peter Dutton to make the hard call. The Navy always wanted a nuclear submarine but in 2016, politically, it wasn’t possible. Now with China trade sanctions and tirades against Australia, community attitudes have changed.

For the full article in pdf provided to me by Antony Carr our subscriber in Australia, please click on this link here:

Nuclear submarines deal opens way to fix other defence blunders
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Royal Navy nuclear powered Vanguard Class submarine

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