Following yesterday’s announcement that the Australian Government will no longer be proceeding with the Attack Class Submarine Program, France’s Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Defense issued the following statement:
France takes note of the decision just announced by the Australian government to stop the “Future Submarine Program” ocean-class submarine program and to launch cooperation with the United States on nuclear powered submarines.
It is a decision contrary to the letter and the spirit of the cooperation which prevailed between France and Australia, based on a relationship of political trust as on the development of an industrial and technological base of defense of very high level in Australia.
The American choice which leads to the removal of an ally and a European partner such as France from a structuring partnership with Australia, at a time when we are facing unprecedented challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, whether on our values or on respect for multilateralism based on the rule of law marks an absence of coherence that France can only observe and regret.
While the joint communication on the European strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region is being published today, France confirms its desire for very ambitious action in this region aimed at preserving the “freedom of sovereignty” of everyone. . The only European nation present in the Indo-Pacific with nearly two million of its nationals and more than 7,000 soldiers, France is a reliable partner which will continue to keep its commitments there, as it has always done.
The regrettable decision just announced on the FSP program only reinforces the need to raise the issue of European strategic autonomy loud and clear. There is no other credible way to defend our interests and values in the world, including the Indo-Pacific.
French shipbuilder Naval Group issued the following statement:
Naval Group takes note of the decision of the Australian authorities to acquire a fleet of nuclear submarines in collaboration with the United States and the United Kingdom.
The Commonwealth decided not to proceed with the next phase of the program. This is a major
disappointment for Naval Group, which was offering Australia a regionally superior conventional
submarine with exceptional performances. Naval Group was also offering Australia a sovereign
submarine capability making unrivalled commitments in terms of technology transfer, jobs and
For five years, Naval Group teams, both in France and in Australia, as well as our partners, have given their best and Naval Group has delivered on all its commitments.
The analysis of the consequences of this sovereign Australian decision will be conducted with the Commonwealth of Australia in the coming days.