The lowdown on Australia's new submarines

Australian Navy personnel from the HMAS Albany and HMAS Melville together with members of the public at a dawn Anzac service. Photo / AP
Australian Navy personnel from the HMAS Albany and HMAS Melville together with members of the public at a dawn Anzac service. Photo / AP

Australia has announced that a French company DCNS had beat bidders from Japan and Germany to build its next generation of submarines.

DCNS, German's ThysennKrupp Marine Systems and Japan's Mitsubishi were in the running to build 12 conventional submarines that the Australian Navy expects will cost at least A$56 billion.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that the DCNS bid met Australia's unique requirements.

The Japanese bid appeared to be the early favorite in the bidding process in what would have been Japan's first fully fledged military technology transfer since World War II.

THE DESIGN

- The Shortfin Barracuda is 97m-long and weighs 4500 tonnes - much bigger than the 3100-tonne, 77m Collins they'll replace.
- Advanced equipment - pump jet to produce a thousandth of detectable blade noise of some older French nuclear subs.
- Fully electronic surveillance and attack periscopes - targets on display screen in control room.
- Diesel-electric propulsion system, featuring lead-acid batteries.
- Large bank of batteries.

WHO WILL BUILD THEM?

- French company DCNS, or Direction des Constructions Navales Services. It's 64 per cent owned by French Government and 35 per cent by Thales. Company traces shipbuilding heritage back to the 16th century.
- They will be built in Adelaide.

WHAT TURNBULL SAID

- French offered capabilities best able to meet Australia's needs.
- Australian workers building Australian submarines with Australian steel for decades to come.
- Submarines will be most sophisticated naval vessels being built in the world.

HOW MANY JOBS?

- Submarine build alone - 2800 Australian jobs.

- AAP, AP

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