Our Premier Steven Marshall was on hand to witness the launch in Cherbourg of the Suffren, the first of France’s latest generation of Barracuda nuclear attack submarines. Australian Defence Minister Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds and her French counterpart Florence Parly were also present to witness the launch ceremony conducted by French President Emmanuel Macron.
The relationship between South Australia and France has grown strongly in the past few years.
In 2016 the Australian Federal Government selected French company Naval Group, which designed and built the Suffren, to build 12 regionally superior conventionally powered submarines for the Australian Navy. These vessels which are a variant of the Barracuda, will be built in Adelaide with the first metal due to be cut in 2023.
In the meantime the supply chain for these spectacularly technological vessels is being mapped out in Australia and France. Already half a dozen French companies have set up in Australia to prepare for the tenders and which will be coming out to supply components and services, and to find local partners. At least forty further companies, new to Australia, will be creating a presence over the coming few years with Adelaide being the location of choice to ensure proximity to the shipyard and to the Naval Group design and procurement team.
While at the event the Premier renewed acquaintances with the heads of major French multinationals such as Dassault, Schneider and Thales as well as engaging with the Chairman of Naval Group and his senior management team.