Nothing is going well in Canberra! After having won, to the chagrin of TKMS, the mega contract for the study and construction of 12 Shortfin Barracuda oceanic submarines, derived from the Suffren class which will soon enter service in the French Navy, Naval Group is under fire numerous and severe criticisms, both from the Australian political class and from public opinion on social networks. In question ? the explosion of delays and costs echoed in the press in recent months, to the point of potentially threatening the very execution of the program if the ruling coalition were to lose the next legislative elections.
It must be said that Australians have reasons to express their dissatisfaction, and to question the way in which this program is managed. The construction of the 12 units is estimated at $ 50 billion, or more than € 30 billion, bringing the unit price of each submersible to over € 2,5 billion. Once inflation is applied over the duration of the program, the note will reach $ 80 billion. But with the anticipated delays according to some, it could reach or even exceed $ 120 billion. In addition, € 2,5 billion is also the unit price of a Virginia class nuclear attack submarine, the latest and most successful model of American combat submarines today. In the same vein, the unit price of the Suffren class ANS which will equip the French Navy is only € 1 billion, the program integrating R&D and the 6 submarines being 9,1 billion. €, just over € 1,5 billion, for a ship similar to the model offered to Australians, and with nuclear propulsion. These figures are eloquent, even if they cannot be compared with each other, because they cover totally different perimeters. In the absence of explanations from Naval Group or the Australian authorities, public opinion, badly guided, can quickly draw very unfavorable conclusions. And that is precisely what happened ...
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Maj January 17, 2020 : The Australian government has provided a factual response at the various points of tension surrounding this file, and denial of any risk for the execution of the contract with Naval Group.