Australia signs $50 bln submarine contract with France after two-year squabble

Former Royal Australian Navy submarine HMAS Onslow is towed past the Sydney Opera House on its way to be refitted at Garden Island naval base in this October 16, 2008 file photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 11 February 2019
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Australia signs $50 bln submarine contract with France after two-year squabble

  • Australia’s 12 new submarines are at the center of its plan to significantly expand its military to protect strategic and trade interests in the Asia-Pacific region

SYDNEY: Australia signed a production contract with French shipbuilder Naval Group on Monday for a fleet of 12 new submarines, worth A$50 billion ($35.5 billion), ending a two-year wrangle that cast doubt over one of the world’s most lucrative defense deals.
Australia selected the French builder as its preferred bidder for the fleet of submarines in 2016 ahead of other offers from Japan and Germany.
However, final contracts were delayed amid domestic media reports of cost blowouts and production delays.
Australia and Naval Group signed a Strategic Partnering Agreement, the overall contract to guide the construction, to end the impasse.
“This means we are ensuring we are at the front of the pack when it comes to the latest naval vessels and firepower,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra.
Australia’s 12 new submarines are at the center of its plan to significantly expand its military to protect strategic and trade interests in the Asia-Pacific region.
The first of the new submarines is scheduled to be delivered in the early 2030s and the final vessel during the 2050s.
Australia rejected offers from Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, as well as Germany’s ThyssenKrupp AG, when it accepted the French bid. ($1 = 1.4081 Australian dollars)


Egyptian who killed daughter in Germany sentenced to life

Updated 1 min 27 sec ago
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Egyptian who killed daughter in Germany sentenced to life

BERLIN: A German court has sentenced a 33-year-old Egyptian man to life in prison for killing his daughter in a fit of jealousy.
In its verdict Thursday, Duesseldorf's regional court noted the gravity of the crime, preventing his release even after serving the standard 15-year life term.
The defendant, identified as Ahmed F. in line with German privacy rules, was found guilty of strangling his seven-year-old daughter in July 2018 because he wanted to take revenge against his wife, who he suspected of infidelity.
F. denied the allegations and claimed his daughter died in an accident.
His wife had called police after receiving a video call from F. in which he could be seen pointing a gun at their crying daughter. She was dead by the time police entered the apartment.