Australia has signed a production contract with French shipbuilder for a fleet of 12 new submarines, worth $50 billion Australian dollars.
This ends a two-year wrangle that cast doubt over one of the world’s most lucrative defence 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 blow-outs and production delays.
Australia’s 12 new submarines are at the centre 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.