Australia’s breach of submarine contract: “It’s part of the arms export game,” says expert

“It’s part of the arms exports game”, estimates Lucie Béraud-Sudreau Thursday, September 16 on franceinfo after Australia breached a gigantic contract with France for the delivery of conventional submarines. “Sometimes, it’s France or other countries that will win these markets”, specifies the director of the research program for the armaments industry and military expenditures at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

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franceinfo: How do you analyze this decision by Australia, which says its needs have changed?

Lucie Béraud-Sudreau: When the first contract was negotiated, Australia did not want nuclear-powered submarines. But the deterioration of its relations with China may have led it to give up on contracts with France and turn to the Americans. We are at a very strategic moment in Asia, with China on one side and the Americans on the other.

“This is a step in increasing tensions in the region and a way for Australians to take root on the western side.”

Lucie Béraud-Sudreau

to France

Could this contract increase tensions?

Rather, it is the opposite result, with an increase in tensions and a deterioration of relations between Australia and its Chinese neighbor, which has led to the choice of certain types of weaponry. In this case, submarines that are quieter and can stay underwater longer. So it’s a choice of military capability that Australia is making with this new announcement.

Could a denounced contract like this, after Switzerland’s choice to acquire American fighters over French fighters, have an impact on the image of French armaments?

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France is among the world’s leading arms dealers. In the immediate term, it may even have an impact on Grupo Naval’s position in the maritime capacity market, but I don’t think it will have an impact on the sale of the Rafale. It’s all the same, in quotes, part of the arms export game. Sometimes, it is France or other countries that will win these markets. Sometimes it’s Americans. It’s quite classic in this gun business.

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