Editor’s note: This story was updated on March 31, 2021, to reflect that Naval Group plans to reach the figure of 2,000 Australians employed in Adelaide over the next 10 years.
PARIS – Naval Group is set to become “a Franco-Australian” company, CEO Pierre-Eric Pommellet said in the wake of a contractual commitment to spend at least 60 percent of the contract value for Australia’s 12 new Attack-class submarines in the Commonwealth.
Last week Naval Group’s long-standing commitment to maximize Australian content in the design and build of the Attack Class submarines was signed into the Strategic Partnering Agreement, meaning that it is now a contractual obligation that will be measured over the life span of the program.
Speaking to journalists in a videoconference on Tuesday, Pommellet said, “We aim to have 2,000 Australians employed in the Adelaide area in 10 years and there will be many more, including some who will come to work here in France.”
“Australia is massively investing in its naval industry and a supply chain is being created,” Pommellet explained. He had said during his visit to Australia in February that the submarine program would “also create a new and sovereign submarine building industry in Australia. Strong local supply chains will ensure that Australia has new self-reliance in this critical defense capability.”
Naval Group Australia’s CEO, John Davis, said the company was already working with hundreds of local businesses, adding, “there will be increasing levels of local content in each of the 12 Attack-class submarines, as we continue working with local businesses to boost Australia’s sovereign capability. Ensuring that at least 60 per cent of the Attack-class contract value is spent locally will create hundreds of Australian jobs for the long term, in new supply chains around the country.”
More than 120 Australian companies have already registered their interest with Naval Group to become tier-one capability partners in the program.
Christina Mackenzie was the France correspondent for Defense News.