Japan's Chase for Australian Subs Deal

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

October 1, 2015

Japan's Soryu Class Advanced diesel-electric submarine. Photo: Japanese Navy

Japan's Soryu Class Advanced diesel-electric submarine. Photo: Japanese Navy

 Japan has confirmed it is ready to build Australia’s submarines entirely at local shipyards, after stumbling in its effort to win the A$50 billion ($34.76 billion) contract, reports Reuters.

According to Masaaki Ishikawa, director general for Acquisition Reform at the Ministry of Defense, Tokyo was willing to train hundreds of Australian engineers in Japan's submarine-manufacturing hub of Kobe as well as in Australia as part of its offer for one of the world's biggest defence contracts.
It is the first time an official directly involved in the bid has said Japan was willing to build the stealth submarines entirely in Australia. Canberra is expected to order between eight and 12 vessels.
“Whatever option Australia chooses we are ready to provide the necessary technology transfers and skills,” Ishikawa said in an interview. “We will optimize the role of Australian industry.”
Japan had been the frontrunner to replace Australia’s ageing Collins-class submarines with a modified off-the-shelf version of its 4000-tonne Soryu-class vessel until Tony Abbott opened up the bidding in February under pressure from the opposition and some of his MPs.  
While Japan sought to stress the capabilities of its submarines, Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) and the French shipbuilder DCNS said they would make a full build in Australia part of their offers.
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