Lilian Braylé joined Naval Group at the end of May to take over the executive management of the “Australian Future Submarine” program. He had flown to Australia a few days before the twist. It was in Adelaide, during his anti-Covid quarantine, that the Franco-Australian engineer learned of the termination of the program of at least 8 billion euros signed between Paris and Canberra in 2016 for the construction of twelve submarines conventional Attack type. His situation, absurd and probably painful, illustrates the brutality of the decision of the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison.
By June, however, doubt had crept in at the top of the state. Paris began to question the strength of Canberra’s commitment, which has been wavering since the change of political majority in 2018. The opposition torpedoed the contract with France, while the German-Japanese consortium ThyssenKrupp-Kawazaki -Mitsubishi, unsuccessful candidate during the choice of 2016, fueled the controversy.
“We had echoes of Australian concerns about the performance of the contract, explained the Elysee, Monday, September 20, to the Reuters news agency. We therefore made ourselves available to respond to their concerns and give them the necessary assurances. ” The Australians did not mention any “Alternative option”, he adds. No more than the Americans at the G7 summit organized from June 11 to 13 in Carbis Bay (Cornwall), where Australia was invited.
No more than Mr. Morrison, received face to face at the Elysee Palace on June 15, at the initiative of Mr. Macron. Australian Prime Minister “Did not say anything to him which foreshadowed that and they agreed to continue the work”, we said from the same source, which adds: “The President wrote to Morrison at length to address his concerns. Morrison’s response was purely dilatory. “
At Naval Group we claim to have fallen from the clouds, even if the reaction was much more measured than within the French government, where the words ” treason “ and “Stab in the back” are on everyone’s lips. A few days before the announcement of the rupture, the leaders of the former direction of naval constructions (DCNS) had received “Very positive signals” of the Australian Navy. In Paris, it is believed that these technical teams were not aware of the geopolitical turnaround and that they too were victims of the “Duplicity” of their government.
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