The building and assembly site of a Barracuda Suffren class submarine.
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France has beaten Japan and Germany to win a AU$50 billion ($40 billion) deal to build a fleet of 12 submarines for Australia, one of the world's most lucrative defense contracts, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced Tuesday. The victory for state-owned naval contractor DCNS Group underscored France's strengths in developing a compelling military-industrial bid, and is a blow for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push to develop defense export capabilities as part of a more muscular security agenda.The French shipbuilder's share of the overall contract will amount to about 8 billion euros ($9.02 billion), according to sources with knowledge of the deal.Japan had offered to build Australia a variant of its 4,000 ton Soryu submarine, a deal that would have cemented closer strategic and defense ties with two of Washington's key Asia-Pacific allies, but risked antagonizing China, Australia's top trading partner.Japan's Defense Minister Gen. Nakatani said the decision was "deeply regrettable," and he would ask Australia to explain why it didn't pick Japan's design.
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