French Prime Minister Manuel Valls speaks with officials during a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at Parliament House, Canberra on May 2, 2016. / AFP / MARK GRAHAM
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A mega deal to build Australian submarines was so important, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Monday, that he pledged to personally supervise the project as Paris and Canberra bolster defense ties.French contractor DCNS last week beat off competition from Japan and Germany to seal the 12-submarine Aus$50 billion ($39 billion) contract, prompting Valls to make a surprise visit to Canberra. Valls said it was a "win-win" deal, adding that Paris would fulfill all its commitments including job creation in Australia and the transfer of technology.DCNS plans to build a 4,500-tonne conventionally-powered version of its 4,700 tonne Barracuda, which the company has described as "the most technically complex artifact in Australia".
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