PARIS, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- French ship builder Naval Group on Monday announced it had signed a 35.5-billion-U.S.-dollar defense deal with Australia to build a fleet of 12 submarines.
The two sides signed the Submarine Program Strategic Partnering Agreement in the presence of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and defense ministers from both countries.
Under the production contract, Naval Group pledged to deliver 12 submarines to Australia with leading-edge capabilities.
"We are very excited about the opportunities that lay ahead of us and are committed to delivering the Future Submarine Program for Australia," said Herve Guillou, Naval Group's chairman and CEO.
The French ship builder won the defense deal after beating out bids from Japanese and German companies in 2016.
The new 12 submarines will replace Australia's current fleet of ageing Collins Class submarines.