Naval Group, a French industrial group specialised in naval defence and marine renewable energy, contracted to produce twelve submarines for Australia, will set up a separate subsidiary company in Australia.

The new subsidiary, headquartered in Sydney, with a presence in Melbourne and Adelaide, is a joint defence research partnerships with Australian universities and the CSIRO, as well as seeking involvement in the broadest range of Australian defence projects. The office would work beyond submarines, although many areas of research, such as managing artificial intelligence (AI) in combat platforms, combating corrosion, and 3D modelling had applications across submarines and other naval vessels.

“It will be a regional hub for research and development,” said Herve Guillou, Naval Group chairman.

The Australian subsidiary already has research agreements with the University of NSW and Flinders University. The $50 billion contract for the twelve conventional submarines is the biggest defence project Australia has embarked on, and Naval Group leaders and the Morrison government believe that the project has the potential to transform Australian industry.

“Our endeavour is to develop a complete maritime industrial base in this country,” Mr Guillou explained. “We must source a million parts for a submarine. We want to source most of them in Australia.”