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Abbott to Prevent Russia, North Korea From Bidding on Submarine Tender

Sputnik News

11:33 11.02.2015(updated 11:52 11.02.2015)

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that the government would hold 'competitive evaluation process,' rather than an open tender on building next-generation submarines, which means that Russian and North Korean companies would not be able to take part.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Australia will not hold an open tender on an important submarine project to prevent Russia and North Korea's participation, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Wednesday.

According to Australian media, the country is currently looking for a contractor to build next-generation submarines to replace its aging Collins-class fleet. The Labour opposition is insisting on an open tender, which would give Australian state-owned shipbuilder ASC Ltd. a chance to bid for the $30-billion project.

On Sunday, Abbott promised to provide ASC an opportunity to take part in the tender. On Wednesday, the prime minister pointed that the government would hold 'competitive evaluation process,' rather than an open tender, which means that Russian and North Korean companies will not be able to take part, The Australian reported.

'They're both competitive processes but an open tender is there for anyone and the last thing we would want to see is a Russian company, for argument's sake, bidding to produce an Australian submarine,' Abbot was quoted as saying by The Australian.

In December, Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey said that the government did not have enough time to hold an open tender, adding that Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries were likely to receive the contract.

Earlier in 2014, Swedish military manufacturer Saab, France's state-controlled naval contractor DCNS and Germany's ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems made clear they were interested in the Australian submarine projects as well.

Relations between Australia and Russia hit rock bottom amid the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis. Canberra accused Russia of providing military support to pro-independence fighters of eastern Ukraine's Donbas and joined the US and the EU is issuing sanctions against the country.

Sputnik



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