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Aust sticks to its French sub plan

AAP logoAAP 4/09/2016

The federal government is sticking by its plan to enlist a French naval contractor to build Australia's new submarine fleet as India shelves an order of its own over security fears.

Secret data about the capabilities of the Scorpene submarine, which DCNS has built for India, were leaked in August sparking fears about the security of plans for the Shortfin Barracuda which Australia is commissioning.

The Scorpene export class submarine bore no relationship "at all" to the Barracuda which was a unique design, Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne told ABC radio on Monday.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull plans to discuss the issue with French president Francois Hollande when the two leaders meet on the sidelines of the G20 leaders summit in China.

"Maintaining absolute maximum security, total security on information of this kind is critical," he told reporters in Hangzhou.

Mr Turnbull has also discussed the submarine bid with German chancellor Angela Merkel, telling her the advice to his government was "absolutely unequivocal that the French bid was the one that best met our very unique requirements".

Germany and Japan lost out to France for what could be a contract worth up to $50 billion.

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