Skepticism, confusion over Australia submarine tender pledge

February 9, 2015 5:22 AM

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SYDNEY (Reuters) - Officials in Australia and Japan on Monday expressed scepticism and confusion over a pledge by Prime Minister Tony Abbott to give an Australian state-owned shipbuilder the option to tender for a major submarine contract, heightening the uncertainty around the project.

Sources have said Australia is strongly considering buying a version of the 4,000-tonne Soryu-class submarine built by Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries to replace its aging Collins-class fleet.

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