By: Pierre Tran
PARIS — French arms procurement chief Laurent Collet-Billon flew to Australia to meet the defense industry minister and naval chief on a two-day visit, as the French official highlighted a strong government commitment to Australia's Future Submarine Program, said the Direction Générale de l’Armement, or DGA.
“There was excellent dialogue at a very high level with (Defence Industry Minister) Christopher Pyne, which allowed us to study the outlook for current programs and consider the steps needed to see this program through,” Collet-Billon told Defense News. “I am very confident Australia has the capability to complete this program according to plan.”
The procurement chief — who rarely makes official foreign trips — visited Australia May 4 and 5, the DGA said in a May 11 statement. The visit included meetings with Chief of the Royal Australian Navy Vice Adm. Tim Barrett; Kim Gillis, deputy secretary of Australia's Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group; and other officials.
Gillis briefed Collet-Billon on the Future Submarine Program and other initiatives in which France is engaged, the DGA said.
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