Lessons From a Sunken Submarine Deal

Jeffrey W. Hornung

Publications Lessons From a Sunken Submarine Deal

130412-N-LS794-166 APRA HARBOR, Guam (April 12, 2013) Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) submarine Hakuryu (SS 503) visits Guam for a scheduled port visit. Hakuryu will conduct various training evolutions and liberty while in port. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jeffrey Jay Price/Released)

This commentary article is published in full in The Wall Street Journal on April 28, 2016. Read it here.


Japan just lost a $40 billion deal to build 12 of Australia’s next-generation submarines to replace its six Collins-class vessels. Until Malcolm Turnbull became Australia’s prime minister, Japan’s bid had been considered the favorite. But competitive evaluation processes sometimes confound political expectations, and on Tuesday the French company DCNS won the contract.

Sasakawa USA’s Dr. Jeffrey Hornung explains how Japan-Australia ties will likely suffer because of this decision, and why Tokyo needs to focus on what the deal says about its nascent efforts at arms exporting in order to win future bids. Read the full op-ed here.



Hornung.Headshot 2Dr. Jeffrey Hornung is the Fellow for the Security and Foreign Affairs Program at Sasakawa USA, specializing in topics including Japanese foreign and security policies; the U.S.-Japan alliance; Northeast Asian security; maritime security; and the U.S.-ROK alliance. He can be reached via email at jhornung@spfusa.org. View more of his research and analysis here.


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