Australia

Minister rubbishes submarine delay report

Christopher Pyne has denied reports of a delay and cost blowout in a submarine project. (AAP)

The defence minister has rubbished reports of potential delays and cost blowouts in a $50 billion project to deliver 12 new submarines.

Defence Minister Christopher Pyne has rubbished reports Australia's new fleet of submarines could arrive late and cost billions more than expected.

The ABC has reported the first of Australia's new submarines could be delayed and cost significantly more as Defence attempts to finalise the terms of the $50 billion project with French shipbuilder Naval Group.

"The story is completely false ... there is nothing true about that story," Mr Pyne told Sky News on Wednesday.

"There is zero cost blowout and absolutely no delay as part of the negotiations for the strategic partnering agreement or for the submarine project."

Defence and Naval Group officials have been locked in negotiations for several years to produce the 12 submarines.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison discussed the submarine negotiations with French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the G20 Summit last weekend.

"We are now very close to finalising those arrangements and so these things remain on track," Mr Morrison told reporters on Wednesday.

Asked if he was concerned by reported leaks from the negotiations, the prime minister echoed the criticisms of Mr Pyne.

"My understanding is he has great, great concerns about the accuracy of that report," he said.

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