It’s being reported that Toshiba has been enlisted to help the Japanese bid to build Australia’s next submarine fleet.

Reuters reports unnamed sources, claimed to be familiar with the submarine bid, as saying Toshiba was considering building a factory at an unnamed location in Australia to make lithium ion batteries. This hinges on the Japanese bid to replace Australia’s Collins class fleet being successful.

The lithium ion battery factory reportedly being put up as a sweetener would make batteries both for the Soryu class submarines and enterprise-level power packs.

However, the existence of such an offer has been denied by both the Japanese ministry of defence and by Toshiba itself.

Elsewhere, The Japan Times reports that some experts believe Japan has become increasingly likely beat German and French bids in the Competitive Evaluation Process.

Their chances have been boosted by the willingness to perform at least some of the work in Australia.

Macquarie University professor Ben Schreer told the news source that for strategic and technological reasons, as well as the defence white paper released last week, the Turnbull government was likely to announce the Japanese bid as successful.

“The DWP (Defense White Paper) strongly stresses the importance of further strengthening U.S.-Japanese defense relations and is also quite vocal about China’s challenge to the rules-based order in maritime Asia,” said Schreer.

Source: Manufacturers Monthly