As indicated in Submarine Matters on October 30, 2015 at least two Americans (below) hold key roles in the future submarine selection and building process.
American, Donald C. Winter is the chairman of the Expert Advisory Panel for the Australian Submarine selection. Winter is also former Secretary of the US Navy and a former Corporate Vice President of Northrop Grumman. (Photograph Courtesy Northrop Grumman)
Rear Admiral (retd.) Stephen Johnson (above) was appointed by the Australian Government as General Manager, Submarines, in October 2015.
"...2. Given the highly confidential nature of combat system technology...it may be effectively up to the US which country [Japan, France or Germany] such technology can be transferred to.
- US technology transfer powers may limit Australian decision-making and also influence how our future submarines are built.- It is widely believed in the submarine industry that the US would not wish combat system technology transferred to French submarine builders...."
On January 25, 2016 The Australian picked up this same US combat system influence dynamic with Greg Sheridan's "Cautious US gives Japan edge in subs":
"...Serious doubt that Washington will be willing to provide the US Navy’s most advanced combat systems to Australian submarines if they are built by Germany or France is emerging as a trump card for Japan in the three-way battle to construct the new boats.
...The German manufacturers have countered this view by pointing out that Germany is a member of NATO in good standing and that numerous German-built subs have elements of American weapons systems.
...A senior American outlined to The Australian the reasons for Washington’s preference for the Japanese Soryu submarine to be the replacement for the Collins.
...Second, the Americans believe the Soryu would offer the best interoperability between Australian and American submarines and between Australian and Japanese boats.
Third, they believe a Japanese option would greatly enhance “trilateral strategic co-operation” between the US, Japan and Australia. Enhancing such co-operation is a policy objective in all three capitals.
Finally, because Beijing is very much opposed to the Japanese option, Washington believes a defeat for Japan would be seen as a humiliation of Tokyo and a diplomatic and strategic victory for Beijing..."
There is much more in the WHOLE ARTICLE in THE AUSTRALIAN.
What the US wants is not automatically the last word. Prime Minister Turnbull has been an independent, creative thinker on many occasions in his long, non-government career.
China still remains Australia's largest current market. China will continue to hold that position for the foreseeable future. However the Chinese economy is weakening compared to the resurgent American economy.
Australia would not wish to be drawn into alliance obligations by the US or Japan against Chinese warships in such far flung sea-battlefields as the East China Sea.
The US may not be serious in offering Australia an SSN option from now to the medium term (2030s). If Australia bought the French Shortfin Barracuda France would probably offer the Barracuda SSN option to Australia for building in the 2030s.
Germany is likely to be offering the most efficient, compact and cost effective solution, in the TKMS 216.