Ian McPhedran/National Defence Writer/news.au.com
Swedish defence giant Saab has accused the government of spreading lies about its submarine building capability.
Ms Erixon also revealed that at no stage had Australian officials requested detailed design details from Sweden or included any technical experts in various government delegations to visit the country.
Mr Abbott told Parliament that only France, Germany and Japan could build the submarines.
“The last Australian submarine came off the production line in about 2001 … the last Swedish submarine came off the production line in 1996, so it’s almost two decades since Sweden built a submarine,” Mr Abbott said.
Ms Erixon strongly objected to that assertion saying that Sweden had maintained a “full capacity to design and build submarines both for Sweden and fore export over the last 20 years.”
“To state that we would offer obsltete technology from the 1960s and 1980s is simply not true,” she said.
Sweden was excluded from the process to provide Australia’s future submarine despite the fact that the navy’s existing submarine fleet is based on a Swedish design from Saab-Kockums.
The $20 billion plus contest will be conducted between Japan, Germany and France.
The strongly worded letter dated March 2 accesses Australia of ignoring the possibility of a low risk and low cost partnership between the two nations to build the future submarine.
Ms Erixon said Sweden had delivered 11 submarines since 1996 including six completely rebuilt boats equipped with Air Independent Propulsion for the Singapore Navy.
She said Sweden respected Australia’s decision but added that a new design based on Collins would “be the path of lowest cost and least risk”.