Three contenders for Australia's new submarines have submitted their bids, with the complex evaluation process now underway.
Defence Minister Marise Payne said the bids had come from TKMS of Germany, DCNS of France and the government of Japan.
"Defence will now assess the ability of the participants to work closely with us, including how each proposal would meet our capability and sustainment needs and how cost, schedule and risk would be managed throughout the program," she said in a statement.
The competitive evaluation process was launched earlier this year, with a deadline of November 30 for designers to present their bids, outlining designs, indicative costs and options for construction in Australia, overseas or a bit of both.
The new subs will enter service around the middle of next decade, replacing the navy's six Collins subs.
They will almost certainly be built entirely or mostly in Australia in what will be the country's most complex and costly defence procurement, worth more than $40 billion over the program's life.
The government still hasn't said just how many submarines it wants. That will be spelled out in the new Defence White Paper, to be released early next year. The winner will also be announced next year.
Senator Payne said all three participants have worked closely with defence and they should be congratulated for their hard work and significant investment to reach this point.
She said this program offered a once in a generation opportunity for Australian industry participation.
"That is why the assessment will include the level of Australian industry involvement that will be possible under each option," she said.
Senator Payne said submarines were defence's most complex, sensitive and expensive capability, so it's important that the evaluation process is thorough and robust.
The evaluation process will be overseen by an expert advisory panel to ensure it was fair and equitable.