Prime Minister Scott Morrison rejected accusations that Australia had lied, saying France should have been aware it was prepared to break the deal.
France says the Aukus pact has led to a "serious crisis" between the allies.
In an unprecedented move, it has recalled its ambassadors from the US and Australia as a sign of protest.
Under the Aukus pact, Australia will be given the technology to build nuclear-powered submarines as a way of countering China's influence in the contested South China Sea.
The partnership has ended a deal worth $37bn (£27bn) signed by Australia in 2016 for France to build 12 conventional submarines. France says it was informed of the pact only hours before the public announcement was made earlier this week.
Mr Morrison on Sunday said he understood France's disappointment, but that he had always been clear about Australia's position.
The French government "would have had every reason to know that we had deep and grave concerns", he said.