Prime Minister and Minister for Defence - Continuous Naval Shipbuilding

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Senator the Hon Marise Payne

Minister for Defence

Media contact
  • Henry Budd (Minister Payne’s office) 0429 531 143
  • Defence Media (02) 6127 1999

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18 April 2016

The Turnbull Government is securing a sustainable long-term Australian naval shipbuilding industry.

Today the Government is announcing the build locations for 12 Offshore Patrol Vessels and up to 21 Pacific Patrol Boats, in addition to nine Future Frigates previously announced.

These announcements provide for two shipyards to implement the Government’s commitment to a continuous build of naval surface ships in Australia. Major warships will be built in Adelaide and minor vessels in Henderson, Western Australia.

These three projects will ensure Australia retains a sovereign capability to build and sustain its naval vessels. Together they represent close to $40 billion worth of investment in Australia’s future naval capabilities and our naval shipbuilding industry.

They will directly secure more than 2,500 jobs for decades to come. They will also generate thousands of additional jobs with suppliers.

Offshore Patrol Vessels

  • First pass approval for the Offshore Patrol Vessels, with construction to begin in Adelaide from 2018, following the completion of the Air Warfare Destroyers and transfer to Western Australia when the Future Frigate construction begins in Adelaide in 2020.  This approach ensures that jobs and skills are retained in Adelaide.
  • As part of the Competitive Evaluation Process three designers have been shortlisted; Damen of the Netherlands, Fassmer of Germany, and Lurssen of Germany to refine their designs.
  • This program is estimated to be worth more than $3 billion and will create over 400 direct jobs.

Future Frigates

  • First pass approval for the Future Frigates. Three designers - BAE Systems with the Type 26 Frigate; Fincantieri with the FREMM Frigate, and Navantia with a redesigned F100 -  have been short-listed to refine their designs. The frigates will all be built in Adelaide, incorporating the Australian-developed CEA Phased-Array Radar.
  • The Competitive Evaluation Process is on schedule to return second pass approval in 2018, which will allow for construction to commence in Adelaide in 2020.
  • This program is estimated to be worth more than $35 billion, and will directly create over 2000 jobs.

Pacific Patrol Boats

  • Combined first and second pass approval for the replacement Pacific Patrol Boats.  Austal Ships Pty Ltd has been selected as the preferred tenderer to construct and maintain up to twenty-one replacement steel-hulled Pacific Patrol Boats in Henderson, Western Australia.
  • Subject to negotiations, this program is estimated to be worth more than $500 million and will directly create over 130 jobs.
  • Austal proposes to conduct support of the replacement Pacific Patrol Boats including deep maintenance from Cairns, Queensland. In total, through-life support and sustainment (including deep maintenance) for the Pacific Patrol Boats is valued at a further $400 million over the life of the boats.

Today’s announcements are central to the Government’s comprehensive Naval Shipbuilding Plan. These three significant ship builds will deliver the necessary infrastructure requirements across the Adelaide and Henderson shipyards. They will create new jobs, develop necessary skills and broaden cooperation between industry and government.

The Turnbull Government is committed to maximising the opportunities for our Australian Defence industry to participate in these shipbuilding programs. Through the Defence Industry Policy Statement the Turnbull Government will reset the relationship between Defence and industry, driving jobs and innovation which will have spillover effects into the wider economy.  In particular, the new Centre for Defence Industry Capability will help small to medium enterprises identify opportunities to join the supply chains necessary to deliver these ambitious naval shipbuilding projects.

After six years of Labor inaction in which more than $18 billion was ripped from the Defence budget, the Turnbull Government is getting on with the job of securing our long-term national security and economic prosperity. The Government’s historic continuous build program will ensure the Navy receives its future capability requirements while delivering the certainty that shipbuilders need.

Media contacts:
Prime Minister’s office: John Garnaut, 0481 463 891
Defence Minister’s office: Henry Bud, 0429 531 143

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