Independent analysis into Navy's surface combatant fleet received by Government

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The Hon Richard Marles MP

Deputy Prime Minister

Minister for Defence

Media contact

02 6277 7800

The Hon Pat Conroy MP

Minister for Defence Industry

Minister for International Development and the Pacific

Media contact

(02) 6277 7840

General enquiries

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29 September 2023

Today, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for Defence Industry received the independent analysis of Navy’s surface combatant fleet capability.

In response to the Defence Strategic Review, the Albanese Government agreed to conduct this short, sharp analysis to ensure the size, structure and composition of Navy’s surface combatant fleet complements the capabilities provided by the forthcoming conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines.

The analysis was led by retired United States Navy Vice Admiral William Hilarides, assisted by former Secretary of the Department of Finance, Rosemary Huxtable, and former Commander Australian Fleet, Vice Admiral Stuart Mayer.

The Independent Analysis Team (IAT) engaged a range of government officials, Australian Defence Force personnel, industry experts and partners to assess the capability requirements needed to meet our strategic circumstances.

The IAT considered more than 63 submissions from interested parties in Australia and around the world to inform its analysis and recommendations. Representatives of 83 companies as well as state and territory government organisations attended an industry briefing held in June. The IAT leads also held more than 20 one-on-one sessions with industry, and state and territory government representatives.

The Government will now take the necessary time to consider the analysis and its recommendations.

Quotes attributable to the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Richard Marles MP:

“The independent analysis into Navy’s surface combatant fleet capability will help ensure our Navy’s surface combatant fleet is fit for purpose and appropriate for our strategic circumstances.

“We will take the necessary time to consider this analysis to ensure we have an appropriately balanced surface fleet that contributes to a fully integrated and more capable Defence Force.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Pat Conroy MP:

“The Independent Analysis Team took into account advice and data from Australian industry as well as experts around the world in the development of this report.

“The analysis and its recommendations will contribute to a robust and capable defence and shipbuilding industry.”

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