|A Hobart class (AWD) Destroyer under-construction at the|
Osborne Naval Shipyard (ASC)
By: Nigel Pittaway
MELBOURNE, Australia – Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull launched Australia's long-awaited naval shipbuilding plan on May 16, including the construction of submarines, frigates and offshore patrol vessels, costing A$89 billion (US $66.12 billion), in Australian shipyards.
Turnbull launched the shipbuilding program with Defence Minister Marise Payne and Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne at Osborne in South Australia, where the majority of construction work will take place.
“This is a great national enterprise. This is nation building. This is an end to the boom and bust pattern that we’ve seen with shipbuilding in Australia,” Turnbull said. “This is the largest investment in our defense capability of our Navy ever in peace time.”
Under the plan, the government will invest in the rolling acquisition of 12 conventionally-powered submarines under Project Sea 1000 (Future Submarine), the continuous build of nine frigates under Project Sea 5000 (Future Frigate) and a follow-on class of surface combats; and a continuous build program for minor naval vessels.
The minor naval vessels build program is already underway with construction of 19 patrol boats to be gifted to Pacific nations under Project Sea 3036, beginning this year at the Austal facility at Henderson in Western Australia. This will be followed by the Offshore Patrol Vessel program for the Royal Australian Navy under Sea 1180 from 2018, initially commencing at the Osborne Naval Shipyard and transferring to Henderson in 2020.
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