The Australian government has signed contracts with Navantia S.A. to build Australia’s two replacement replenishment ships, avoiding a critical capability gap.
Australia’s current supply ship HMAS Success will reach its end of life in 2021 and needs to be replaced as a matter of priority.
As part of the $640 million contract with Navantia more than $130 million will go to Australian industry, the Australian Ministry of Defense said in a statement Sunday.
Local industry activity will include Combat and Communication Systems integration, Integrated Logistics Support, and elements of the onboard cranes.
In addition, an initial $250 million, five-year sustainment contract also signed with Navantia will be undertaken in Australia.
The Turnbull Government is committed to a continuous build of major naval surface ships in Adelaide beginning with the 12 Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) in 2018 and the nine Future Frigates in 2020. The 12 Future Submarines will also be built in Adelaide. Together these programs will secure more than 3600 jobs in the shipbuilding industry and thousands more across the supply chain.
Australian shipyards simply do not have the capacity to complete the replenishment vessels in the required time and a local build would delay the OPVs, Future Frigates and Future Submarines thereby risking those jobs and capability.
The Government has also signed a $280 million contract with Austal to construct up to 21 steel-hulled Pacific Patrol Boats in Western Australia. Support and sustainment of the boats will be conducted in Cairns, Queensland, and is estimated at more than $400 million across the life of the vessels.
The Coalition Government’s demonstrated commitment to the Australian shipbuilding industry is in stark contrast to the inaction of the Labor Party, whereby they failed to commission even one naval ship from an Australian shipyard during six years in power.