Western Australia (WA) has been identified by the Commonwealth as one of two strategic locations for naval and commercial shipbuilding, upgrade, maintenance and sustainment in Australia.
WA is an attractive location for future sustainment and maintenance due to its infrastructure, skills, research capabilities and strategic location with direct access to the Indian Ocean to provide for long-term maintenance and sustainment of naval assets.
The State has experience with major projects and a world-class offshore oil and gas sector and is an attractive location for both foreign direct investment and associated technological research and innovation activities.
WA is presently home to about 180 companies with direct defence contracts with over 4000 people in the State employed by the defence industry and related companies.
Key points – what is happening on Australia’s defence scene?
- Australia will increase its defence capability with a $195 billion investment
- The Federal Government will increase the size of the submarine force from 6 to 12 – at a cost of more than $50 billion
- The Federal Government has committed to invest $100 million into WA’s defence infrastructure
- Facilities and infrastructure upgrades at Fleet Base West (HMAS Stirling) in WA are programmed and will include provision for the larger submarine fleet and will accommodate the necessary updates for the future frigates
- Construction will commence for Offshore Patrol Vessels in 2018 and Future Frigates in 2020
- WA is open for business and is ready to play a major role in building and maintaining Australia’s next generation of naval assets
- Ex-HMAS Sydney has docked at the Western Australian Government owned Australian Marine Complex Common User Facility in Henderson, WA. The defence contractor, Birdon, was awarded the disposal contract by the Department of Defence and in conjunction with Defence, chose the Common User Facility to undertake the final dismantling of the ship. Watch the docking of the ex-HMAS Sydney here.
Main Defence contracts:
- Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement: Austal Ships was awarded the $306 million Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement (PPB-R) project contract covering construction of 19 patrol boats being gifted to 12 Pacific Island nations as part of Australia's new Pacific Maritime Security Program. Construction of the patrol boats started in Henderson in Western Australia in 2017.
- SEA 1000 Future Submarines Project: French shipbuilder DCNS was awarded the tender to design Australia’s 12 new Future submarines in 2016. The contract is valued at $50 billion and most work will be undertaken in South Australia.
- SEA 1180 Offshore Patrol Vessel Program: German shipbuilder Lürssen was awarded a $3.5 billion contract in November 2017 to build a fleet of 12 Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) . Construction of the first two vessels will start in South Australia in 2018 and the remaining 10 will be built at the Austal shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia, in 2020. The work in WA will be split between Henderson-based shipbuilding Forgacs Marine and Defence (a subsidiary of Civmec) and Austal, and is expected to create 400 jobs.
- SEA 5000 Future Frigate Program: valued at $35 billion this program will replace Australia’s fleet of ANZAC Class frigates. Assembly will be in South Australia, starting in 2020, but will cover supply chain opportunities for Western Australia. Shortlisted shipbuilders are BAE Systems, Fincantieri, and Navantia. The Australian Government will announce the prime contractor during the second quarter of 2018.
- Austal LCS28 United States Navy Contract: Western Australian based company, Austal, was awarded a A$779 million contract to build the Independence Class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS28) for the United States Navy. The contract highlights Australia's high international capabilities in the design and shipbuilding industry. For more information click here.
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