Defence, Manufacturing News

$11.1bn investment to deliver Navy’s enhanced lethality surface combatant fleet

The Federal Government’s blueprint for the Royal Australian Navy’s enhanced lethality surface combatant fleet will deliver direct investment to grow a capable, resilient and competitive sovereign defence industrial base and support Australian jobs.

The Government has committed to increase Defence’s funding in the 2024-25 Federal Budget by $11.1 billion over the next decade to ensure the enhanced lethality surface combatant fleet is funded.

Australian shipbuilders and industry will be at the centre of delivering this future fleet. The Federal Government is providing a clear pipeline of work and setting the conditions for job creation, technology investment, export opportunities, supply chain resilience, infrastructure enhancement and economic prosperity.

Over the next ten years, this investment will support more than 3,700 direct jobs and deliver the critical infrastructure required at the Osborne shipyard in South Australia and Henderson shipbuilding complex in Western Australia.

Deputy prime minister, the hon Richard Marles MP said “After inheriting the oldest surface fleet Navy has operated in its history, this blueprint will see Navy equipped with a major surface combatant fleet over twice as large as planned when we came to government, with more surface combatants in the water sooner.”

Combined with more than 4,000 estimated jobs created to build the new Submarine Construction Yard in South Australia and the more than 4,000 direct jobs to build conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines in Australia, Osborne will be at the epicentre of a naval shipbuilding jobs revolution in this country.

“The delivery of an enhanced lethality surface combatant fleet and sovereign shipbuilding industry will help secure Australia’s economic prosperity and trade, and help keep Australians safe,” said Marles.

Consolidation of the Henderson precinct is currently underway, as recommended by the Defence Strategic Review. Successful and timely consolidation will enable eight new general purpose frigates to be built at the Henderson precinct, and will also enable a pathway to build six new Large Optionally Crewed Surface Vessels in Western Australia.

Minister for defence industry, the hon Pat Conroy MP said “The innovation and ingenuity of our dynamic defence industry is critical to the Albanese Government’s plan to deliver four times as many warships in the next 10 years compared to what had been planned by the previous government.”

An updated Naval Shipbuilding and Sustainment Plan will be released this year.

“By investing in a strong and sovereign shipbuilding industry, the Albanese Government is investing in a future made in Australia by Australians,” said Conroy.

The planned Transition Capability Assurance (TransCAP) upgrades to the Anzac class will not proceed. The accelerated acquisition of a new general purpose frigate allows for a more cost effective and lethal capability outcome.

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