Austal, Civmec and Navantia Australia announced that they have partnered to offer the Australian Government a proposal to deliver six corvettes in recognition of the Navy’s urgent need for increased strike capability.
Designed by Navantia, the corvette combines the manoeuvrability of a Tier 2 vessel, with the powerful weaponry of a major surface combatant.
The corvettes require a smaller crew than larger ships, without compromising on integrated anti-air, anti-surface, anti-submarine, electronic and asymmetric warfare capabilities, including sovereign solutions such as the Saab Australian combat system and CEA Technologies radars.
The three companies have been collaborating to develop a detailed proposal since November 2022. The proposal was first presented to the Commonwealth in response to the 2023 Defence Strategic Review (DSR) and the independent analysis of the Navy’s surface combatant fleet.
The three companies are updating and expanding the proposal, now named the Tasman Class corvette.
The corvettes would be constructed entirely in Henderson, Western Australia, with production able to start rapidly as work on the design is well advanced and based on an operational reference vessel.
On the collaboration, Mr Lozano said that “partnership with Austal and Civmec was obvious due to their extensive shipbuilding knowledge and capabilities.
“Together Austal, Civmec and Navantia Australia have a combined 58 years of local shipbuilding experience. Each partner brings a crucial component for delivering a project of this scale, with Navantia providing the design expertise, Austal the skilled workforce and Civmec the state-of-the-art facilities and experience in constructing the Arafura Class vessels.
“Together with Navantia’s demonstratable track record in transferring technology to build regional capability, this partnership will establish an integrated shipbuilding enterprise in Western Australia,” Mr Lozano said.
Austal chief executive officer, Mr Paddy Gregg, said the corvette program will establish a genuine regional shipbuilding enterprise in Western Australia.
“Integrating the workforce, supply chain, facilities, systems and processes of the three partners will pave the path towards the consolidation of resources as recommended in the 2023 Defence Strategic Review,” he said.
“Austal recognises the strategic importance of a national shipbuilding capability, and we are excited by what this proposal would mean for continuous, sovereign shipbuilding, particularly in Western Australia.”
“We have a long and close association with building ships on time and budget for the Royal Australian Navy, collaborating with the Department of the Defence, building ships based on third-party designs, and established relationships with valued supply chain partners. The Tasman Class opportunity is an extension of these relationships.”