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Major naval shipbuilding program gains momentum in SA

According to reports, a major naval shipbuilding program in Australia has taken a significant step forward with the appointment of Danish company Odense Maritime Technologies (OMT) to redevelop shipyard facilities in South Australia.

The move follows the announcement of French company DCNS as the preferred partner for the design of Australia’s $50 billion Future Submarine program to be constructed in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia.

Earlier this year the Australian Government also announced the first of 12 Offshore Patrol Vessels would be built in Adelaide, on top of the nine Future Frigates already announced.

Speaking at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia Luncheon in Adelaide today, Australian Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne confirmed the deal with OMT had been secured.

Pyne said OMT would work with a range of stakeholders including Defence, the South Australian Government, the Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC) and shortlisted tenderers for the Future Frigates and Offshore Patrol Vessels to ensure minor and major surface vessel programs were delivered on time in 2018 and 2020.

“Redevelopment of the Osborne shipyard and the implementation of the Offshore Patrol Vessels & Future Frigates programs will be carefully managed to ensure that the Air Warfare Destroyer & Collins Class sustainment activities continue to meet the expected schedule milestones,” he said.

Techport Australia is the centre of naval shipbuilding in Australia about 15km northwest of the Adelaide CBD. It is already home to two major, long-term projects – the sustainment of the Collins class submarine fleet and construction of three Air Warfare Destroyers.

The first of the next-generation warships from the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) Alliance, HMAS Hobart, successfully completed sea trials off the coast of South Australia in September.

Earlier in the week Pyne launched the Defence Innovation Hub in Adelaide and called for submissions through its innovation portal. He said the hub would invest about $640 million over the decade into maturing and further developing technologies that have moved from the early science stages into the engineering and development stages.

“The hub is all about an agile and transparent approach to innovation investment with the introduction of new business practices, including refreshed contracting frameworks and innovative intellectual property policies,” Pyne said.

“Together, these initiatives demonstrate the government’s dedication to developing a world class Australian defence industry, drawing on the skills, expertise and innovation in small to medium enterprises across the nation.

“They also present a wealth of opportunities for industry to work with us to grow and maintain our technological edge. “The continuous build Naval Shipbuilding Plan will deliver some 5200 direct and thousands more indirect jobs across the life of the program.” From The Lead

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