AWD project delay blamed on Defence cuts

The Australian reports today that the delivery of the Air Warfare Destroyer project will be pushed back at least another year due to cuts in the Defence budget.

The $8 billion project had already blown out by 15 months last year due to botched welding on a keel at BAE Systems’ shipyard in Melbourne.

Cuts to defence spending totalling $5.45 billion over four years and concerns at the Department of Defence regarding local builders’ abilities to handle the complicated project are cited.

Shipbuilders are pleased with the delay, reports The Australian, and it will prolong the employment of 1200 workers, including at Forgacs – which are set to start delivering hulls for the destroyers – in Newcastle.