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Austal ASC joint venture on Frigate build a welcome step forward

Friday, 09 June 2017

The State Government welcomes today’s news that Australian shipbuilders Austal and ASC will partner to win the contract to build the $35 billion Future Frigate in Adelaide.

Minister for Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith said this is an answer to the ongoing question of local content and how much involvement the winning designer will have in the build program.

The Frigate design will be chosen from a short list of three; Fincanteri in Italy, BAE in the UK and Navantia in Spain, with a decision expected in early 2018.

If we have an Australian ship builder constructing the vessel in partnership with the designer we are one step closer to having a sovereign national shipbuilding industry, based in Adelaide.

A joint venture between Austal and the ASC, the latter being the only proven ship builder of large vessels of this kind, is a good development for Australia.

The South Australian Government still advocates that up to 90 per of the work should be done in Australia, using Australian companies and Australian workers.

Background

Austal is one of three shipbuilding companies in Australia (the other two are ASC at Osborne and Incat in Tassie).  Based in Western Australia, Austal opened an Adelaide office in April 2017. It is the only company in the world ever to have prime contracted a ship for the United States Navy.

ASC is a world class shipbuilder having completed the Collins Class Submarines and nearing completion of the three Air Warfare Destroyers in Adelaide.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith

I welcome yet another big step towards the dream we advocated for back in 2014 – that Adelaide can be the base of a national shipbuilding industry.

Austal and ASC, Australian companies with Australian workers building world class ships in Adelaide – we can be very proud of that.

The Australian Government must stand up for our industry and mandate 90 per cent Australian industry participation on the 2018 Offshore Patrol Vessel Program to stabilise the naval shipbuilding supply chain and increase industrial capability. This is not committed to in the recently released Federal Shipbuilding Plan.