Defence contractors Austal, Civmec and Navantia Australia have partnered to offer the navy a proposal to deliver six corvettes, a so-called Tier 2 type vessel to complement larger frigates and destroyers.
Designed by Navantia, the Tasman class corvette combines the manoeuvrability of a Tier 2 vessel, with the powerful weaponry of a major surface combatant, according to the companies.
“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 developed their proposal since November 2022, and first presented to the Commonwealth in response to the 2023 Defence Strategic Review (DSR) and the subsequent analysis of the Navy’s surface combatant fleet.
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.
Managing Director of Navantia Australia Israel Lozano said: “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.”
Austal chief executive officer Paddy Gregg said the corvette program would 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.”
Picture: Navantia/Tasman class corvette