Defence companies welcome plans for a larger navy fleet


Defence companies have quickly moved to welcome federal government plans for an enlarged Royal Australian Navy surface fleet at a cost of $11.1 billion over 10 years.

Raytheon Australia Managing Director Michael Ward said the planned fleet wiould provide Australia with a much more potent naval capability encompassing significantly enhanced vertically launched strike and air defence capabilities.

Ward said: “This offers significant opportunities for Australian industry in both construction and support.

“It also provides additional certainty on the guided weapon requirements for the naval fleet which in turn will allow for the development of options that would enable the government to establish the industrial capability to produce missiles in-country, and sustain them throughout their operational life.”

Raytheon is involved in numerous defence projects, and recently inaugurated a new Centre for Joint Integration in Adelaide (pictured) which will include the company’s first major production facility in Australia.

BAE Systems Australia also welcomed the result of the government’s response to an analysis of the future surface combatant fleet, which has significant implications for the company’s local operations.

These include the Hunter Class Frigate Program at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia and the company’s maritime sustainment facilities at Henderson in Western Australia.

Chief Executive Officer BAE Systems Australia Ben Hudson said: “(The) announcement provides decades worth of work at Osborne in South Australia and will see a growth in the work forecast in the West at the Henderson precinct.

“This will underpin Australia’s ship building enterprise into the future and sustain vital Australian jobs in high end manufacturing, while providing resilience for our nation in uncertain times.”

The company said that the Commonwealth’s confirmation of the Hunter program underlined the government’s confidence in the Hunter class as one of the most capable ASW (anti-submarine warfare) warships in the world and the ability of BAE Systems and partners to deliver this critical capability for the Royal Australian Navy.

“This plan of continuous naval shipbuilding will underpin the continued creation of a world class shipbuilding enterprise in South Australia that will be able to support Navy in times of peace or future uncertainty, all while creating and sustaining jobs for many Australians in the advanced manufacturing sector.”

Further reading:
New surface combatant fleet will see $11.1 billion increase to defence spend over next decade
Analysis: Bigger fleet, more firepower, jobs for decades – just add dollars!


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