South Australia celebrates success in naval shipbuilding

16 June

Today represents an historic milestone in South Australia’s naval shipbuilding history, with ship 1 of the Air Warfare Destroyer program, Hobart, undergoing provisional handover to the Royal Australian Navy.

Minister for Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith said the milestone was a time to celebrate how far the state has come in its naval shipbuilding capabilities and look forward to future program success.

The third ship of the Air Warfare Destroyer program is now meeting international benchmarks with our Collins Class submarines exceeding benchmarks for submarine availability.

The project is being delivered by the AWD Alliance, made up of the Australian Government through the Department of Defence, lead shipbuilder ASC Pty Ltd, and mission systems integrator Raytheon Australia, with Spanish shipbuilder Navantia bringing an experienced shipbuilding management team to the AWD Alliance.\

The State Government decided in November 2004 to underpin its bid for the $8 billion Air Warfare Destroyer program by building a shiplift and common user facility at Techport, costing more than $240 million over six years.

That decision led to the Federal Government decision in May 2005 to build the AWDs in SA. Construction of the Common User Facility started in 2007, finished in 2009 and was ready for first commercial use in 2010. Work on AWD Ship 1 started in 2011, Ship 2 in 2014 and Ship 3 in 2015.

Defence Industries Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith congratulated the dedicated workers of the AWD Alliance, who have played a role in the completion of this first Air Warfare Destroyer, Hobart.

“The success of the Air Warfare Destroyer program demonstrates South Australia’s ability to swiftly build a workforce and industry capable of successfully building complex warships,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.

“Today would not have been possible without the vision and commitment to Defence and naval shipbuilding by the South Australian Government.

“We have long supported Defence and our world-class defence industry and we will continue to advocate for maximum Australian industry content for future programs.

“I again urge the Australian Government to stand up for our industry and mandate 90 per cent Australian industry participation in future naval shipbuilding programs to stabilise the naval shipbuilding supply chain and increase industrial capability.”