South Australia will spearhead a major expansion of Australia’s naval capabilities, supporting thousands of jobs and advancing the state’s shipbuilding expertise.
A number of naval projects have been confirmed for South Australia, following the announcement today of a new enhanced security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The first initiative under the partnership, known as AUKUS, is to acquire nuclear-powered submarines for Australia, which are intended to be built in South Australia.
The Morrison Government has also approved a Life-of-Type Extension to the Collins class submarine fleet from 2026 in South Australia, and confirmed that the Full-Cycle Docking of the Collins class will continue to be conducted at Osborne. Up to $6.4 billion will be invested in these works, and around 1,300 jobs supported in South Australia.
The Government will also invest up to $5.1 billion in upgrades to the Hobart Class destroyer combat management system upgrades at Osborne from 2024, creating 300 jobs in the state.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the investments reinforced the Government’s commitment to South Australia’s shipbuilding industry.
“This expansion of Australia’s naval capabilities will strengthen national security, boost our sovereign workforce and support thousands of jobs in the South Australian industry,” the Prime Minister said.
“South Australia is home to some of the most skilled shipbuilding workers in the world, they have the know-how, ingenuity, industrial knowledge and determination that is required to provide our Defence Force with the very best capability.”
Minister for Defence Peter Dutton said the Government’s investments would ensure Australia maintained a strong and agile submarine capability for decades.
“The Collins class submarine to this day remains one of the most capable conventional submarines in the world,” Minister Dutton said.
“The planned Life-of-Type Extension, through the replacement of key systems, will help deliver Defence’s strategic objectives.
“The upgrade to the Aegis combat management system will ensure our fleet of Hobart class air warfare destroyers maintain their capability-edge into the future.
“Both of these projects announced today are vital for Defence’s ability to act with greater independence in an increasingly contested strategic environment.”
Minister for Finance and Senator for South Australia Simon Birmingham said the state would continue to benefit from the Morrison Government’s sovereign and continuous naval shipbuilding program.
“South Australia is the engine room of naval shipbuilding in this country,” Minister Birmingham said.
“Full-Cycle Docking and Life-of-Type Extension at Osborne will ensure we retain our skilled shipbuilding workforce, and will continue to create opportunities for local businesses to engage with the defence industry.
“In addition, the up to $5.1 billion investment in upgrading the Hobart class combat management system will create extra economic activity as well as around 300 jobs in the state.
“Conducting these sustainment projects in Osborne, on top of the building of frigates and submarines will ensure South of Australia continues to be the epicentre of naval shipbuilding in this country.”
Collins class submarine HMAS Farncomb will be the first to undergo a Life-of-Type Extension when it enters its next Full-Cycle Docking in 2026.