Western Australia will be home to a new Hunter class training and capability centre, known as ‘Ship Zero’, as part of a $670 million investment at HMAS Stirling and Henderson to support Australia’s new frigates.
The new frigates will provide our nation with one of the most advanced anti-submarine warships in the world - a maritime combat capability that will underpin our security for decades to come.
The warships will also be larger and have more complex systems than the existing ANZAC class frigates, and will require new and upgraded facilities at HMAS Stirling.
As part of this $670 million investment, the Government will:
-- Extend the existing wharfs
-- Construct maintenance and equipment storage buildings
-- Construct new support facilities, including medical facilities and accommodation
-- Construct a new Navy Training Systems Centre – West.
Ship Zero located at both HMAS Stirling and Henderson will include a headquarters, through-life test centre, ship and capability specific training school, and potentially a land-based test site for platform systems.
Ship Zero will transfer an increasing amount of the training that has traditionally been done at sea to land. This will mean each of our new frigates will be able to spend more time on operations and exercising with our allies and partners, and less time in port for crew training.
Hunter class frigate crew training will be based on a combination of classroom instruction, shore-based simulation, virtual reality training system and live training events ashore, centred at Ship Zero.
These upgrades to HMAS Stirling are in addition to the $300 million upgrades associated with the selection of Stirling as ‘Ship Zero’ for the Offshore Patrol Vessels, the $150 million upgrades to support the new Maritime Operational Support Capability vessels and the $367 million redevelopment of HMAS Stirling infrastructure. This ensure our ADF members have access to modern fit-for purpose facilities and will bring total investment at HMAS Stirling to well over $1 billion.
The successful prime contractor will be required to implement a Local Industry Capability Plan (LICP) that will ensure small-to-medium businesses in Western Australia have the best opportunity to compete and win work on the infrastructure to support the Hunter class.
The LICP is a successful Turnbull Government initiative that ensures local businesses can take advantage of the opportunities arising from our Defence infrastructure projects.
This is another demonstration of our commitment to Australia’s long-term security, and our commitment to support the local skills and trades in Western Australia.
Parliamentary consideration of this project is expected early next year, with construction to commence in 2019.