Hunter-Class Frigate Program Maximises Opportunities for Local Suppliers
(Source: Australian Department of Defence; issued June 28, 2019)
The Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Melissa Price MP, is encouraging Australian businesses to back themselves and get involved in the Hunter-Class Frigate Program.

The Minister welcomed advice that more than 100 Australian suppliers have attended a procurement update in Adelaide to see how they can tap into the prototyping phase of the project, which will begin in 2020.

Defence industry businesses that supply minor equipment, material and services can support the first tranche of work, worth an estimated $20 million, as part of the $35 billion surface combatant acquisition program, the largest in Australia’s history.

Minister Price said Australian small and medium businesses had an excellent opportunity to get involved in the defence industry.

“More than 800 businesses across Australia and several in New Zealand have already pre-qualified through the Industry Capability Network Gateway to work on the Hunter program,” Minister Price said.

“These procurement updates are very important for maximizing Australian industry’s involvement in the construction of the nine anti-submarine warfare frigates for the Royal Australian Navy.

“Events like these help ensure that job opportunities are being created across the country.”

The Hunter-Class Frigate Program will form the foundation of the ‘continuous build’ program of the Morrison Government and open up new opportunities for Australian small and medium businesses in the supply chain.

“These nine lethal anti-submarine warfare frigates will rely on a highly capable defence industry and Australian Defence Force,” Minister Price said.

“The program will create about 4000 jobs right around Australia and ensure we have a long and prosperous future ahead for our shipbuilding industry.”

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South Australia Rides Naval Construction Wave
(Source: Australian Department of Defence; issued June 27, 2019)
The Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, joined the Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Melissa Price MP, to inspect the substantial transformation underway at the Osborne Naval Precinct in South Australia.

Minister Reynolds said construction of the advanced, digitally-enabled shipyard infrastructure at Osborne South was on track for completion by March 2020, ahead of the commencement of production prototyping on the $35 billion Hunter-class frigate program.

“We’re now witnessing the future of naval shipbuilding in South Australia take shape, with the fabrication and assembly halls at Osborne South changing the landscape of the Osborne Naval Shipyard precinct,” Minister Reynolds said.

“When completed next year, Australia will have the most technologically advanced naval shipyard for design and production of our Navy’s future fleet – a significant step in preserving our world-class military capability.

“This $535 million investment has seen more than 40,000 cubic meters of concrete poured for the foundation slabs, 25,000 tonnes of steel sourced and has created opportunities for 58 local suppliers involved in the shipyard redevelopment project.”

Minister Reynolds also met with the Premier of South Australia, the Hon Steven Marshall MP, to discuss emerging industry and investment opportunities for businesses interested in participating in the Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise.

Minister Price said working with the South Australian Government was vital to delivering the Government’s agenda of equipping and sustaining a highly capable Australian Defence Force.

“Construction on the first two Arafura-class Offshore Patrol Vessels continues at a steady pace, creating 200 direct Australian jobs and I’m impressed with the high quality of work on display at Osborne,” Minister Price said.

“Structural upgrades to the third Air Warfare Destroyer, NUSHIP Sydney, are well underway and will deliver a world-class capability to the Navy when she enters service early next year.”

Minister Price said naval shipbuilding is one of many defence industry programs in the state and 14 Defence Innovation Hub contracts, worth a combined investment of $29 million, had already been awarded to South Australian companies.

“This represents a combined investment of over $29 million in the South Australian economy and defence industry.

“These are results I want to replicate and build on right across the nation as we engage thousands of Australians to work in our defence industry,” Minister Price said.

The Australian Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise will provide approximately 15,000 skilled and professional jobs, with demand for naval construction workers in South Australia expected to grow to around 5,200 workers by the mid- to late 2020s.

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