Today Austal and ASC Shipbuilding have announced a teaming agreement for the build of the $35 billion Sea 5000 Future Frigates Program.
Austal CEO David Singleton said the agreement offers a compelling, low risk, Australian shipbuilding solution for the three shortlisted international designers; BAE, Fincantieri and Navantia.
“ASC Shipbuilding and Austal represent the success and excellence in Australia’s sovereign naval shipbuilding capability, a capability established through years of investment and experience in developing an Australian skilled workforce,” he said. “The agreement also offers the Australian Government an unrivalled shipbuilding partnership that has the ability to expand the existing indigenous capability.”
The partnership will bring Austal’s record in aluminium shipbuilding, exports and operational efficiency to combine with ASC Shipbuilding’s expertise in steel warship manufacturing.
“We are exceptionally proud of Austal’s export heritage, a record that has seen us sell more than 255 ships to 100 customers in 44 countries, including the United States,” Singleton added. “The opportunity to work with ASC Shipbuilding to bring Australia’s shipbuilding industry into an export competitive position is a game changing announcement and something we are both very excited about.”
SA Defence Industry Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith welcomed the news and said it was an answer to the ongoing question of local content and how much involvement the winning designer will have in the program.
“If we have an Australian ship builder constructing the vessel in partnership with the designer we are one step closer to having a sovereign national shipbuilding industry, based in Adelaide,” he said.
“I welcome yet another big step towards the dream we advocated for back in 2014 – that Adelaide can be the base of a national shipbuilding industry.”