Austal has announced that it has signed a Heads of Agreement (HoA) with the Commonwealth to establish a Strategic Shipbuilding Agreement (SSA) that would see the company selected as the strategic shipbuilder at Henderson, Western Australia.
The SSA Heads of Agreement sets out the key principles and provides a framework for further discussions, reflecting the intent of both parties to establish the SSA on mutually acceptable terms.
As part of a pilot program under the SSA HoA, it is proposed that Austal will construct and deliver the Birdon-designed Landing Craft (Medium) capability to the Australian Army under the Land 8710 project.
“Austal has a proud record of delivering fit-for-purpose naval vessels to the CoA. In the past five years alone, we have completed and delivered 24 vessels for the Australia Government and Navy, plus a variety of other vessels for navies around the world,” said Paddy Gregg, Austal CEO.
“That track record, which is a product of our exceptional design and construction teams, provides Austal with the confidence that we can collaborate with the Commonwealth to transition the Heads of Agreement into a SSA which benefits the naval industrial base in Australia and Australia’s security.
“The Defence Strategic Review provided an important blueprint to establish Henderson as a strategic shipbuilding hub. This SSA Heads of Agreement with the Commonwealth is the first step to enliven that blueprint and further develop a world-class, sovereign naval shipbuilding hub that has the capacity and capability to deliver capability faster, meeting the evolving needs of the Australian Defence Force.”
Under the HoA, Austal and the Commonwealth have committed to working towards concluding the formal Strategic Shipbuilding Agreement by the last quarter of 2024.