Significant’ stake in navy build to take place in WA – Logan

A MEMORANDUM of understanding between the governments of Western Australia and South Australia will keep a “significant” amount of the construction of air warfare destroyers in WA, Industry and Enterprise Minister Francis Logan has said. The federal government last week committed to spend up to $11 billion on Spanish-designed air warfare destroyers and large landing ships. The three new destroyers, based on the Navantia F100 now in service with the Spanish navy, and two new landing ships – versions of Navantia’s 27,000-tonne strategic projection ship – will cost up to $8 billion and $3 billion respectively. The state government had been keen to attract a piece of the action to the Henderson-based Australian Marine Complex, with Mr Logan meeting with Navantia representatives and visiting Spanish shipbuilding precincts last year. “The AMC is the logical choice for ship module fabrication and it is worth noting that approximately 70 per cent of the air warfare destroyer modules will be built outside of South Australia,” Mr Logan said. The year before, then-premier Geoff Gallop predicted that up to 35 per cent of the module fabrication work could take place at the Henderson facility. Most of the destroyers will be constructed in module form at shipyards around Australia, then assembled at the ASC (formerly the Australian Submarine Corporation) plant in South Australia. The landing ships – termed LHDs (landing, helicopter, dock ships) - will be fitted out with superstructure and other systems in Australia, with most of the work to be performed at the Melbourne shipyard of defence company, Tenix. A Tenix spokesman said it was likely that 25 per cent of the work would be undertaken in Australia, with the single biggest location for the work to be Melbourne, though all states would have an opportunity to bid for contracts. In a statement, the company said: “As contract negotiations get under way, we look forward to working with industry throughout Australia to maximise Australian involvement in this project. “Through the ANZAC ship project, Tenix has developed a deep understanding of the capabilities and skills of Australian industry, which it will put to work in this project.” The project web site states that WA industry potentially could be awarded contracts for block fabrication and fit-out, communications and combat system support, pumps, mechanical handling systems, hull doors, structural doors and hatches. -Andrew Hobbs

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