SYDNEY — Australia has announced an AUS $89 billion (US $65 billion) shipbuilding package to construct new frigates and patrol boats locally, with a decision on an international supplier for replacement submarines to be made “in coming months.”
The “continuous shipbuilding” proposal, which involves the replacement of frigates, patrol boats and submarines over two decades, is expected by the government to keep up to 2,500 jobs in the sector in what Prime Minister Tony Abbott said was “a very historic announcement.”
“Previous Australian governments have announced that individual ships or classes of ships will be built here in Australia,” Abbott said at a news conference Tuesday.
“What we are announcing today is basically a fleet build here in Australia, centered on [South Australia].”
Abbott would not give new details about the ongoing search for an international supplier to design and build the nation’s next generation of submarines to replace its aging diesel and electric-powered Collins-class fleet, which are set to be retired beginning about 2026.