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Decades of Expertise Delivers Global Defence Programs

It’s not everyday that a nation commits $195bn to new defence project spending. Australia is undertaking two truly world-scale projects, with the nation’s £50bn future submarine and $35bn Future Frigate program to be built in Adelaide.

Executing complex projects locally is not possible without world-class infrastructure and a highly-skilled workforce to underpin the development and sustainability of a defence industry.

Adelaide has built this expertise over many decades of experience, private and public investment, and the establishment of a successful defence cluster. A look at our long history of naval construction demonstrates its ability to deliver world-class projects, and an ideal location to establish a business presence.

1987: Adelaide chosen as the location for a new fleet of Collins Class Submarines. Rather than purchasing this capability from existing designs, this marked a decision for Australia to have a submarine designed to its unique operating requirements, and which developed sovereign capability and capacity in the local workforce.

The $5bn contract for the design and manufacture of six Collins Class submarines was at the time the largest defence contract signed in Australia.

1996: The first of six Collins Class submarines, HMAS Collins, was delivered to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) on 15 July

2005: ASC chosen as the prime contractor for the Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyers. The Osbourne Shipyard was identified as the assembly location and build location for the most sensitive modular blocks

2008: Construction work formally commenced on a $120 million upgrade of the shipyard at Osborne, South Australia.

2015: First of the Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyer is launched.

2016: Australia’s Defence Industry Policy is released, identifying a renewed focus on local capability and capacity.

2016: Australian Government announced Australia’s 12 Future Submarines would be built at Adelaide’s Osborne shipyard with France’s Naval Group (formerly DCNS) the design partner.

2017: The Naval Shipbuilding Plan sets out the Australian Government’s vision to deliver and sustain modern naval vessels. Osborne was selected to undergo a major upgrade to be able to support the continuous build of major surface combatants for years to come.

2018: Commencement of the $4 billion Offshore Patrol Vessel program at Osborne where two of twelve vessels will be built.

Looking to the future:

2020: Commencement of the $35 billion, nine vessel, Future Frigate (SEA 5000) program at Osborne.

Mid 2020s: Construction begins on the $50 billion Future Submarine program.

Defence and shipbuilding continues to be a key industry for South Australia. The state is currently transitioning away from traditional manufacturing towards a high-tech manufacturing future, evidenced by Osborn’s new design.

To find out more about the industry, and how we are helping European companies interested in the Australian market, head over to our defence page.