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AWD destroyer

May 31, 2005

ASC to build Australia's AWD destroyer

The Australian Federal Government has chosen ASC Shipbuilding Pty Ltd as the preferred shipbuilder for the Australian Navy's Air Warfare Destroyers (AWDs)-- one of Australia's largest and most complex defense projects worth up to A$6 billion (about US$4.5 billion).

Defense minister Senator Robert Hill said the Government made the decision after accepting the unanimous recommendation of the Source Selection Board on the basis that ASC Shipbuilders offered a superior bid in terms of value for money.

In addition, the Government has granted first pass approval and provided A$455 million towards the next phase of activities including further design work, workforce skilling, initial infrastructure investment and facilities construction.

ASC Shipbuilding--formerly entitled the Australian Submarine Corporation--was chosen through a competitive tender evaluation process that also included Northrop Grumman Ship Systems and Tenix Defence.

Australia is currently evaluating three ship designer proposals from Blohm + Voss, Gibbs & Cox and Navantia (formerly Izar).

"ASC Shipbuilding is now in a position to assist the Commonwealth to select one of those designers in mid 2005, whose evolved design will be further considered in conjunction with an Australianized version of Spain's existing F100 ship design," noted a statement from Senator Hill's office.

Senator Hill said the construction of the Air Warfare Destroyers will be one of the most significant shipbuilding projects undertaken in Australia to date, and will provide enormous opportunities for Australian industry.

"More than 1,000 direct jobs will be created in South Australia as part of the build contract," Senator Hill said.

"However, up to 70% of the module construction will be sub-contracted to other shipyards around Australia creating around 1,000 additional jobs throughout the country.

"This presents an excellent opportunity for the whole of the Australian shipbuilding industry to become involved in the project and also opens up important flow-on benefits for key sub-contractors throughout Australia."

"The AWDs represent a quantum leap in the air warfare capabilities of the Navy," Senator Hill said.

"The vessels, which are to be introduced into service from 2013, will be equipped with the world-class AEGIS Combat System that is capable of detecting and defeating multiple hostile aircraft and missiles at ranges in excess of 150 kilometers."

The AWDs will also have an anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare capability, as well as the ability to embark a helicopter at sea.

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