October 9, 2007
Australia signs amphibious ship contract
Australian Prime Minister John Howard today announced the signing of a contract with Tenix, worth about A$3.1 billion (US$2.78 billion) over eight years, two build two large amphibious ships fo the Royal Australian Navy.
The first ship, HMAS Canberra, will be delivered in 2013 and the second, HMAS Adelaide, in 2015.
The ships are based on a LHD design from Spain's Navantia and their hulls will be built in Spain.
Prime Minister Howard said the "27,000-tonne ships will greatly enhance Australia's ability to deploy forces when necessary in our region or beyond, and to provide assistance in time of natural disaster. Using their integrated helicopters and watercraft, each vessel will be able to land approximately 1,000 personnel, along with their vehicles, the new Abrams tanks, artillery and supplies. They will also be equipped with medical facilities, including two operating theatres and a hospital ward, and will be capable across the full spectrum of maritime operations, including aid to the civil community in times of natural disaster at home or abroad."
Howard said the construction of the superstructure and the majority of the fit-out, worth approximately A$500 million to Australian industry, will occur in Melbourne. At its peak the Tenix workforce will grow to over 1,500 from its current 1,000. Combat system work in Adelaide will bring up to A$100 million to the South Australian economy. Other states will also benefit.
"As well as providing the Australian Defence Force with valuable enhanced capability," said Howard, "this major investment by the Government will help to support a critical Australian industry. It will offer Australian defence firms unparalleled prospects in the areas of electronics, design development, systems engineering and integration, employing Australians in a range of high-value engineering, shipbuilding and project management roles."