The Department of Defence has put the call out to contractors for design information for construction of a new hydrographic survey ship.
Defence has released an invitation to register (ITR) for suitable design specialists. Falling under project SEA 2400 Phase 1, the new vessel is expected to replace and expand the Royal Australian Navy's hydrographic and oceanographic capability, also dubbed the Hydrographic Survey Capabilities.
"The project aims to do so through the introduction of a strategic military survey capability into service, which will comprise a survey vessel hydrographic oceanographic and complementary systems," the ITR reads.
The ITR has called for information relating to designs already in-service, or a modified variant of an in-service design "along with complementary systems to provide a strategic military survey capability for the RAN."
The survey capability was touched on in the 2016 Defence White Paper where it said, "Defence will seek to replace the hydrographic capability with an efficient combination of military and commercial hydrographic and oceanographic survey capabilities."
Under the 2016 Defence Integrated Investment Program, Defence has allocated $1-2 billion in funds to the Hydrographic Data Collection Capability.
The ITR, however, does not mandate that the vessel be built in Australia, stating "the location of the build is subject to government consideration", asking respondents to identify risks associated with building the ship in Australia.
Responses to the ITR are due by 1pm AEDT on 5 February.