The centre was opened by Victoria's defence industry advocate, Greg Combet AM, with Navantia's global chairman Esteban Vilasanchez and Navantia Australia chairman Warren King.
The Design and Engineering Centre, led by operations manager Jamie Gibbs, is focused on developing Australia’s future frigate capability and supporting the Hobart Class destroyers.
Following the designation of Navantia Australia as class manager of the Hobart Class in February 2018, Navantia Australia is now responsible for the maintenance of the design configuration of the three Hobart destroyers, in addition to having full authority for the design of the F-5000, Navantia’s proposed future frigate.
"The continuous naval shipbuilding program is a national endeavour," King said.
"Navantia Australia is continuing to grow and develop our sovereign capability, which means drawing on the best engineers and naval architects around the country. The Melbourne Naval Design and Engineering Centre will work in partnership with our Operations and Design Centre in Adelaide to ensure the success of Australia’s sovereign naval shipbuilding capability and our development into a nation with a competitive export capability."
Vilasanchez added the local capability Navantia Australia has already developed will be significant in the government's endeavour to create a sovereign naval capability.
"Navantia is immensely proud of the capability we are delivering to the Royal Australian Navy in the Hobart Class," Vilasanchez said.
"With the formal transfer of the Hobart Class design authority, Navantia Australia is in an excellent position to lead the development of a sovereign naval capability. This new office will be instrumental in delivering top class design and engineering services for Australia.
Navantia has built the Canberra Class amphibious vessels and landing craft, the Hobart Class destroyers and is building the Supply Class replenishment vessels overseas. It has bid its F-5000 design for the $35-billion SEA 5000 Future Frigates project.