With the landmark $35-billion SEA 5000 program winner announced, Western Australia will enjoy a major boost with a $670-million redevelopment of Fleet Base West, HMAS Stirling to support the development of a crew training centre to be known as 'Ship Zero'.
The new frigates will provide our nation with one of the most advanced anti-submarine warships in the world - a maritime combat capability that will underpin our security for decades to come.
The warships will also be larger and have more complex systems than the existing ANZAC Class frigates, and will require new and upgraded facilities at HMAS Stirling. 'Ship Zero' located at both HMAS Stirling and Henderson will include a headquarters, through-life test centre, ship and capability specific training school, and potentially a land based test site for platform systems.
The $670-million redevelopment will include major works such as:
- Extending the existing wharfs and berthing facilities;
- Constructing maintenance and equipment storage buildings;
- Constructing new support facilities, including medical facilities and accommodation; and
- Constructing a new Navy Training Systems Centre – West.
Ship Zero will transfer an increasing amount of the training that has traditionally been done at sea to land. This will mean each of our new frigates will be able to spend more time on operations and exercising with our allies and partners, and less time in port for crew training.
Hunter Class frigate crew training will be based on a combination of classroom instruction, shore-based simulation, virtual reality training system and live training events ashore, centred at Ship Zero.
These upgrades to HMAS Stirling are in addition to the $300-million upgrades associated with the selection of Stirling as ‘Ship Zero’ for the Offshore Patrol Vessels, the $150-million upgrades to support the new Maritime Operational Support Capability vessels and the $367-million redevelopment of HMAS Stirling infrastructure. This ensures ADF members will have access to modern fit-for-purpose facilities and will bring total investment at HMAS Stirling to well over $1 billion.
The successful prime contractor will be required to implement a Local Industry Capability Plan (LICP) that will ensure small-to-medium businesses in Western Australia have the best opportunity to compete and win work on the infrastructure to support the Hunter Class.
Parliamentary consideration of this project is expected early next year, with construction to commence in 2019.