Defence Minister Linda Reynolds has commended the progress of the federal government’s SEA 1905 Phase 1 during a visit to the Henderson Shipyard in Western Australia.
According to Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds, the federal government’s plan to explore a variant of the offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) for the new Mine Countermeasures and Survey Vessels under project SEA 1905 Phase 1, has helped establish Henderson shipyard in Western Australia as a sovereign capability “powerhouse”.
During her visit to the Henderson precinct on Monday, 25 January, Minister Reynolds welcomed the progress made in recent years, which she said has brought forward the delivery of the replacements of the Huon Class vessel from the 2030s to the mid 2020s.
“These vessels will help Navy navigate more confidently throughout the region, and safely clear minefields with the use of autonomous technologies,” she said.
Defence has released an ‘Invitation to Register and Request for Information’ on Austender for various components of the mission management system, the integration of the system, and the construction of a toolbox of robotic and autonomous systems that the new vessels will require.
“This is all part of the Morrison government’s unprecedented investment in a National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise, with Henderson being one of the two major shipbuilding hubs in Australia, along with Osborne in South Australia,” Minister Reynolds said.
At present, Henderson is housing the construction of three classes of vessels, which include:
- 21 Guardian-Class vessels;
- 10 of the 12 Arafura Class OPVs; and
- Six Evolved Cape Class vessels.
This would build on the eight ships already built and delivered from Western Australia, with another eight ships currently under construction at Henderson.
“With a total of up to 45 ships to be built in WA, shipbuilding has gone from zero to boom in seven years because of the Morrison government’s significant investment. Our commitment to shipbuilding in Australia is unprecedented in its scale and ambition,” Minister Reynolds said.
The Anzac Class fleet is also undergoing a major midlife upgrade at Henderson, which includes upgrades to systems modernisation activities, and quality-of-life improvements for the crew.
“Today, around half of Australia’s surface combatant fleet and all six Collins Class submarines are home ported in WA,” Minister Reynolds said.
“With plans highlighted in the 2020 Force Structure Plan to build two multi-role sealift and replenishment ships, a Pacific Support Vessel, and an ice-rated replacement for Ocean Protector in Australia, additional major docking facilities will be required in the near future to supplement the capability of the Captain Cook Graving Dock in Sydney.
“The construction of such a facility would be an enormous boost to our sovereign shipbuilding and sustainment industry, and the West Australian government’s forward leaning approach and commitment to this work is crucial to Defence.”
Minister Reynolds added: “I have witnessed first-hand the hive of activity at Henderson that demonstrates the Morrison government’s determination and commitment to creating a sovereign industrial shipbuilding capability.”