One Future Frigates contender has gone on the record to ease the ASC workforce’s fears, maintaining the company will use an Australian workforce to build the Future Frigates if it is the successful tenderer.
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Navantia affirmed its commitment to utilising ASC's South Australian workforce and growing opportunities for SA businesses as part of the company’s proposal for the Future Frigates program.
"Navantia Australia is committed to using the Adelaide workforce and Australian industry for the F-5000," said Donato Martínez, managing director of Navantia Australia.
"Working with Australian industry, we will continue to grow Australia’s sovereign shipbuilding capability as we have done for over a decade."
Navantia said the company's proposal for the $35 billion project builds upon the experience of Adelaide shipbuilders on the Hobart Class destroyer program and creates a pathway to a sustainable sovereign shipbuilding and export industry for Australia.
Martínez said the company has been an integral part of the development of the Adelaide workforce.
"We have already been working closely with the shipbuilding workforce in Osborne for a number of years," Martínez said.
"We are confident in the ability of the Adelaide workforce to excel in the coming years with the Future Frigates project. Not only will we require the current skilled labour base, we will need to grow the workforce as the program ramps up."
Navantia has put forward its F-5000 for the Future Frigates bid, a design that is based on the Hobart Class design, which has already been built in Adelaide.
"When we already have an experienced shipbuilding workforce in Adelaide, why would we look anywhere else?" Martínez said.
Warren King, a member of the Navantia Australia board, said the company will aim to have hundreds of Australian companies as part of its F-5000 supply chain.
“Australian industry has contributed significantly to the build of the Hobart Class destroyers. Navantia Australia will require Australian companies to have an even bigger role on the F-5000," he said.
"We expect over 400 Australian companies will be involved in the program by 2030, delivering huge benefits to the local economy."
BAE Systems (UK) and Italy's Fincantieri are also competing for the $35 billion project, which will see nine frigates constructed for the Royal Australian Navy.