Australia has announced an US $65 Billion shipbuilding package to construct new frigate and patrol boats locally, with a decision on an international supplier for replacement submarines to be made. The continuous shipbuilding proposal which involves the replacement of frigates, patrol boats and submarines over two decades, is expected by the government to keep 2,500 jobs in the sector.
The shipbuilding package will bring forward the “Future Frigate” program to replace the current Anzac-class frigates to 2020. The construction of offshore patrol vessels to replace the Armidale class has also been moved forward to 2018.The frigates would be the Navy’s workhorses over the next few decades.
The shipbuilding announcement has been as an effect to assuage voters in South Australia, which has the highest unemployment rate among Australia’s states at 8.2 percent and is home to most of the country’s major shipbuilding infrastructure.