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National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise


Modernising Australia's maritime capability is a top priority for the Government. Australia's Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise will be founded on four initial construction projects and then develop into further rolling acquisition and construction. This continuous build program will see the greatest regeneration of our naval capability since the Second World War.

Delivery of an enhanced naval capability on time and on budget is important in Australia’s increasingly complex strategic environment. Enhanced naval capability will ensure protection of our maritime borders, secure our immediate northern approaches and proximate sea lines of communication, and enable us to project force in the maritime environment.

These initial construction programs will deliver new capabilities providing Australia technologically advanced, potent and capable vessels. Each of these projects are underway at different stages, and currently considered on track:

  • 12 Arafura class offshore patrol vessels (SEA 1180) being delivered by Luerssen Australia.
    • Luersson has contracted ASC Shipbuilding to construct the first two offshore patrol vessels at Osborne Naval Shipbuilding Precinct. Steel was cut in November 2018.
    • Construction of the other 10 Offshore Patrol Vessels will move to Henderson Shipyard in Western Australia from 2020 and are to be delivered in partnership with CIVMEC.
  • Nine Hunter class frigates (SEA 5000) are being built by BAE Systems Australia, commencing in 2020 at Osborne Naval Shipbuilding Precinct in South Australia.
    • SAAB Australia is engaged to develop the tactical interface for the Hunter class frigates, facilitating greater systems integration and interoperability within the fleet.
  • 12 Attack class submarines (SEA 1000) will be built by Naval Group Australia with construction likely to commence in 2022-23 at the Osborne Naval Shipbuilding Precinct.
    • The design phase is currently underway with Naval Group in France.
    • Lockheed Martin Australia has been contracted to provide the combat systems for the Hunter Class frigates and the future submarines.

In addition to bolstering Australia's naval fleet, the Government is also making strides to enhance maritime security in the South Pacific region through the Pacific Maritime Security Program. Under this program, 21 Guardian class pacific patrol boats will be gifted to 13 of our Pacific neighbors, replacing the existing Pacific Patrol Boats gifted in the 1990s.Austal Australia has commenced construction of the new Patrol Boats at Henderson Shipyard. The first vessel is complete and gifted to Papua New Guinea on 30 November 2018.

Sustaining our current and new fleet is essential to maintaining Australia's naval capability. Decisions regarding the long-term future arrangements for our current fleet of ships and submarines, as well as those for our future vessels, will be considered by Government in the coming years.