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:
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.