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Australia Announces Naval Shipbuilding Plan

File photo: Royal Australian Navy

By Aiswarya Lakshmi

The Australian government announced a $89 billion (US$66.2 billion) naval shipbuilding plan, based mostly in Adelaide.

The program will produce 12 submarines, nine frigates and 12 offshore patrol vessels for the Australian navy as well as 19 Pacific patrol boats to be given to neighboring countries.

AFP quoted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull saying that the largest peacetime naval investment package - first flagged in 2015 to replace its ageing fleets - would boost local industry, with up to 5,000 jobs created in shipbuilding directly and double that in the supply chain.

"This is truly nation-building, a great national enterprise and it brings with it that enormous employment boost. It is unashamedly nationalistic," Malcolm said.

The plan will also set aside around $1.3 billion (US$967 million) to improve the performance of shipyards in Adelaide, South Australia and Henderson in Western Australia. The plan also allocates $25 million (US$ 18.6 million) for a naval shipbuilding college in Adelaide.

There is no specific threat, but the Defense Minister Marise Payne said the program was designed to ensure "we have the most capable, agile and potent Australian Defense Force that we are able to achieve," said the report.

May 18, 2017



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