Austal, Civmec and Navantia Australia have partnered to offer the Australian Government a proposal to deliver six corvettes in recognition of the navy’s urgent need for increased strike capability.
As informed, the three companies have been collaborating to develop a detailed proposal since November 2022. The proposal was first presented to Australia in response to the 2023 Defence Strategic Review (DSR).
The three companies are updating and expanding the proposal, now named the Tasman-class corvettes.
The corvettes would be constructed entirely in Henderson, Western Australia, with production able to start rapidly as work on the design is well advanced and based on an operational reference vessel.
Designed by Navantia, the corvette combines the maneuverability of a Tier 2 vessel. The corvettes require a smaller crew than larger ships, without compromising on integrated anti-air, anti-surface, anti-submarine, electronic and asymmetric warfare capabilities. This includes solutions such as the Saab Australian combat system and CEA Technologies radars.
Austal chief executive officer Paddy Gregg said the corvette program will establish a genuine regional shipbuilding enterprise in Western Australia.
“Integrating the workforce, supply chain, facilities, systems and processes of the three partners will pave the path towards the consolidation of resources as recommended in the 2023 Defence Strategic Review,” he said.
Navantia’s proposed corvette is based on a design referencing the proven Avante class family. The proposed Australian variant has several key capability characteristics important to Royal Australian Navy operations that set it apart from other corvettes.
These include superior endurance and range allowing effective regional force projection, greater seakeeping capabilities, and enhanced strike capabilities through NSM Anti Surface launchers and MK-41 vertical launch system cells. The corvettes would also integrate existing Australian payloads, including the Saab 9LV combat management system, the CEA FAR OPVR radar, the newly announced Naval Strike Missiles, and the MH60-R Seahawk helicopter.
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