German ship designer Lurssen has been named the main contractor and designer for Australia’s $3 billion offshore patrol vessel project.
Lurssen’s bid was successful in a three-way race against another German designer Fassmer and Dutch firm Damen.
“The offshore patrol vessels will start construction in the second half of next year in Adelaide,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced in Canberra on Friday.
While the first two vessels will be built in Adelaide, by 2020 – when the construction of future frigates begins – the construction of the offshore patrol vessels will move to Henderson in Western Australia.
“Australian jobs, Australian workers, Australian steel, for Australia’s navy, to keep Australia safe in these times, of greater risk, and greater challenge,” Mr Turnbull said.
“They will be built in Australia, by Australians, with Australian steel, keeping Australians safe.”
The split build was designed to avoid the so-called “valley of death” in South Australian shipbuilding, when expertise and jobs are lost between major projects.
The new vessels will replace the existing Armidale Class patrol boats.
“These are substantial vessels which will be a vital part of our navy, our navy’s capability, in keeping us safe,” Mr Turnbull said.