Despite Abbott's would-be military vanity he and Minister Andrews do generate useful vision statements, on their watch, regarding naval defence programs. The following Media Release covers Future Frigates, OCVs/OPVs, AWDs and to an extent submarines.
Australia cannot afford the extreme extra costs of building all its warships and submarines in Australia. All this surface shipbuilding, now in the pipeline, increases the likelihood that Australia's future submarines will be built almost totally offshore. Offshore submarine building certainly reduces the strength of the German and French options to build the Australia's future submarines in Australia. Japan, which has been relied on build in Japan, gains. Meanwhile the combat system/weapons third of the submarine project will be designed and built in the US uncontested.
"Joint Media Release – Prime Minister and Minister for Defence – The Government’s plan for a strong and sustainable naval shipbuilding industry
- Bringing forward the Future Frigate programme (SEA 5000) to replace the ANZAC class frigates. As part of this decision, we will confirm a continuous onshore build programme to commence in 2020 – three years earlier than scheduled under Labor’s Defence Capability Plan. This decision will save over 500 hundred jobs and help reduce the risks associated with a ‘cold start’. The Future Frigates will be built in South Australia based on a Competitive Evaluation Process, which will begin in October 2015.
- Bringing forward construction of [link added by Pete Offshore Patrol Vessels (SEA 1180)] to replace the Armidale class patrol boats by two years, with a continuous onshore build commencing in 2018 following a Competitive Evaluation Process. This decision will maintain around 400 skilled jobs that would otherwise have been lost. It will also reduce the number of man-hours that would be wasted on the Future Frigate programme if the existing workforce was disbanded and reconstituted, setting it on a stronger path for earlier completion.
Brad Rowswell (Minister Andrews’ Office) 0417 917 796"
The link for the Joint Media Release is http://www.minister.defence.gov.au/2015/08/04/joint-media-release-prime-minister-and-minister-for-defence-the-governments-plan-for-a-strong-and-sustainable-naval-shipbuilding-industry/
Also see highly related http://www.minister.defence.gov.au/2015/08/04/minister-for-defence-joint-press-conference/