06 September 2012

The First AWD would be Late to 2016

06 September 2012

Keel laying ceremony held for the first ship in the AWD project. The re-baselined schedule will mean the delivery dates for the ships will be for HMAS Hobart (AWD01) – March 2016; HMAS Brisbane (AWD02) – September 2017 and HMAS Sydney (AWD03) – March 2019. (photo : ABC News)

Future Submarine Centre for Adelaide

Australia's systems centre for the next generation of submarines will be based in Adelaide, the Federal Government has announced.

It will be similar to a facility established for the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) project.

The Systems Centre will be established shortly and is to be expanded over the next few years to include hundreds of defence personnel from the Navy, Defence Materiel Organisation and other defence sectors.

The Government said the first staff already were working in Adelaide, based temporarily at defence builder ASC.

There is a long-term plan to acquire 12 new submarines, which would be assembled in South Australia.

Deadlines Pushed Back

Three federal ministers have been in Adelaide to attend the laying of the keel of the first Air Warfare Destroyer today.

The Government said the keel laying for the Hobart was a significant stage for the AWD project.

Defence Minister Stephen Smith also announced the AWD construction schedule was being pushed back, after consultation with industry and the navy.

He said the keel to keel interval was set to be extended to 18 months between each ship, as it would create a seamless pipeline of work between the end of the destroyer project and the start of the next submarine program.

When the $8 billion AWD project was first commissioned, the Hobart was supposed to be finished in 2014, but last year that date was pushed back to 2015 and now Mr Smith said it would be a year later again.

The last of the three ships, the Sydney, is now not due to be ready until 2019.

Mr Smith said there was no cost blowout. But the decision allows the Government to delay $100 million of spending.

SA Premier Jay Weatherill said the delay would not prove negative for the South Australian workforce.

"What we've seen is the avoidance of what was going to be a gap in the project and we're seeing a ramping up of employment here at Techcorp and instead of that falling off before we got to the Future Submarines project, we now see a steady flow of work," he said.

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