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Australia to build new naval fleet for $65 billion

Staff writer ▼ | August 6, 2015
Australia has announced an A$89 billion ($65 billion) shipbuilding package to construct new frigates and patrol boats locally.
Australia submarines
Defense industry   The continuous shipbuilding proposal
A decision on an international supplier for replacement submarines to be made "in coming months."

The "continuous shipbuilding" proposal, which involves the replacement of frigates, patrol boats and submarines over two decades, is expected by the government to keep up to 2,500 jobs in the sector in what Prime Minister Tony Abbott said was "a very historic announcement."

"Previous Australian governments have announced that individual ships or classes of ships will be built here in Australia," Abbott said at a news conference Tuesday.

Abbott would not give new details about the ongoing search for an international supplier to design and build the nation's next generation of submarines to replace its aging diesel and electric-powered Collins-class fleet, which are set to be retired beginning about 2026.

France, Germany and Japan are in the running for the contract, which has been touted as Australia's biggest-ever defense procurement with cost estimates of $50 billion.