Austal, Civmec, Navantia Australia collaborate to offer corvettes to Navy

Image credit: Civmec

Austal, Civmec, and Navantia Australia have established a partnership aimed at delivering six corvettes to address the Navy’s need for increased strike capability. 

The companies intend to offer a proposal to the Australian Government for the delivery of the Navantia-designed corvettes, which combine the manoeuvrability of a Tier 2 vessel with the powerful weaponry of a major surface combatant. 

The corvettes require a smaller crew than larger ships without compromising on integrated anti-air, anti-surface, anti-submarine, electronic, and asymmetric warfare capabilities, including sovereign solutions such as the Saab Australian combat system and CEA Technologies radars. 

Navantia’s corvette is designed to significantly derisk training and support with a crew complement of less than 100, commonality with other Navantia-designed Navy ships, and standards that are aligned to the Defence Seaworthiness. 

This means the corvettes represent lowest risk transition into service of any ship in their class. 

The three companies have been developing a detailed proposal since November 2022 and made its initial presentation to the Commonwealth in response to the 2023 Defence Strategic Review and the independent analysis of the Navy’s surface combatant fleet. 

The proposal, now named the Tasman Class corvette, is now being updated and expanded, Civmec said in a media release

Should the proposal come through, the corvettes would be built in Henderson, Western Australia. Civmec said production will be able to start rapidly as work on the design is well-advanced and based on an operational reference vessel. 

Paddy Gregg, CEO of Austal, 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,” Gregg said. 

“We have a long and close association with building ships on time and budget for the Royal Australian Navy, collaborating with the Department of the Defence, building ships based on third-party designs, and established relationships with valued supply chain partners. The Tasman Class opportunity is an extension of these relationships,” the Austal CEO added.