Royal Australian Navy’s future surface combatant fleet to get $11 billion funding boost

Photo: Royal Australian Navy

The Australian Government has committed to increase the Department of Defence’s (DOD) funding in the 2024-25 Federal Budget by $11.1 billion over the next decade to ensure the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) enhanced lethality surface combatant fleet is funded.

The DOD said that, over the next ten years, the investment will deliver the critical infrastructure required at the Osborne shipyard in South Australia and Henderson shipbuilding complex in Western Australia to ensure continuous naval shipbuilding.

Under this plan, the government will enter into a build contract for the RAN’s Hunter-class frigates. Construction is scheduled to start this year, while the final Hunter-class frigate will be delivered by 2043.

The Hunter-class will be immediately followed by construction of the replacement for the Hobart-class destroyers.

The plan will augment existing ones that call for a new submarine construction yard to be built in South Australia as well as the domestic manufacture of conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines.

The DOD clarified that the planned Transition Capability Assurance (TransCAP) upgrades to the Anzac-class frigates will not proceed. The accelerated acquisition of a new general purpose frigate instead allows for a more cost effective and lethal capability outcome.

Two Anzac-class vessels will be decommissioned close to their original planned withdrawal from service while the six remaining frigates will be upgraded with enhanced maritime strike capabilities. The DOD will work with industry partners to redeploy the Anzac-class sustainment workforce across the Henderson precinct.

An updated Naval Shipbuilding and Sustainment Plan will be released this year.


Published since 1978, Ausmarine is the foremost magazine servicing the Australian and New Zealand commercial, military and government marine sectors.