Monday, March 4, 2024

Bosses fear legal issues over right to disconnect; Government plans naval overhaul

Defence Minister Richard Marles is preparing to announce a major overhaul of the nation’s naval fleet, which is expected to include gutting the troubled Hunter-class frigate program and the addition of extra maritime firepower.

Over $50 billion of government spending is on the line, with some of the world’s biggest defence contractors jostling to secure lucrative contracts to build warships to replace the navy’s ageing Anzac-class frigates, while South Australia and Western Australia battle for the shipbuilding rights.

The government had planned to build nine Hunter-class frigates in Adelaide but that number could be slashed to free up money for other vessels.

The government had planned to build nine Hunter-class frigates in Adelaide but that number could be slashed to free up money for other vessels.

Marles is expected to release within weeks the government’s response to a secret review of the navy’s surface fleet by retired US vice-admiral William Hilarides, with expectations firming that the number of Hunter-class frigates will be slashed from a planned nine to six, or possibly even three, vessels.

The Hunter-class frigate program has blown out in size and cost since it was announced in 2018, with critics saying the ships’ lack of missile cells would leave them seriously under-gunned in any conflict.

Continue reading about the overhaul here.

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