A collaboration between Austal, Civmec, and Navantia Australia aims to deliver a fleet of Tasman Class corvettes, meeting Australia’s naval strike capability needs.

In partnership, the three industry leaders have come together to propose the creation of the Tasman Class corvettes, combining Navantia’s design, Austal’s workforce, and Civmec’s facilities and experience in constructing the Arafura Class vessels, marking a stride towards establishing a robust regional shipbuilding enterprise in Western Australia.

To bolster Australia’s naval capabilities, Austal, Civmec, and Navantia Australia have joined forces to present a proposal to construct six corvettes, known as the Tasman Class, to respond to the Australian Navy’s need for enhanced strike capabilities.

The three maritime industry players have been working on this venture since November 2022, with the proposal recently named the Tasman Class Corvette. These vessels aim to combine the manoeuvrability of a Tier 2 ship with the firepower of a major surface combatant, all while maintaining the advantage of a smaller crew complement. 

The result is a naval vessel equipped with integrated anti-air, anti-surface, anti-submarine, electronic, and asymmetric warfare capabilities, including the Saab Australian combat system and CEA Technologies radars.

Source: Tim Fish@sweeneygov/X

Austal’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Paddy Gregg, emphasised the significance of this program in establishing a regional shipbuilding enterprise in Western Australia, “Building Australia’s corvettes in Western Australia will establish both a genuine long-term shipbuilding enterprise at Henderson and the platform for continuous naval shipbuilding in the region – an enterprise that brings together the Commonwealth, regional shipbuilders, and their supply chains to establish a new warship construction hub.”

In recent years, Austal Australia has successfully delivered Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats to the Royal Australian Navy. Austal Australia also received orders for a Guardian-class Pacific patrol boat from the Australian Government.

With a crew complement of fewer than 100, Navantia’s corvettes exhibit the lowest risk transition into service in their class, streamlining Australia’s naval capability upgrade.

As of 2022, reports indicate that Australia is ordering 100–12 new ASW corvettes with a proposed programme outlay of about $3.2 (A$4.9bn) to $3.8bn (A$6bn). 

The new corvettes are likely to be larger than the Arufara-class OPVs. They are projected to be armed with missiles as well as torpedoes. They are likely to play a pivotal role in securing Australian interests while countering the growing capability of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy, the China Coast Guard, and even the Maritime Militia, according to GlobalData’s “Australia Defense Market 2023-2028” report. 

The partnership between Austal, Civmec, and Navantia Australia represents a step toward establishing an integrated shipbuilding enterprise in Western Australia. This collaboration aims to promise the delivery of a fleet of advanced Tasman Class corvettes, meeting the naval needs of the Australian Government and enhancing the country’s maritime capabilities for years to come.

According to GlobalData’s “The Global Naval Vessels and Surface Combatants Market 2023-2033” report, the global market for corvettes is valued at $3.2 billion in 2023 and is projected to register a CAGR of 5.5% to reach $5.5 billion in 2033.