The Australian Government has commenced the construction of its new purpose-built facility at Henderson in Western Australia.

Once complete, this facility will house the Royal Australian Navy’s Submarine Rescue System.

As part of the Liberal National Government’s air transportable Submarine Rescue Service, the facility will support personnel serving in navy submarines.

Work on the facility is expected to create more than 55 jobs.

Australian Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds, who turned the first sod on the new site, said that the new system is being designed and built to support the capability requirements of the navy.

The $12.5m facility is being built by Civmec. The acquisition phase of the project is worth around $279m.

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Construction of the facility is expected to conclude in February next year.

Reynolds said: “In a time where our submarines are operating more than ever, we must continue to ensure our submarines are prepared for any mission, including rescue operations.

“This purpose-built facility being built in Henderson will house this important new capability, which will ensure ongoing support and training can be conducted to facilitate rapid deployment in support of a distressed submarine.

“While the primary mission of the Submarine Rescue Service is to deliver a rescue capability for Australia’s submarine fleet, the system will also be capable of supporting other submarines operating in our region.”

In February this year, the RAN had deployed Mine Counter-Measures (MCM) capability under Project SEA 1778 in order to protect maritime task groups from the threat of sea mines.

Under the Phase I of the project, Australian Mine Warfare Team 16 (MWT 16) was commissioned to operate a host of unmanned surface vessels (USV), expendable mine neutralisation systems, MCM support craft, and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV).