Construction has begun on the hull blocks for three of the Australian Navy's Hobart Class air warfare destroyers (AWD).
Minister for Defence Materiel and Science Greg Combet said that full production of hull blocks had now commenced at three shipyards ASC in Adelaide, BAE Systems in Melbourne and Forgacs in Newcastle.
"Each ship will be made up of 31 blocks fabricated at the three shipyards," he said.
"The construction of each ship will require 51km of piping, 427km of electrical cable, 4,700t of steel, 138,000l of paint, 4,700 mechanical valves and 1.5 million fasteners."
The hull blocks will be completed by 2011 and will arrive in Adelaide for integration into the complete warship at the Government of South Australia's common user facility, according to the minister.
The first AWD, HMAS Hobart (III), is scheduled to be delivered in December 2014 while the two others, HMAS Brisbane (III) and HMAS Sydney (V), are scheduled for 2016 and mid 2017 respectively.