Australian Government-owned shipbuilding company ASC is reportedly planning to reduce its workforce due to reduced amount of work on the Hobart Class air warfare destroyer (AWD) project.

The company is expected to slash 130 jobs by the end of February this year, The Australian Business Review reported.

The proposed job cuts will have an impact on 45 trade positions and 85 contract and other positions across the welding, painting, pipework, electricians and operator trade groups, according to ABC News.

"These shipbuilding jobs should not have been lost if the Federal Government had a plan to deal with shipbuilding."

Employees affected by a reduction in force will receive voluntary and non-voluntary redundancy packages from the company over the next six weeks.

South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon was quoted by ABC News as saying: "These shipbuilding jobs should not have been lost if the Federal Government had a plan to deal with shipbuilding to have continuous shipbuilding as recommended by both Defence and the RAND Corporation.”

The company plans to re-employ few of them as it would begin work on offshore patrol vessel and future frigate projects in 2018 and 2020 respectively.

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Under the AWD project, first vessel Hobart was launched in May last year, the second destroyer Brisbane was launched in December, with plans to launch the third and final destroyer Sydney in 2018.

The new air warfare destroyers will provide air defence for accompanying ships as well as land forces and infrastructure on nearby coastal areas.

These ships will also provide self-protection against attacking missiles and aircraft.

Image: HMAS Hobart and Brisbane. Photo: courtesy of LordHello1.