Sea Platforms

Think tank questions Abbott's plans for 'rolling' shipbuilding programme

13 July 2015

The rolling production in Australia of major surface warships as foreshadowed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott will produce several contentious issues, a leading think tank has warned.

In a report released on 13 July, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) described continuous production as a multi-billion dollar gamble and said that the benefits would outweigh the costs that would inevitably accrue.

It also questioned whether surface naval ships were the right investment given the proliferation of long-range anti-ship weapons, including ballistic missiles and high-speed cruise missiles.

The report, 'An enterprise-level naval shipbuilding plan', follows remarks by Abbott to an ASPI conference on 25 June in which he stated the government's intention to continuously build major surface combatants in Australia "to avoid the unproductive on-again, off-again cycle that has done this industry so much damage".

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