RAND's Insights on Australia's Naval Shipbuilding Capability
Nov 12, 2020
To prepare for its next Defence White Paper, Australia is examining an enterprise-level naval shipbuilding plan. To support this effort, RAND researchers explore the feasibility of Australia sustaining a domestic naval shipbuilding industry compared with buying ships from foreign shipbuilders. The authors outline the complex consequences and trade-offs of both options.
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In 2015, the Australian government will produce a new Defence White Paper to outline revised and refined defense objectives. As it prepares the new report, a basic question facing the government is whether Australia should buy ships from foreign shipbuilders or support a domestic naval shipbuilding industry. This question is complex, containing many facets and issues that often center on cost trade-offs and economic considerations, but that also touch upon important national and strategic concerns.
At the request of the Australian Department of Defence's 2015 White Paper Enterprise Management team, the RAND Corporation has been analyzing the capability of the shipbuilding and ship repair industrial bases in Australia to meet the demands of current and future naval surface ship programs. The analysis in this report aims to help Australia's defense policymakers in three ways: first, to gain an understanding of the capacity and associated costs of Australia's naval shipbuilding industrial base to successfully implement the country's current acquisition plan; second, to gauge how alternative acquisition requirements, programs, build strategies, quantities, and related costs and schedules might affect the capacity of that industrial base; and third, to measure the economic effects of the industry throughout Australia. RAND researchers provide detailed findings from both public and proprietary data and from surveys of industry representatives, and they offer recommendations to Australian policymakers.
Australia's Naval Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Industrial Bases
Australian Department of Defence's Planned and Projected Warship Acquisitions
Using Indigenous Australian Industry to Address the Short-Term and Longer-Term Gaps in Naval Ship Demand
Benchmarking Australia's Naval Shipbuilding Industry with Comparable Overseas Producers
Examining Economic Pros and Cons of Australian Government Investments in Various Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise Options
Conclusions and Recommendations
Shipbuilding in Australia: A Brief History and Current Shipyard Production Facilities
Shipbuilding Model and Assumptions
Exploring the Option of Producing Offshore Patrol Vessels
Survey of Australian Shipbuilders and Ship Repair Industries
This research was sponsored by the Australian Department of Defence and conducted within the Acquisition and Technology Policy Center of the RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD).
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