DEFICIENT CHINESE ALUMINIUM DELAYS NEW PATROL BOATS

PAT CONROY MP.
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4 months ago
DEFICIENT CHINESE ALUMINIUM DELAYS NEW PATROL BOATS
PAT CONROY MP
The Morrison Government’s decision to use “materially deficient aluminium” reportedly imported from China has caused a significant delay to the launch of the Navy’s new Cape Class patrol boats.

Defence has contracted Austal to construct six new Cape Class patrol boats to fill a capability gap between the Armidale Class patrol boats and the planned new Offshore Patrol Vessels which are also experiencing issues.
 
But Defence’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group Project and Sustainment Report for February 2021 obtained under Freedom of Information Laws by Labor states that the construction of boats 1 and 2 has been delayed due to Austal being supplied “materially deficient aluminium”.
 
As a result, these two boats need remediation work, and the scheduled launch dates of all six of the boats has been delayed by 4-16 weeks.
 
The Defence Minister has important questions to answer including:
  • Why was Chinese aluminium being used for this project instead of locally manufactured or quality imported aluminium?
  • What is the extra cost being incurred to remediate the problem and is that being paid by taxpayers?
  • What will be the budgetary and capability implications of operating the Armidale class boats longer than planned due to the delays in the Cape Class project?
This is a Government in crisis that is completely incapable of managing Defence projects.
 
Thanks to the Morrison Government’s latest stuff up, our Defence personnel are being forced to use obsolete capabilities for longer than planned at a time where our nation’s security is of critical importance.
 
This is yet another example of an incompetent Defence Minister not providing the Australian Defence Force with the capabilities they need, when they need it.
 
Defence