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Wednesday, 7 December 1983
Page: 3470

Question No. 826

Mr Spender asked the Minister for Defence Support, upon notice, on 17 November 1983:

(1) Does he envisage a role for the Naval Technical Services Section of the Department of Defence in (a) design and (b) construction of the FFG-type vessels proposed for the Williamstown Naval Dockyard; if so, what are the details.

(2) If no role is envisaged, what are the reasons.

Mr Howe —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

1 (a) Naval Technical Services have been involved in the design definition for the two FFG's to be built at Williamstown. They are to be based on the fourth vessel built for Australia in the United States, HMAS Darwin. Australian Mulloka Sonar will be fitted in lieu of the AN SQ-56 sonar. Naval Technical Services will maintain their association with the project through continuing design functions:

(1) preparation of design changes consquent upon the Mulloka fit

(2) oversighting specifications and the vetting and issue of working drawings to Williamstown Naval Dockyard

(3) investigating the suitability of Australian substitutes for certain equipments and materials

(4) review of proposed class design changes

(5) design authority for equipments built under licence in Australia such as the 76 millimetre gun and propeller hubs and shafts.

(b) It is envisaged that Naval Technical Services will continue their close involvement with the Australian frigate construction program through its entirety. Production aspects are the responsibility of the Director General Naval Production.

(2) The foregoing reply negates this question.