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Major defence mission to the Philippines - aid to shipbuilding



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DEFENCE PUBLIC AFFAIRS ORGANISATION Media Release

DPAO 216/98 . Wednesday, November 11, 1998

MAJOR DEFENCE MISSION TO THE f£ - PHILIPPINES - AID TO SHIPBUILDING Australian shipbuilding will receive vital exposure through representations likely in a major Australian defence industry mission visiting the Philippines in the week

beginning Monday (Nov 16).

Tenix Defence Systems will be one o f more than 16 Australian defence manufacturers keen to discuss their capabilities with senior Filipino government, Defence and industry representatives.

In a whole o f Government effort, Defence is contributing to the largest trade mission ever mounted by Australia to the Philippines. The promotion, called All the Best from Australia, will take place during the island group’s 100th anniversary o f independence.

The defence program in the A ll the Best from Australia promotion is to be attended by the Australian Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Tim Fischer, and the Secretary of Defense for the Philippines at the Manila Hotel.

The Australian Defence Force has made a substantial contribution to the promotion with representation by a Royal Australian Navy band, a Royal Australian Air Force hot air balloon and an RAN task group comprising two guided missile frigates, HMA Ships ADELAIDE and SYDNEY, and the newest major warship of the RAN Fleet, HMAS ANZAC.

ANZAC is the first of 10 ANZAC ships being built by Tenix for the Royal Australian and Royal New Zealand Navies.

Tenix, which has shipbuilding facilities in a number of locations in Australia - in particular in Melbourne and on Cockbum Sound (WA) - is currently building two 56 metre search and rescue vessels for the Philippines Coast Guard under a contract as part of a major upgrade of marine safety in the archipelago. .

Tenix, in addition to pursuing other opportunities under the Philippines Armed Forces Modernisation Program, has been shortlisted as a contender for a contract to build three 81.5 metre offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) for the Philippines Navy.

“Defence has been promoting Tenix as a good model of defence industry development,” Mr Fischer said.

Issued b y th e Defence Public A ffairs O r g a n is a tio n , D e p a rtm e n t o f Defence, C a n b e rra , ACT, 2 6 0 0

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“The ANZAC ship program has benefited some 1500 Australian and New Zealand companies and broadened our access to foreign technology. If Tenix were to win the Philippines OPV contract then it would be aiming to use both Australian and Filipino sub-contractors"

Mr Fischer added that a heavy engineering base is essential to sustain a defence industry.

“So the rationale for Australia’s involvement in defence export programs is not simply to generate export revenue," he said. “Exports and cooperation on production of defence hardware remain key elements in creating a sustainable Australian defence industry and play a vital part in enhancing our strategic relationships.

“We recognise that future export successes by Australian defence industry will require substantial investment in regional facilities and plant, local joint venture arrangements and major employment of local work forces."

Doing business with Asia would always be ‘a two-way activity’, Mr Fischer added.

“Like Australia, regional countries are looking for export markets as a means of sustaining their own developing strategic industries," he said.

“With Australia’s fundamental interest in the Asia-Pacific security environment, we will continue our efforts to support defence expons that are consistent with our national interest.”

Further information: Ministerial Brendan Egan Departmental Tony Underwood

(06) 6277 7420 (06) 6265 2703