South Australia will today highlight its defence credentials to the President and Chief Executive Officer of Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mr Shunichi Miyanaga.
The Japanese Government is one of three bidders in the competitive evaluation process for the design of Australia’s Future Submarines, with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries one of two multinationals that build Japan’s Soryu Class submarines.
Premier Jay Weatherill and Minister for Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith will today meet with Mr Miyanaga to discuss Japan’s bid for the Future Submarine program.
“This presents a fantastic opportunity for South Australia, and we welcome Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to South Australia,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“South Australia has an excellent relationship with the Japanese Government and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which is growing stronger by the day.
“In October last year a South Australian delegation toured Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ Kobe shipyards, which built the Soryu submarine.
“Just last month we hosted a delegation of Japan’s largest business institutions that came to investigate future investment and collaboration opportunities with South Australia.
“Building the Future Submarines is the most significant project on Australia’s Defence agenda and the State Government strongly believes they should be built here in South Australia as part of a continuous build program.
“As Mitsubishi Heavy Industries know from their numerous visits over recent months, South Australia has world-class maritime infrastructure, skilled workers, a strong track record and is home to the nation’s flagship naval shipbuilding precinct, Techport Australia.
“We have engaged with each of the three bidders and are equipped and ready to partner with whoever is selected to build the submarines.
“The submarines are only one element of Australia’s naval shipbuilding future.
“We want to see the Federal Government commit to a continuous build of submarines and surface ships in Australia,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“While the Future Submarine program is by far the largest project, we must not forget about the importance to South Australia of the surface ship builds in the Offshore Patrol Vessels and Future Frigate programs.
“A continuous build is the only way to ensure we are able to maintain the highly skilled workers and infrastructure we have established in the state,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
Mr Miyanaga will also visit Techport Australia’s Common User Facility, ASC, the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, as well as discuss research and development opportunities with the three local universities.
Defence SA will also host a breakfast meeting with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries delegates and a number of key defence industry leaders including ASC, Raytheon, Austal, Lockheed Martin and SAAB tomorrow following the Australian Defence Magazine Congress in Canberra.