Wednesday 08 Apr 2020 | 13:01 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 08 Apr 2020 | 13:01 | SYDNEY

Australia doesn't sell warship designs only to China


Sam Roggeveen


11 June 2008 16:29

I'm very late linking to this, but given that I reported in January on  what I consider the rather undesirable situation of an Australian firm selling catamaran designs to the Chinese Navy, I thought I should also mention some better news for an Australian company on the international defence market. The mostly Western Australia-based Austal is designing and building (with an American partner) a new generation of ships for the US Navy, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS).

If nothing else, these are going to be the funkiest looking warships ever to hit the seas (and, yes, that includes this thing and this thing). The first one, to be called USS Independence, is pictured below just after its April launch (photo courtesy of Austal).

As far as I'm aware, it's quite unprecedented for an Australian company to have such a major stake in a big US weapons program. But the future of this class of ships in the US Navy is far from assured. Costs have risen, and the second Austal-designed LCS was cancelled.