Australia's navy ships project to delay for months due to construction fault

10:26, October 26, 2010      

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Australia's largest eight billion dollars (7.86 billion U.S. dollars) defense project to build the navy's new air warfare destroyers will be delayed by months due to a construction fault, the project subcontractor said on Tuesday.

The Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) Alliance, which is managing the project, said the keel fault was discovered in the first block that was being manufactured.

The keel is made up of seven blocks, and the central block of the first of three warships is the wrong size.

The Australian newspaper on Tuesday reported that the multi- million-dollar bungle could delay the project by up to six months. The incident is believed to have triggered an argument between the Williamstown shipyards, where the hull block was built, and the warship's Spanish designer on the responsibility over the construction fault.

According to AWD Alliance Chief executive Rod Equits, the fault has been discovered and will be fixed.

"It's a complex project, we're manufacturing a complex structure, and there was an issue that needed to be rectified," Equits told ABC News on Tuesday.

The first of the ships is due for completion in 2015, but the faulty keels have caused a delay, and the management unit are now working on the overall impact of the delay, including extra costs involved.

Meanwhile, Equits reaffirmed that the incident will not cast doubt on Australia's shipbuilding capabilities.

The project is now back on track with the manufacturing in Melbourne of Australia, and he expected a very good outcome.

The three new 6,500-tonne destroyers under the AWD project will be the most capable warships in the nation's history when they enter service.

Source: Xinhua


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