Australian shipbuilder cuts first steel in promised rebirth of naval industry

It's one small step for an Australian shipbuilder, but a giant leap for the country's plans for a major defence industry. When the first steel plates for a new fleet of Pacific patrol boats are laser-cut at a small plant in southern Perth on Wednesday, it will be the start of a continuous 30-year program that Australian companies and the Federal government hope will help spur a major export industry.

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