Development of Australia's next fleet of navy frigates is on target with BAE Systems Australia given approval to start cutting steel from December ahead of the first ship construction in 2022.
The company is in the final stages of taking control of its new shipyard facility in Adelaide which it says is probably the most advanced in the world.
Its workforce has already grown to about 1000, including the first intake of apprentices, with more jobs to be added.
Chief executive Gabby Costigan said the $45 billion program to deliver nine Hunter class frigates was significant to both the defence of the nation and the contribution it would make to the economy.
Ms Costigan rejected recent reports of "slippage" in the timeline and said there was no risk of another "valley of death" in terms of jobs on existing programs being lost before new positions become available.
"We now have the go-ahead to proceed towards cut steel on the prototyping phase of the Hunter allowing us to continue to hire more Australians and sign contracts with more Australian businesses," she said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison toured the new shipyard on Saturday and said the federal government's naval shipbuilding program was contributing to the "rebirthing of South Australia".
"These incredible facilities will provide jobs and livelihoods for decades to come," he said.
"It's all about jobs. The way we grow ourselves out of the challenges we have economically is what will determine our future.
"And you don't grow unless you build these sort of facilities. You don't grow unless you train the thousands of workers who will come and be part of this magnificent venture.
"We haven't seen this in this country at this scale for a very, very long time."
But Mr Morrison had no good news to offer SA on the question of ongoing maintenance on the navy's existing Collins class submarines with a decision yet to be made on whether to conduct that work in Adelaide or move it substantially to Perth.
The prime minister said the decision would be made in the national interest but had not yet been made given the government's focus on the COVID-19 crisis.
"It's not a decision that is pressing," he said.
Mr Morrison despite the delay there was no shortage of naval shipbuilding work in South Australia.