A shipbuilding centre being built by the Australian Navy in South Australia could be used the US Navy as a repair base for its warships.

Negotiations are currently underway that could see the US use the A$300m Techport centre along with other externally operated ports in Japan and Singpaore for repairs.

Techport has already been chosen as the construction base for the US Navy’s next generation of submarines, while the country’s new air warfare destroyers worth $8bn could also be built there.

Over 140 US defence engineering and research experts will visit the plant in May next year to examine its facilities.

South Australia Premier Mike Rann said the facility is a secure location to undertake repairs for naval vessels and could be developed strategically, depending on its user’s needs.

“No other site in Australia will be able to rival the multitude of high-end, professional naval systems and integration skills which will be based there,” Rann said as published on news service Strategy Page.

The facility features a 213m wharf, the largest shiplift in the southern hemisphere and world-class infrastructure that has been specifically designed to cater for the 9,000t US Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers.

Over 85% of construction work at Techport has been completed and will be available from February 2010.