BAE Systems’ bids for the $35 billion Future Frigates and $5 billion LAND 400 Phase 2 projects has South Australian defence suppliers visiting London in the hopes of securing supply chain opportunities.
Nine South Australian defence companies took part in the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition, one of the world’s largest of its kind.
Heading up the state government’s first-ever Europe/UK business mission, SA Minister for Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith visited the firms taking part in the exhibition and met with UK government officials, defence leaders and defence firms, including BAE Systems, to identify opportunities for SA businesses to benefit from global supply chain work if the company is awarded the maritime and land projects.
The Defence Industries Minister said advocating for maximum Australian industry on the multibillion-dollar defence projects was a strong focus of the UK trip.
"South Australia is home to a world-class defence and naval shipbuilding industry, and we are keen to partner with UK industry on major maritime and defence projects to create supply chain opportunities and local jobs," the minister said.
"We strongly advocate for maximum Australian industry content on defence projects. We support our defence industry to successfully join the global supply chain to realise the full economic benefits of defence programs and create sovereign capability for our nation.
"South Australian industry has a proven track record when it comes to complex defence programs and our local companies are ready to support the delivery of Australia’s next generation programs including Future Frigate, Future Submarine and LAND 400."
Three designers – BAE Systems, Italy's Fincantieri and Spain's Navantia – have been shortlisted to refine their designs for the frigates, to be built at Adelaide’s Techport in 2020 as part of a continuous build.
Meanwhile, BAE Systems Australia is one of two companies in the running for the LAND 400 combat reconnaissance vehicle program, along with Rheinmetall. South Australia has been ruled out by both contenders for the build site of the vehicles, with Victoria or Queensland the chosen sites of BAE Systems and Rheinmetall, respectively.
SA defence companies at DSEI range from defence primes to SMEs and include:
- Codan Defence Electronics
- Dexata Corporation
- ELWA Energy
- Minelab Electronics
- Nova Systems
- Redarc Electronics
- Risk Decisions Asia Pacific
- Saab Australia