ADF bolstered by $33m ground support services contract

Aircraft Cargo Loader. Image via Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence.

An Adelaide-based engineering support company has secured a $33 million contract to provide ground support equipment services to the Australian Defence Force.

The contract, awarded to international prime Babcock, was announced by Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne, who said this contract will create 16 new South Australian jobs.

"Through this contract, Babcock will provide ground support equipment asset management services for the ADF," the minister said.

"The contract covers all manner of equipment, including power units and equipment which loads and unloads aircraft."

Minister Pyne said the contract will "pave the way" in future strategy and innovation for aircraft fleet support systems, while also developing Australia's defence industry asset management capabilities. 

Under the $33 million contract, Babcock will deliver engineering, maintenance, supply support, acquisition and sustainment management services, contributing to aviation across Air Force, Navy and Army. Babcock Australasia CEO David Ruff said the company already has proven expertise in asset management, having provided services to companies across the defence and commercial sectors, including Qantas Group, the British military and both the London Fire Brigade and the Metropolitan Police.

"Babcock is the trusted manager of critically operational and complex asset fleets to the military and emergency services across the globe," Ruff said.

"We know that ground support equipment is critical to the operations of both commercial and military air operators, and we are particularly proud to bring our local expertise and experience with Qantas to the ADF.

"It is our intention to support the recommendation of Defence’s First Principles Review, and the ongoing Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group reforms, by bringing to Australia those asset management models that have been successfully proven in military operations and training in demanding environments."

The contract comes after Babcock, which is part of the London-based Babcock International Group, moved its Australasian headquarters to Adelaide last year as part of its expansion plans for Australia and New Zealand. Its aviation business is now operational in Adelaide and its mission critical services division was moved from Brisbane.

The contract is expected to become fully operational from June 2018.

In July last year, Babcock created a new gateway with Industry Capability Network (ICN) to connect with Australia's defence supply chain. The gateway focuses on Babcock's submarine operations. 

The new Babcock Submarine Supply Chain Gateway is seeking to engage with companies that have capabilities in casting and materiel, and forgings.

Babcock has supplied submarine systems across the globe for more than four decades. The company has designed and manufactured the Collins Class submarine weapon launching system and manufactured the weapons handling system.

ADF bolstered by $33m ground support services contract
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