The nationally focused Defence Teaming Centre (DTC) has commended BAE Systems' successful tender for the $35-billion SEA 5000 Future Frigate program.
“This has been a hotly contested competition and I congratulate BAE Systems on its win,” Margot Forster, CEO Defence Teaming Centre said.
DTC supported the government's decision to make Adelaide-based ASC Shipbuilding responsible for building the new Hunter Class anti-submarine frigates in collaboration with BAE Systems through a subsidiary arrangement, which will see the government-owned asset transformed over the course of the construction phase of SEA 5000 commencing in 2020.
This subsidiary status will ensure that BAE Systems is fully responsible and accountable for the timely delivery of the frigates and guarantees the work will be carried out by Australian workers and create Australian jobs. The Commonwealth government will retain a sovereign share in ASC Shipbuilding while BAE manages the program, the Prime Minister said.
At the end of the program the Commonwealth will resume complete ownership of ASC Shipbuilding, thereby ensuring the retention in Australia of intellectual property, a highly skilled workforce and the associated equipment.
According to the Prime Minister, this will ensure that, by the conclusion of the frigate build, ASC Shipbuilding will be a strategic national asset capable of independently designing, developing and leading the construction of large, complex naval warships.
As a member-driven organisation, Ms Forster said the Future Frigates program is also, of course, an enormous opportunity for Australian businesses to become involved in the defence industry and we anticipate a number of opportunities for members.
Ms Forster said “this will guarantee the skilling of the Australian shipbuilding workforce and is an important step towards building truly sovereign shipbuilding industry capability in this country."
“While these vessels will be built in Adelaide, the government’s naval shipbuilding plan is truly a national endeavour and we must all work together to deliver these critical projects for the Navy as well as develop the capability in Australia to support these ships well in to the future,” says Ms Forster.