A strong focus on forging partnerships with their customers and industry, Babcock establishes long term, sovereign capability for the decades of maritime sustainment ahead.
As a 21st Century Prime, Babcock's commitment to delivering sovereign industry capability is embedded within its current and future business thinking. Its approach provides confidence and assurance for Australia and New Zealand based suppliers and vendors and is leading the charge for other Defence Primes.
“This goes beyond just striving for Australian ‘content’,” says Andy Davis, Babcock’s Managing Director - Defence. “We’re focusing on forging strategic partnerships with local industry that generate the development of additional skills, intellectual property, long-term jobs and broader economic benefits to the communities in which we operate.”
“Babcock continues to focus on customer outcomes,” says Davis. “We leverage best practice from our local supply chain partners. Combining this with our own evolved processes, we create value through consistent solutions that are tailored for specifics, with a focus on sustainable client relationships.”
Babcock utilises its local workforce as well as a wide range of local suppliers, in developing and retaining critical sovereign capability to the sustainment of the Collins Class Submarines.
As part of its long and successful partnership with ASC, Babcock is the manufacturer and maintainer of the Collins Class Submarine Weapons Discharge System (WDS) and Submerged Signal Ejector (SSE) as well as the in-country repair agent for the Air Purification Unit (APU) and Air Turbine Pump (ATP). Babcock undertakes repair, refurbishment and replacement of key system components, as well as providing engineering capability for concessions, deviations and system improvements throughout the life cycle of its systems.
“We have an excellent working relationship with our customer, ASC, collaboratively working together to identify and resolve key risks and opportunities to the Collins Class sustainment program. A recent highlight is the collegiate approach to engineering, with Babcock engineers working side-by-side with ASC engineers on-site. This provides immediate access to key knowledge and experience of our systems, allowing for instant feedback and further streamlining our mutual processes.”
Leveraging the company's expertise in asset management and recognised collaborative relationships (ISO 44001:2017), Babcock has delivered significant savings to the Defence programs it supports.
“Taking a collaborative approach to problem solving, we work closely with our supply chain to ensure requirements are understood early. This has been key to maintaining continuity of service and supply, particularly throughout COVID.”
Babcock is currently designing the Attack Class weapons discharge system for Naval Group, with an integrated Australian/UK design team. Manufacture, assembly, test and through life support will all take place in Australia from a new facility that is in the final planning stages. This facility will enable their submarine business to transition from what has been predominantly a sustainment organisation into one that includes local delivery of critical future submarine systems. These plans will also deliver local manufacture of Hunter Class Frigate systems in the near future.
Babcock’s naval warship sustainment operations is another example of continuously delivering Sovereign Industry Capability with a strong customer focus and performance excellence.
Known for its long term, collaborative partnerships, Babcock’s joint venture with UGL, Naval Ship Management (NSM) has grown into a Tier 1 naval sustainment prime contractor with over 250 employees.
“One of the key promises we made as the Landing Helicopter Dock Asset Class Prime Contractor was to take immediate steps to reduce the reliance on international suppliers through ‘Australianising’ the supply chain. As a result of our Inclusive Prime model, I’m proud to say we’re making good on that promise, with an ever increasing number of our suppliers on that program delivering directly from Australia.”
As part of the Babcock International Group, Babcock Australasia also bring technologies, innovations and expertise from its global enterprise to build and grow sovereign Australian defence industry capability.
Internationally, Babcock has had huge success recently with its Arrowhead 140 Frigate, awarded a contract with the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence as the new Type 31 Frigate for the Royal Navy. With a low cost, unique modular design and open architecture combat system, the Arrowhead 140 has had significant interest from navies across the world, with five live campaigns currently underway.
“This provides a great opportunity for Babcock in Australia to support the local region” says Davis. “It would be great to see Australia become a regional hub for building, fitting out or supporting Arrowhead 140 and given the level of interest generated in the region, that is certainly a possibility worth exploring.”
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to highlight Babcock’s dynamic and proven capability and its strong partnership approach. Babcock, as the New Zealand Defence Force’s Strategic Maritime Partner, worked closely with Defence Logistics Command (Maritime) early to develop a business continuity plan that maintained the fleet’s capability regardless of any lockdown situations. The response efforts were recognised and highly commended, subsequently winning the Strategic Partnership Award in the Minister of Defence Awards of Excellence to Industry.
Pictured: John Oregioni, Babcock’s Mechanical Fitter for its Collins Class sustainment program in Henderson, Western Australia.