Defence has signed a strategic agreement with Navantia Australia, formalising a strong working relationship in the design space.
The agreement formally recognises Navantia as a design authority for four classes of Royal Australian Navy ships.
Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO, Chief of Navy, and Navantia Australia’s chairman, Warren King, signed the agreement on board HMAS Hobart in Sydney Harbour on 17 May 2020.
The strategic agreement provides a framework to ensure that all current and future Navantia-designed vessels in service with the RAN are adequately supported for their life of type.
Under the agreement, Navantia Australia will work towards establishing a digital ship as a means to enhance the service level for each class of ship. This will ensure that the design integrity, configuration control, upgrades and modernisation of Navantia-designed ships and supplied systems and equipment are fully supported in Australia.
Chief of the RAN, VADM Noonan said, “The strategic agreement outlines Defence and Navantia Australia’s joint commitment to ensure the best possible support for Australia’s Navantia-designed warships.
“This agreement further enhances the important relationship between Defence and Navantia.”
Navantia Australia’s chairman remarked, “This represents a significant milestone in the development of the sovereign capability of Navantia Australia and strengthens Australia’s naval shipbuilding and sustainment industry. It will see the largest, most valuable transfer of capability that I am aware of in the history of Australian defence industry.”
“This transfer means that the design data for the Hobart Class guided missile destroyers, Canberra Class landing helicopter docks and landing craft and the Navy’s new Supply Class auxiliary oiler replenishment ships and the maintenance, update and upgrade of the Navantia Integrated Platform Management System components will all be managed from Australia.”
Navantia Australia managing director Alfonso García-Valdés also suggested that having the responsibility for contributing to the management and development of the Hobart Class family in Australia means the company will have greater ability to incorporate local technologies.
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Navantia’s productive partnership with the Royal Australian Navy began with the contracts to design the Hobart Class guided missile destroyers and continued with the design and co-manufacture of the Canberra Class landing helicopter docks (LHD), the design and construction of 12 LHD landing craft, and the design, build and sustainment of the new Supply Class auxiliary oiler replenishment ships.
Established in 2012, Navantia Australia currently delivers platform system design and integration services for all classes of Navantia-designed vessels.