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LHD and amphibious landing craft sustainment to support over 1,000 jobs

lhd well dock operations

Joint venture partners UGL and Babcock, operating as Naval Ship Management (NSM), have secured over 1,000 jobs as part of a partnership with the Australian Defence Force to provide sustainment support for the Navy's Canberra Class vessels and Landing Craft vessels.

Joint venture partners UGL and Babcock, operating as Naval Ship Management (NSM), have secured over 1,000 jobs as part of a partnership with the Australian Defence Force to provide sustainment support for the Navy's Canberra Class vessels and Landing Craft vessels.

NSM will partner with the ADF to sustain and support Canberra Class Landing Helicopter Docks (LHD) and LHD Landing Crafts (LLCs) at the Garden Island Defence Precinct in NSW, following a competitive bidding process, over the long term under a new agreement.

The program is worth approximately $1.5b over 15 years, will commence from July 2019 after an initial six-month phase-in period, and will support over 1,000 direct and indirect jobs across Australia.


Defence Minister, Christopher Pyne said, "More than 1,000 direct and indirect jobs will be supported in Sydney and across a national supply chain through this contract, which is valued at more than $1.5 billion."

NSM has been appointed as asset steward of the 14 vessels. Joe Smith, General Manager of NSM said, "NSM is committed to supporting small-to-medium sized businesses throughout the Australian maritime industry and will be engaging them on new supply opportunities as a result of the win."

Within the contract, NSM has committed to maximising opportunities for Australian industry through engaging their existing supply chain and working with potential new Australian suppliers.

UGL parent company CIMIC Group's chief executive, Michael Wright, said, "Supporting the Australian Defence Force is a priority for CIMIC Group. By collaboratively providing asset management services to these critical Defence assets, UGL continues to provide strong asset performance, and consistent and reliable outcomes for the Commonwealth." 

Minister Pyne said, "Naval Ship Management has a proven track record within similar sustainment programs, with proven performance in innovation, collaboration and building Australian defence industry workforce capability." 

UGL managing director Jason Spears said, "UGL has a long association with the Royal Australian Navy over 20 years. As an active partner within the Naval Ship Management joint venture, we are pleased to continue supporting the sustainment and performance of the Landing Helicopter Dock and LHD Landing Craft fleets."   

Naval Ship Management has a long standing strategic partnership with RAN and continues to provide sustainment support to the Anzac Class frigates, focusing on fleet availability, efficiency and cost optimisation. 

NSW Defence Advocate, Air Marshal (Ret'd) John Harvey, AM, congratulated NSM on their continuing support for Australia's defence SME ecosystem, saying: "Congratulations to NSM and their strong SME supply chain on the award of this milestone contract.  Garden Island, and the network of facilities and industrial capability around Sydney, continues to serve as the strategic heart of naval sustainment for the RAN and a critical element of our national approach to the naval shipbuilding endeavour."

The Canberra Class provides the ADF with one of the most capable and sophisticated air-land-sea amphibious deployment systems in the world. The 27,000-tonne ships are able to land a force of over 1,000 personnel by helicopter and water craft, along with all their weapons, ammunition, vehicles and stores.

The RAN operates two of the vessels, with the first LHD, HMAS Canberra, commissioned on 28 November 2014 and the second ship, HMAS Adelaide, commissioned on 4 December 2015.

Minister Pyne congratulated the joint venture for the commitment to supporting Australian industry, saying, "Naval Ship Management has committed to maximising Australian industry content through engaging its existing supply chain as well as providing increased opportunities and utilisation of small to medium enterprises in the Sydney region and across the Australian supply chain."

Naval Ship Management (Australia) is a joint venture between Babcock Pty Ltd and UGL Engineering Pty Ltd, to undertake the planning, scheduling, management and execution of preventative and corrective maintenance for naval ships and their system support facilities on the East and West Coast of Australia.

In 2012, NSM successfully won the Group Maintenance Contract for the repair and maintenance of the Royal Australian Navy’s ANZAC Class Frigates and was administered by ANZAC Systems Program Office (SPO), part of Defence Materiel Organization (DMO) which has subsequently changed its name to the Capability and Sustainment Group (CASG).

In 2016, NSM secured a long term contract with the Commonwealth Warship Asset Management Agreement (WAMA), for the sustainment of the Australian ANZAC Class Frigates. The contract represents a strategic partnership between BAE Systems, SAAB, NSM and the Commonwealth of Australia (CoA) for the sustainment and total asset management of the ANZAC Frigates through to the end of their life.