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Shipbuilding giant proposes new office for Australia

Navantia's Future Frigate model, the F-5000.

A SEA 5000 contender has announced its intentions to set up an office in Western Australia to capitalise on sustainment opportunities in Australia.

Navantia Australia's SEA 5000 supply chain manager Greg Keen told the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA that Henderson is the obvious choice for the new office, but no decision has been finalised yet.

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"We haven’t finally decided where yet but Henderson is a good option. It will most likely be after April but we haven’t decided yet," Keen said.

"There are sustainment options and opportunities that we want to take advantage of, as opposed to construction."

Navantia is bidding for the $35 billion SEA 5000 Future Frigate Program, against the UK's BAE Systems and Italy's Fincantieri. The winning company will design, construct and maintain Australia's Future Frigates that will replace the current Anzac Class frigates.

Keen said the company is looking to support the existing sustainment contracts in place for the $9.1 billion Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyers, along with the Landing Helicopter Docks and the replenishment ships that will be delivered in 2019 and 2020.

"We stand by to support the Landing Helicopter Docks, which has existing sustainment contracts in place and when the oilers (replenishment ships) come into commission," he said.

"We want to make sure we can support the products that Navantia has successfully designed and engineered."

And WA's defence industry is a big part of Navantia's plans.

"We have an existing supply chain on our reference ship but of course the goal is to achieve sovereign capability, so we’d be looking to transition to Australia wherever possible," Keen said.

"We’ve had a couple of WA suppliers really stand up and say we want to be part of that so it’s been great.

"WA is pretty well positioned and has some great industry set up and growing."

Keen will be discussing Navantia's supply chain offerings for the SEA 5000 project at the CCI WA Defence Conference in November.

Shipbuilding giant proposes new office for Australia
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