Defence Connect’s Phillip Tarrant caught up with Stanley on the sidelines of the Pacific International Maritime Exposition event in Sydney. Stanley said the company was currently in hot pursuit of the 1180 OPV program.
“We've been doing some great stuff in communications, situational awareness for many years,” said Stanley. “We've got equipment on our submarines [and] exported to Canada and New Zealand, and now we want to get that equipment into Australia's OPVs.
“We ticked all the boxes in terms of the Australian industry capability program. We're a fully Australian-owned company [and] it's a great system. It's well priced, particularly against the American competitors, and we're fortunate to be on everyone's team.”
Stanley touched on the culture within the firm, a keen SME, and specifically how a good contract win is celebrated in-house.
“We’ve got an excellent CEO and a great management team,” he said. “What we all recognise is that it takes everyone in the business to sell; engineers have got to do great stuff. The administrators have got to administer well [and] the marketing people have got to do a good job building relationships and getting the word out there.”
One key method the firm had adopted in order to further this cohesive approach was to make sure such celebrations included everyone in the business.
“We all take time to reflect that everyone's had to contribute to the success that we've achieved, when we achieve it,” said Stanley. “We also make a point of thanking the partners that we work with. So, whichever team wins, there's bound to be a couple of beers shared with the integrators that we end up working with. Because they've been the ones that have pushed us through the process.”
Stanley would not be drawn on any speculation as to which outfit might be leading the pack in terms of potentially landing the OPV contract.
“Defence has really tightened up and they're very good now at probity and keeping their decisions internal,” he said. “It's not even worth trying to get that information out of it. You've just got to give it your best shot and then see where the chips fall.
“They're all great ships though. And I think in our interactions with all of the shipbuilders and the integrators, we'd be happy to work with any of them.”