Navantia Australia’s SEA 5000 supply chain manager Greg Keen addressed the 2017 WA Defence Conference ‘Doing Business with Defence’ to give an update on current, future and naval projects, where he said there is ample opportunity for the state's industry to enhance or establish stronger relationships.
"Navantia first established a presence in Australia in 2006. Navantia Australia has tripled our workforce since 2014 and we now have a team of over 120 people, operating out of four states across the country," Navantia Australia managing director Donato Martinez said.
"We are looking forward to opening our Western Australian facility in mid-2018 and further growing our sustainable, long-term partnerships with local industry."
In its bid for Australia’s SEA 5000 Future Frigate program, Navantia has committed to creating more than 7,000 jobs across the shipbuilding enterprise and sustainment activities, including project management, design, planning, procurement, production, test and evaluation, and acceptance.
"Navantia Australia has a deeply ingrained philosophy of partnership. For every ship we have delivered to the Royal Australian Navy over the past decade and will deliver in the coming years – over 100,000 tonnes – we’ve worked with hundreds of Australian companies, supporting them to grow and giving them the edge to deliver competitive solutions," Keen said.
"We look forward to maintaining this close relationship in future acquisition and sustainment programs."
Last month, 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."