Tasmania’s regional defence enterprises will discuss future naval shipbuilding partnerships with one of the international tenderers for the SEA 5000 Future Frigates project this week.
Navantia Australia director Francisco Baron, managing director Donato Martinez, and supply chain manager Greg Keen are in Tasmania visiting local businesses including Taylor Bros, Elphinstone Group, Direct Edge Manufacturing, Penguin Composites, Pivot Maritime, CBG Systems, Finite Elements and IMBROS.
The tour will also include a visit to the Australian Maritime College (AMC) and attendance at the inaugural Tasmanian Defence Futures Forum.
"Tasmania is a key contributor to Australia’s shipbuilding enterprise as home to a thriving defence industry and the country’s leading maritime training institution, AMC," said Baron.
"Since 2016, Navantia Australia has worked with AMC to explore collaborative maritime research projects, internship programs, joint PhDs and staff and student exchanges. We’re looking forward to visiting AMC again and building our relationship with this internationally recognised centre of excellence."
Baron and Martinez added that Navantia intends to continue its partnerships with academic institutions to improve Australia's future shipbuilding workforce.
"Navantia Australia will continue to engage with industry and partner with academic institutions to strengthen our links with the local supply chain and develop a strong pipeline of future workers to support Australia’s sovereign shipbuilding enterprise," said Baron.
"Australian industry is critical to Navantia Australia’s shipbuilding capability," said Martinez. "We’re committed to helping local industry grow and supporting small and medium enterprises to enter the global market, in turn creating export opportunities for Australian business.
"Since 2008, Navantia Australia has nurtured our partnership with third generation Tasmanian family business, Taylor Bros. Taylor Bros has grown from building timber yachts and small coastal and river craft to become a multi-disciplined marine engineering company, who we recognise as a key Australian equipment supplier for the Hobart Class destroyers, Canberra Class amphibious ships and the replenishment vessels Supply and Stalwart."
Navantia has pitched its F-5000 design as part of its bid for the $35 billion SEA 5000 Future Frigates project.
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BAE Systems and Fincantieri are also bidding for the project, which will see the winner design, build and sustain nine new anti-submarine warfare frigates to replace Australia's Anzac frigate fleet.
A decision on the project is expected by mid next year.