Australia has taken the reins of the Air Warfare Destroyer project, with Spanish shipbuilder Navantia designating its Australian subsidiary as the class manager for the Hobart Class family of warships.
Under this decision, Australia will not only have control of the design of the Hobart Class, as well as its future developments, it also means Navantia's SEA 5000 offering, the F-5000, would be managed from Australia.
"This decision is the largest, most valuable transfer of intellectual property that I am aware of in the history of Australian defence industry," said Warren King, chairman of Navantia Australia.
"This transfer means that the design of the Hobart Class and its future developments will all be managed from Australia. This includes the F-5000 we are offering as Australia’s future frigate, as well as export variants."
The company's F-5000 is a variant on the design of the Hobart Class.
The designation of Navantia Australia to these projects signifies Australia's growing design capability and the success of the Hobart Class build, the latest in the F-100 family, said José Esteban Garcia Vilasanchez, chairman of Navantia.
"We are able to make this designation due to the success of the technology transfer of the Hobart Class and the over 1 million hours of effort which went into adapting the F-100 design for Australian requirements," Vilasanchez said.
With Navantia Australia to now manage and develop the Hobart Class family, King said the opportunity to have Australian SMEs technology into the Navantia global supply chain has grown significantly.
“Having the responsibility for the management and development of the Hobart Class family in Australia means we have greater ability to incorporate local technologies. Navantia Australia is already providing a global export for Australian companies: Australian technology is onboard ships we are currently building in Spain and is central to our bid for the Canadian Surface Combatant, where we have partnered with Saab Australia and CEA Technologies," he said.
"Being the class manager for the Hobart Class family will only increase these opportunities for Australian industry."