West Australian heavy mechanical engineering firm IKAD Engineering has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with one of the SEA 5000 bidders to explore local manufacturing opportunities.
Under the MoU, IKAD will work with Navantia to fabricate components for the F-5000, which has been offered by the Spanish ship designer for the SEA 5000 project.
Navantia Australia managing director Donato Martinez said IKAD's experience across naval warships made it a logical partner.
"IKAD is a very capable local company whose significant experience with naval warships will provide significant benefits to our programs," said Martinez. "This is a continuation of our commitment and engagement with Australian industry to ensure Australia’s future naval shipbuilding capabilities and build sovereign capability."
"The partnership with IKAD will bring significant benefits for Navantia Australia’s future programs. We will work closely with IKAD to transfer knowledge and technology from Spain, growing the capacity of Australian industry and expanding IKAD’s potential to compete on the global market."
IKAD managing director Ivan Donjerkovich said the West Australian SME is hoping to garner export opportunities through Navantia's global supply chain.
"We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Navantia Australia," said Donjerkovich. "This provides IKAD with the opportunity to contribute to Australia’s sovereign naval shipbuilding enterprise, and provides entry to export markets through Navantia and its global partners."
IKAD recently signed an agreement with Germany’s Schoenrock Hydraulik Marine Systems to build components for naval vessels, putting them in the drivers seat to compete for a SEA 5000 sub-contract, regardless of which bidder wins. Under the agreement, the companies will work together to market, build and service watertight sliding doors, shell doors and hatches for Australian naval vessels, as well as commercial vessels.
Navantia recently signed an MoU with Century Engineering, which would see the SA company work on rudder arrangement and stowage locker innovation for the F-5000 frigate. Century Engineering has previously worked with Navantia on the Hobart Class project.
SA's SAGE Automation also has an MoU with the Spanish ship designer to supply the integrated platform management system (IPMS) for its Future Frigates bid.