Navantia Australia was recognised by the Destroyer Enterprise for its work on the davit replacement project – enhancing the Navy’s capability due to the increasing reliance on rapid response boarding parties in maritime operations.
This davit capability upgrade is a key milestone for the whole of the Destroyer Enterprise, being the first time that the enterprise had to manage such a major design change to the DDG platform baseline. All stakeholders have learnt many lessons through the journey.
In managing any project but particularly a complex one, good communication is critical. With multiple stakeholders, it is vital they are kept well informed, updated and their feedback is gathered. This is just as important for internal stakeholders, as well as external, to minimise misunderstandings to ensure that time is not wasted.
The success of the Navantia design has enabled the installation of the davits on NUSHIP Sydney to be completed prior to handover and on HMAS Brisbane during her post deployment upgrade in 2020. This will be done using an Installation Work Pack produced by its Melbourne Design and Engineering Centre.
The project also emphasised areas for improvement in management processes, which will enable Navantia to better estimate future levels of efforts.
The davit replacement highlighted its competencies in project management through managing work in Australia, Spain, Norway and Germany.
The development of the design was rigorous and produced a high quality result and testament of the quality of Navantia's designers in the Melbourne Naval Design and Engineering Centre.
The Australian government’s announcement in August of its contribution to the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC) reaffirmed its commitment to providing safe passage and freedom of navigation in the Middle East.
This contribution means a step up from the deployment of a P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft and small number of personnel to include a six-month deployment of a Navy frigate.
Given the above, it is reasonable to assume that the importance of the davit will continue to increase.
Jose Antonio Porto, Navantia Australia engineering operations manager in the DDG sustainment program, spoke recently about the davit replacement project that highlighted the value of the OEM not only as the platform system designer, but also as a platform system integrator, and the challenges presented and overcome through this project.
The davits, procured by Navantia Australia under reduced lead times, were successfully installed and tested on HMAS Hobart by Thales, with specialist supervision from Navantia Australia. All the while achieved under the pressure of the operational deployment time frame.
Porto said, "All engineers were aligned with the common objective. It was great. We were committed to getting it done in time and focused on the work."
Engaged by the managing contractor for the Destroyer Enterprise, BAE Systems Australia, as platform system designer, Navantia Australia has been involved in a number of different engineering changes and technical investigation.