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Plan Galileo: Lighting the way for maritime sustainment

HMAS Brisbane conducts a cold move to the docking maintenance facilities at Garden Island in Sydney, February 2020. (Image sourced from Navy Daily)

The regeneration of Australia’s key Naval capabilities is a complex, long-term national endeavour, with sustainment shipyards around the country requiring investment to support the expanded fleet. Further planning and redevelopment will be needed and now is the ideal time to transform maritime sustainment.

The regeneration of Australia’s key Naval capabilities is a complex, long-term national endeavour, with sustainment shipyards around the country requiring investment to support the expanded fleet. Further planning and redevelopment will be needed and now is the ideal time to transform maritime sustainment.

Plan Galileo is the answer Defence is producing to meet the complex and varied needs of sustainable continuous shipbuilding and to ensure Australia is able to fight and win at sea now and into the future.

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Plan Galileo aims to achieve three key objectives by 2025; to build a new approach to integrated capability life cycle management, to leverage new technologies and learning to improve productivity and promote increased levels of innovation, collaboration and knowledge-sharing in the maritime domain, and to generate the skilled workforce we need to meet this challenge.

Launching the Plan Galileo website recently, Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm, Head Maritime Systems, reiterated her vision as a new way of thinking that fundamentally changes how Navy carries out sustainment of the fleet, reported Navy Daily. 

Sustainment is not an end in itself, we exist only to ensure that our Navy can fight and win at sea.

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“The aim of Plan Galileo is that in 2025, Defence will operate in a nationally integrated sustainment environment that consistently provides affordable, reliable and fit for purpose systems and ships to Navy,” RADM Malcolm said.

“That means ensuring we can provide certainty and work for our uniformed personnel and industry, as we need them working co-operatively, continuing what they do, and helping to prepare our Navy for the new ships that will be delivered in an era of continuous shipbuilding.

“The project is also focused on effective utilisation, growth and support of Navy’s technical and logistics mastery, including ongoing involvement of Fleet Support Units throughout Australia in the delivery of maintenance and our Maritime Logistics personnel in the provision of integrated logistics support and 21st century supply chain development and management.

“This will enable the growth of our workforce, facilitate career progression and bring stability to Navy personnel and their families.

“We must optimise workforce development and leadership programs to increase technical and logistics, leadership and supervisory proficiency, facilitate career progression and enable the personal and professional growth of our workforce.”

The size and complexity of our fleet will grow by more than 50 per cent over the next two decades, requiring additional highly skilled personnel.

Plan Galileo incorporates a national, integrated approach to the sustainment of Navy assets that supports the Naval Shipbuilding Plan and aligns with Navy's Plan Pelorus and Plan Mercator.

Plan Galileo will build on the Australian Industry Capability Program by incentivising industry to build regional and local capacity.

A core component of Plan Galileo is the Regional Maintenance Centres.

These are self-contained sustainment centres at Navy homeports comprising Defence, primes and small businesses that will be able to sustain our vessels and then return them to sea utilising a superior workforce and focused on local supply chains. These centres are currently planned for Cairns, Darwin, Perth and Sydney.

“While Plan Galileo is a long-term project out to 2025, we are already implementing a number of its elements as a ‘proof of concept’ within our Arafura Class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) program,” RADM Malcolm said.

“Defence will test ideas, learn from our mistakes – and our successes and work these into the overall plan as it is rolled out on a national scale.”

Plan Galileo sees sustainment as a whole-of-life concept, considering sustainment needs at the design stage of a vessel. It considers capability life cycle management from the outset as an underlying principle of continuous sustainment, underpinned by the need to support a seamless transition from acquisition to sustainment. It reworks the support solution to one that adopts a fleet view, which drives commonality across sustainment and minimises duplication across the maritime domain.

Plan Galileo: Lighting the way for maritime sustainment
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