Defence has commenced a search for an industry partner to provide innovative sustainment support to the Navy’s fleet at its first Regional Maintenance Centre.
A tender has opened for a regional maintenance provider at Defence’s first Regional Maintenance Centre (North East) in Cairns.
Defence is searching for an industry partner to deliver a “new, innovative approach” to the sustainment of the Royal Australian Navy’s fleet, in a bid to boost industry capability in the regions.
The successful candidate will be tasked with ensuring sustainment capability in strategic Navy homeports and would be expected to conduct maintenance on a range of vessels over time.
The RAN’s head of maritime systems, Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm, said the new approach would facilitate the delivery of complex naval capability, while also increasing opportunities for local small and medium businesses.
“The new approach, as outlined in Defence’s Plan Galileo, is part of the Australian government’s investment of over $170 billion in naval shipbuilding announced in the 2020 Force Structure Plan,” RADM Malcolm said.
“This will result in the fleet doubling in tonnage and significantly increasing in complexity.”
RADM Malcolm continued, “Regional maintenance providers will coordinate the delivery of maintenance and build resilient local and regional supply chains on behalf of the Commonwealth.
“This will provide more stable work packages and remove barriers to entry for local small and medium businesses, enabling the opportunity for increased participation.”
Regional Maintenance Centre North East, which is the first of four to be set up, is expected to be in place by the end of 2021, and will initially sustain Navy’s new Evolved Cape Class patrol boats.
This program will be supported by the Australian government’s Skilling Australia’s Defence Industry Grants program, which aims to provide businesses servicing the defence sector with upskilling and training opportunities
According to Defence, the program also aligns with the government’s recently announced $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy, which also aims to build resilient supply chains.
The tender opened on 27 November 2020 and is set to close on 12 March 2021.