After six industry briefings across Australian cities, a leading German shipbuilder and designer has now shown more than 600 companies how it believes they can take advantage of international supply chains.
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Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) contender Lürssen, with its teaming partners ASC and Forgacs/Civmec, has used the industry briefings to outline the subcontracting opportunities available to Australian SMEs it is expecting to flow from the OPV program, which will see a total of 12 vessels built in Adelaide and Perth.
Lürssen, which has exported more than 300 warships around the world, teamed up with its partners ASC and Forgacs/Civmec as well as its major subcontractors L3 Australia, Penske and SAAB Australia to hold the briefings in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Cairns and Darwin.
"The opportunities for SMEs across the entire country from the Australian government’s continuous shipbuilding program, include in the construction of the vessels, contributing supplies, in shipyard services, in future sustainment work and in supporting industries," said Lürssen managing director defence Dirk Malgowski.
"In Germany, we calculate that for every one job we create in the shipyard, four further jobs are created in other businesses.
"We see significant benefit in partnering with AuContentstralian SMEs, and opportunities for them to participate in a new era in Australian shipbuilding.
"We are a subcontracting company, it is in our DNA."
As previously reported on Defence Connect, Lürssen told the industry briefings that it had been looking to establish a base outside of Europe to design and build warships for the export market and Australia's ongoing naval capability buildup provided the perfect opportunity for the company.
"Hearing about the continuous shipbuilding program we saw the possibility to contribute to the creation of Australia’s sovereign shipbuilding capability and to establish an export-led industrial base," Malgowski explained.
“Our decision to establish our local export-base here in Australia was in part because we knew of the strength of Australia’s local industry and ability to deliver the services and supplies necessary for construction.”
Lürssen is one of three shortlisted tenderers for the Royal Australian Navy’s SEA1180 Phase 1 Offshore Patrol Vessel Project. Damen and AustalFassmer are also shortlisted.
If selected by the Commonwealth for the SEA 1180 program, Lürssen will be the designer and prime contractor for the entire program and will subcontract the construction work of the vessels to its Australian partners ASC and Forgacs/Civmec.
Fully supported by Lürssen, ASC and Forgacs/Civmec will not only be executing the construction and completion work, but will also subcontract a large proportion of supplies and works to local industry, the company said.
"The ASC Shipbuilding and Forgacs joint venture is delighted to be supporting Lürssen in its bid for the OPV project," said Mike Deeks CSC, managing director of Forgacs Marine and Defence.
"We applaud Lürssen's approach in engaging local suppliers and subcontractors and recognise the importance of working with Australian companies to ensure a quality outcome for the Royal Australian Navy."