The Australian government and BAE Systems signed a six-year contract today for the prime to take on a new sustainment role designed to optimise the capability of the Royal Australian Navy’s Hobart Class destroyers.
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The $155 million contract is set to support around 100 local industry jobs in the Sydney region following a competitive tender process.
As part of the realisation of the Future Maritime Sustainment Model under Plan Galileo, the new approach will see a Capability Life Cycle Manager installed for the Hobart Class destroyers — the first of its kind for a major in-service asset.
Plan Galileo is Defence’s new national approach to sustainment in support of continuous naval shipbuilding.
Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy noted that the local defence industry is critical to building our sovereign naval capability.
“Extending our partnership with BAE Systems for our Hobart Class destroyers will ensure the vessels are fit-for-purpose, reliable and available when and where they are needed.
“We are operating in an increasingly uncertain strategic environment; we have to ensure we have the necessary skill and capability, coupled with robust supply chains here in Australia to equip and enable our Defence force,” Minister Conroy said.
BAE Systems will steward the destroyers through life under the new approach, which will include a significant upgrade to their combat management system in 2024.
The Capability Life Cycle Manager is expected to work with Regional Maintenance Centre East, which as part of the new approach, is being established to maintain multiple asset classes.
“We’re committed to investing in our local defence industry and our assets with an upgrade to our Hobart Class destroyers valued between $3.4 and $5.1 billion to be delivered at the Osborne Naval Shipyard, which will create 300 jobs in South Australia," Minister Conroy added.
This is part of the Australian government’s $200 billion investment in providing a secure, sustainable, continuous Australian naval shipbuilding and sustainment capability. Boosting industry capability is part of the government’s focus on building a resilient and sovereign industrial base and bolstering the security of the Indo-Pacific region.
The appointment of BAE Systems follows the appointment of Raytheon as the Capability Life Cycle Manager for the new Arafura Class offshore patrol vessels in December 2020.