A new group has been set up to lead the nation’s continuous naval shipbuilding and sustainment endeavour.
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Chief of the Defence Force General Angus J. Campbell, AO, DSC and Secretary of Defence Greg Moriarty have established the Naval Shipbuilding and Sustainment Group (NSSG).
The group is expected to lead the implementation of Commonwealth government policies prioritising the development of the continuous naval shipbuilding and sovereign sustainment industry.
The NSSG assumes responsibilities previously bestowed to the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG), which had overseen the delivery, maintenance, and upgrade of Australia’s maritime capabilities.
The deputy secretary of Naval shipbuilding and sustainment, Tony Dalton, has been tasked with spearheading the NSSG.
“NSSG will work alongside CASG and share a common corporate backbone,” a Defence spokesperson said.
“The new group will remain closely aligned with CASG to ensure delivery of interoperable capability and ongoing continuity of corporate services and functional support.”
The establishment of the NSSG comes amid increased investment in the local production of key maritime capabilities for the Royal Australian Navy.
This includes the $44-45 billion Hunter Class frigate program and the future development of nuclear-powered submarines to replace the Collins Class submarines.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles has also said he is open to proceeding with the life-of-type extensions (LOTE) for the Collins Class fleet, promised by the former government.
The Collins Class LOTE program would involve rebuilding each submarine once it achieves 30 years of service, with each upgrade scheduled to take approximately two years.
The submarines would reportedly be rebuilt by ASC in Adelaide, with the work to be supported by Saab Kockums, the original co-builder of the fleet.