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Babcock Australasia hosts suppliers’ day for New Zealand defence industry

Babcock Australasia NZ Arrowhead Supplier Day in Auckland. Photo: Simon Spratt.

Babcock Australasia has hosted a suppliers’ day for small and medium enterprises in New Zealand, working in support of the Royal New Zealand Navy.

Babcock Australasia has hosted a suppliers’ day for small and medium enterprises in New Zealand, working in support of the Royal New Zealand Navy.

Babcock’s Arrowhead suppliers’ day was attended by more than 65 suppliers as the company discussed design, build, support offering, and engaging local SMEs to play a part in delivering adaptable solutions to the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN).

Babcock Australasia also confirmed that it will formally present its Arrowhead multi-mission surface combatant platform as the future solution for the Royal New Zealand Navy.

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Simon Spratt, Babcock Australasia managing director - marine, said the company has a strong marine defence presence in New Zealand and is currently contracted to operate the country’s largest marine engineering and maintenance support facility in Devonport, Auckland.

“Our local suppliers are critical to supporting the services we proudly provide the Royal New Zealand Navy, and they will be integral to supporting the country’s future naval fleet,” he said.

“Babcock’s Arrowhead offering is a capable, adaptable and cost-effective modern ship that is operationally proficient in both blue water and littoral areas and would deliver significant multi-mission capability to the Royal New Zealand Navy, meeting its requirements both now and in the future.

“Now more than ever, what we do matters; creating a safe and secure world, together.”

Babcock’s Arrowhead is pitched to provide support for a range of RNZN functions including combat, search and rescue, task group support, counter piracy, humanitarian and disaster relief capability.

The 80-crew maritime security frigate could reportedly field armament options such as 127mm medium calibre guns for maritime interdiction, self-protection and engagement of surface and land targets, as well as 30mm small calibre weapons, vertical launch missile cells, and Phalanx close-in weapons systems. There is also an area dedicated for a flight deck for large naval rotorcraft and hangar, with additional flexibility to launch and recover non-organic aircraft up to 15 tonnes in weight.

Babcock is already underway with the design and build program in Rosyth, Scotland to deliver five Type 31 Frigates for the UK Royal Navy, based on the Arrowhead 140 (AH140) platform.

In 2021, Babcock secured its first export contract for the AH140 through a licence agreement with PT PAL Indonesia, with the first keel of the two-ship program for the Indonesian Navy laid this year.

Babcock’s AH140 frigate has also been selected by the PGZ-MIECZNIK consortium as the baseline platform design for Poland’s Miecznik frigates with steel cut on the first of three frigates for the Polish Navy in August 2023.

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