Local Adelaide manufacturer Rowlands Metalworks will deliver navigational bridge consoles for the nine Future Frigates under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Raytheon Anschütz.
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The deal is expected to translate into millions of dollars of work for the Lonsdale company if BAE Systems' SEA 5000 bid is chosen for the Future Frigates project.
According to Rowlands Metalworks managing director Cameron Johnston, the deal marks a major milestone for the local SA company and an exciting window to potentially further develop international partnerships and opportunities.
"We’ve been in operation for more than 60 years now, supporting a broad range of industries and sectors and are delighted with the opportunity we can see to reach further into the defence industry with this deal," Johnston said.
"There’s no doubt the South Australian defence industry is on the cusp of some very exciting times and we will now be well placed to make the most of the growth in the sector here in SA."
Johnston said Rowlands Metalworks had undergone an extremely rigorous process to satisfy Raytheon Anschütz of their systems, capabilities and international competitiveness as part of their bid to secure the MOU. The partnership will result in a massive transfer of technology to SA.
"The fact that they can see that we can deliver in line with their stringent expectations around quality and consistency is a fabulous testament to our team that we can mix it with the best," he said.
"We’re really looking forward to growing this part of the business and we can see tangible growth and returns for South Australia."
It is anticipated each navigation bridge console will cost more than $250,000 and with nine ships to be serviced, the contract could be valued at more than $2 million.
"Beyond this project, we think there could well be other potential opportunities to support Raytheon Anschütz, not only with their naval requirements but also across the broader commercial shipbuilding industry," said Johnston.
Rowlands Metalworks said the opportunity to work with Raytheon Anschütz came about through the Commonwealth’s Global Supply Chain program. The BAE Systems associated Global Access Program has introduced Raytheon Anschütz to REDARC Technologies on the Type 26 program and also the SEA 5000 opportunity. This has resulted in REDARC Technologies advising Raytheon Anschütz of Rowlands Metalworks capabilities and subsequent multimillion-dollar MOU between Raytheon Anschütz and Rowlands Metalwork.
Raytheon Anschütz’s strategic purchasing and offset manager Oliver Welzel commended Rowlands on the supply chain capability they demonstrated during their negotiations.
"We are very excited to enter the Australian maritime market and keen to work with Rowlands Metalworks," Wenzel said.
"Raytheon Anschütz has approved Rowlands Metalworks as a Raytheon supplier and we will work with them on future international programs."
With a current team of 45 people, Johnston said Rowlands Metalworks was looking to potentially grow its staff number by at least 50 per cent to service the new opportunity. Construction is expected to start immediately after the contract is finalised in the coming months.