Perth-based JFD has confirmed that it will continue to supply its submarine rescue system to the Royal Australian Navy for at least the next four years as part of a $70 million contract extension.
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As the provider of this critically important sovereign capability for more than a decade, JFD Australia has been awarded a significant contract extension with the federal government to deliver the submarine escape and rescue service until December 2023 with an option to further extend to November 2024.
In Australia, submarine rescue involves sending a smaller or “mini” piloted submarine to a disabled submarine to rescue the crew on board and transfer them safely under pressure to the ocean’s surface where they are able to receive potentially life-saving decompression treatment in a specially-designed hyperbaric equipment suite.
Valued at approximately $70 million, the changes through this contract extension will create at least four full-time defence industry jobs, bringing to 10 the number of new positions JFD has created in the past six months. This extension will also see an increased focus in involving more local West Australian industry, particularly in the specialist area of operating the system’s new hyperbaric treatment chambers.
Toff Idrus, managing director of JFD Australia (and a former submariner), welcomed the contract extension: "Keeping submariners and other defence force personnel safe has been, and will always be, JFD’s highest priority."
JFD Australia’s ever-expanding sovereign capability, with its advanced production centre in Bibra Lake and manufacturing facilities in Kirrawee, south of Sydney, and Warners Bay, near Newcastle in NSW, has seen it develop into a one-stop shop for the delivery of safe, sovereign sub-sea systems that also include diving and special forces activities.
Idrus added, "With our submarine rescue service being one of only four air-transportable systems in the world, each and every one of us is focused on saving lives and we look forward to continuing to be a reliable partner for the RAN through the ongoing delivery of this proven submarine escape and rescue service."
JFD is the world-leading underwater capability provider, serving the commercial and defence markets with innovative diving, submarine and hyperbaric rescue, technical solutions and services. Operating worldwide, the company is the world’s leading provider of submarine rescue capability and an established provider of submarine escape training.
The company is at the forefront of hyperbaric rescue, along with being the leading supplier of commercial and defence diving equipment and saturation diving systems to the commercial industry.
JFD was created in 2014 through the merger of James Fisher Defence and Divex. In 2015, JFD acquired the National Hyperbaric Centre to further boost the services offered to its customers. In 2016, LEXMAR was acquired to enhance the capability and offering within JFD’s diving capability and suite of saturation diving systems.
JFD acquired diving and recompression specialist Cowan Manufacturing in February 2018. In August 2019, JFD added to its portfolio with the acquisition of Ortega Submersibles BV, the Netherlands-based submersible boat designer and manufacturer.
Ansti Test Systems was acquired in January 2020, providing JFD with the capability to design and manufacture test facilities for performance measurement of underwater/surface breathing apparatus.