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UNITED KINGDOM AND NATO
21 Oct 20. UK shipbuilding boosted by warship procurement. Vital warships providing supplies and technical support to the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers will made by British-led teams, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has announced. A competition to build three Fleet Solid Support warships – which will launch in Spring 2021 – will help revitalise British shipbuilding by requiring a significant proportion of the build and assembly work to be carried out in the UK. International companies will be invited to work in collaboration with UK firms to feed in their skills and expertise, but the successful manufacturing team must be led by a British company. This will have a huge impact on the local economies across the UK where shipbuilding is a prominent feature.
Hundreds of highly skilled jobs will be created as a direct result of today’s announcement, with many more in small and medium sized enterprises throughout the supply chain for the new builds to follow over the next few years.
The Defence Secretary confirmed the news ahead of his speech at the Atlantic Future Forum, where UK and US leaders have gathered on HMS Queen Elizabeth to discuss cooperation across trade, defence and security.
The speech will outline the UK’s commitment to shipbuilding and pledge further burden-sharing with the US and NATO, thanks to the cutting-edge capability of the Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carriers.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said, “Shipbuilding has historically been a British success story, and I am determined to revitalise this amazing industry as part of this Government’s commitment to build back better. The Fleet Solid Support warships competition will be the genesis of a great UK shipbuilding industry, and allow us to develop the skills and expertise for the shipyards of tomorrow. The Fleet Solid Support ship competition will build on the success of the Type 31 programme, which will be built primarily in Scotland and is expected to support 1250 highly skilled jobs and 150 apprenticeships across the country.”
The Fleet Solid Support warships competition will be designed to challenge the shipbuilding industry. The goal will be to build ships fit for the future, while boosting homegrown skills and leading to a highly competitive shipbuilding industry.
The warships will incorporate next-generation technology with a purpose-built design and will eventually support HMS Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales as part of the Carrier Strike Group, which will undertake its first operational deployment next year.
Today’s announcement follows a period of market engagement and a clearer understanding of how the strike group will operate and will allow the MOD to consider a broader range of ship designs.
As well as setting out requirements for British involvement, the Fleet Solid Support ship competition will set targets to ensure industry delivers on time and at pace.
In his role as Shipbuilding Tsar, the Defence Secretary is actively reinvigorating UK shipbuilding by working with industry, other government departments, and international partners to boost productivity and competitiveness.
Just this week, the UK signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Australia to continue building and delivering the next generation of cutting-edge frigates together.
The Type 26 frigate programme consists of 8 ships and will sustain 1,700 jobs in Scotland and 4,000 jobs across the wider maritime supply chain until 2035. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
20 Oct 20. US pitches Greece on a frigate co-production deal. The United States is aggressively pitching Greece to purchase four American-made frigates, and will offer to co-produce three vessels in country, the top U.S. diplomat in Greece said Thursday.
“We think the United States is going to have a very competitive product to offer there with our frigates and the unique American proposal to co-produce three of those frigates here in Greece,” said Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. Ambassador to Greece, during a panel discussion hosted during the during the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference.
Should Greece decide to buy frigates from the United States, the U.S. government is proposing that three of them be co-produced by American-owned Onex Shipyards, based in the Greek island of Syros.
“We had a U.S. Navy International Programs Office team here in Athens just a few weeks ago, which had a very successful round of discussions with Onex, visiting the shipyards [and] seeing the capabilities there,” Pyatt said.
“They came away absolutely confident that if the Greek state goes with the American frigate offer, that the United States and the US Navy IPO will be positioned to implement a co-production approach to that strategically important project — a project which is important to Greece’s long term security, but also advances America’s interest in helping Greece to continue to be a strong and effective NATO partner in a geopolitically complicated neighborhood,” he said.
It’s unclear which frigate Pyatt was talking about. The U.S. Navy recently launched a new frigate design with Fincantieri’s FREMM, though it is unlikely that this is the frigate the United States is pitching to Greece since it is only now entering the detailed design phase after being awarded in April. Lockheed Martin’s Multi-Mission Surface Combatant, being built at Fincantieri’s Marinette Marine shipyard, is a potential contender. The four-ship, $1.96 billion MMSC contract with buyer Saudi Arabia was awarded in December.
The MMSC is an evolution of the U.S. Navy’s mono-hull littoral combat ship design.
Another option would be to refurbish four of the Oliver Hazzard Perry-class frigates currently in mothballs. The Navy has transferred a number of those ships to other countries, including the former frigates Taylor and Gary to Taiwan. Turkey also uses converted Oliver Hazzard Perry-class frigates in its fleet.
In a statement, the Navy declined to discuss any pending sale.
“The Navy does not comment on pre-decisional discussions with foreign governments,” the statement said. “Any formal U.S. Government offer in the context of the Foreign Military Sales program will comply with congressional notification requirements.”
In September, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis presented an economic plan that called for a handful of weapons buys, including the purchase of four frigates, 18 Rafale fighter jets made by France’s Dassault — a combination of new and used planes — and four MH-60R helicopters from Lockheed Martin-Sikorsky. The country also plans to refurbish four MEKO frigates, as well as procure torpedoes and antitank weapons.
Pyatt said the United States paid “special attention” to the announcement and is eager to offer American defense products to the Greek military.
“Our industry is here for the long haul and is looking now to work with the Greek government as the prime minister seeks to modernize Greece’s defense capabilities,” he said.
Greece currently finds itself in the midst of tensions with its fellow NATO ally Turkey over oil and gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean, which has led both countries to deploy naval vessels to the area and to stage navy and air force exercises.
Asked twice during the panel about the U.S. position on the situation, Pyatt declined to comment both times.
Panos Xenokostas, Onex’s president and chief executive, said that the company is interacting with the leading shipbuilding companies in the United States to prepare its shipyards to begin construction should the Greek frigate program be awarded.
“We understand this is a game changer,” he said. “And that will put our shipyards in a position to attract more business from the United States.”
The United States is not the only country with an interest in selling new naval vessels to Greece.
In 2019, France and Greece signed a letter of intent to open up formal discussions on a potential purchase of two Belharra frigates, which are being build by the Naval Group for France’s navy. However, Greek Defense Minister Niko Panagiotopoulos said then that there was still a “long way to go” before a final deal is reached between the two nations. (Source: Defense News)
19 Oct 20. Project Halcon to Bring New Eurofighters To Spain. Eurofighter has submitted proposals for the replacement of the Spanish Air Force’s F-18s which are based on the Canary Islands. Spain is looking to secure 20 new Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft to boost its existing fleet under what is called Project Halcon.
Airbus is in the process of negotiations with the Spanish government to mature the proposal and a contract for the 20 aircraft is expected to be signed in 2021.
The 20 latest-standard Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft would feature the E-Scan radar, which is currently under development. The Spanish Air Force Eurofighter fleet is 73-strong.
The final Spanish Air Force Eurofighter from original orders was delivered earlier this year. Once Project Halcon is agreed it will secure Eurofighter manufacturing and final assembly work at the Airbus facility at Getafe until at least 2030.
Spain has been a supporter of the Eurofighter programme from its inception. In return it has used the programme to develop a robust aeronautical industry, and that in turn has provided Spain with technological independence. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Eurofighter GmbH)
20 Oct 20. France to Develop New Aircraft Carrier and Next-Gen SSBN: Minister. France will develop and build a new aircraft carrier to enter service in 2038 to replace the Charles de Gaulle now in service, French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly announced Monday.
In a video speech marking the opening of the Euronaval online exhibition, Parly said “Regarding the new generation aircraft carrier, I can confirm that this program will be launched to give a successor to the Charles de Gaulle in 2038,” adding that “it will offer an operational framework that will be perfectly adapted, from the outset, to our future combat aircraft, known under the name of SCAF.”
Parly did not provide any additional details, notably on whether the new carrier will be conventionally or nuclear-powered, but proceeded to recap the major modernization of the French Navy that her government is completing. “Never in the past 30 years has the Navy seen such a renewal of its assets,” she noted.
Observing that the current 2019-2023 military program law has earmarked 110bn euros for equipment procurement, a significant part of which benefits the Navy, Parly also announced that, “in the coming months, I will launch construction work on third-generation ballistic missile submarines.”
Again, she provided no details, but in itself the announcement is very significant as it confirms the long-term modernization of France’s fleet of four Le Triomphant-class ballistic missile submarines, presently armed with the M51 ballistic missile which will also have to be replaced to equip the next-generation of “boomers.”
Surface combatant programs
As the FREMM multi-mission frigate program winds down, with the final two air-defense variants Alsace and Lorraine due to be delivered in 2021 and 2022 respectively, construction will shift to the Defense and Intervention Frigates (FDI).
These frigates “are stealthy, enduring and versatile: they are the symbol of a naval industry at the forefront of modern technology,” Parly said, adding that “In 10 years, the Navy will have received eight new first-rank frigates – a remarkable” achievement.
To follow the FREMM class, France plans to build five new FDI frigates, which are among the most heavily armed and technologically advanced designs now available. The lead ship, “Admiral Ronarc’h,” is now under construction and is to be delivered in 2023, with the second to follow in 2025.
France has also launched two naval programs in cooperation with her European allies, but these fall short, in both size and cost, of the ambition voiced by several European governments for a consolidation of naval programs.
The first two fleet logistic ships being built by Italy’s Fincantieri in cooperation with France’s Naval Group, are to be delivered by 2025. For mine warfare France is developing the SLAMF program, integrating drone systems, in cooperation with Britain.
Two new classes of OPVs
To support the French Navy’s security missions, France in July launched the construction of ten offshore patrol vessels known as “patrouilleurs océaniques” and displacing 2,000 tonnes, which will be stationed in France; the first two are to be delivered by 2025.
For France’s overseas possessions, France has ordered six overseas patrol vessels (Patrouilleurs Outre Mer, or POM) that will be delivered in 2024 and 2025 and will be stationed in La Réunion, Tahiti and New Caledonia. Parly last week cut the first steel on the first of these boats, that will displace about 1,200 tonnes. The ships, Parly noted, will “protect the 10 million square kilometers of sea that make up our exclusive economic zone.”
France is also renewing its fleet of six attack submarines, with the Barracuda-class nex-generation boats replacing the Rubis submarines now in service. The lead boat, the Suffren, is completing her sea trials and is due to be delivered by the end of the year, Parly confirmed.
After having lauded naval manufacturers and the Directorate-General of Armaments which manages French defense procurement, Parly finished her speech on an optimistic note.
“My final message will be one of resilience and optimism. Together we must resist. We have unique, known and recognized skills and know-how. I am not saying that going through the economic and health crisis will be easy or without uncertainty, but we have assets and resources.” (Source: defense-aerospace.com)
22 Oct 20. GA-ASI Selects Two Belgian Suppliers. GA-ASI is pleased to announce the selection of two Belgian companies – Hexagon’s Geospatial division and ScioTeq – from its “Blue Magic Belgium” (BMB) industry solicitation event that took place the week of 21 September.
The goal of BMB is to identify Belgian technology suppliers to support GA-ASI in the development of MQ-9B SkyGuardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA). Held virtually this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this second-annual BMB event featured interviews and deep-dive engineering panel reviews with 18 small- to medium-sized Belgian companies that demonstrated novel or cutting-edge technologies.
“We were very impressed by the many talented companies that participated in Blue Magic Belgium, and particularly by the innovative concepts presented by the two companies selected,” said Tommy Dunehew, vice president of International Strategic Development for GA-ASI. “Belgium’s decision to acquire the MQ-9B speaks to the strength of the NATO alliance, and the importance of interoperability.”
Approximately 30 companies registered for BMB, and 18 companies were selected to present their innovative technologies to a technical panel of experts from GA-ASI. GA-ASI is committed to providing Research & Development funds to Belgium industry. This investment will focus on high-value technological development. The seed funds will be utilized to develop Belgian capabilities that meet Ministry of Defense (MOD) and industry objectives to be competitive in future European RPA programs.
Hexagon’s Geospatial division, with an office in Leuven, Belgium, specializes in software solutions and geospatial tools for visualizing location intelligence. Hexagon will expand upon the scope of its ongoing 2020 BMB project, and will develop additional enhancements to the auto-routing capability currently in development.
ScioTeq (formerly part of Barco), based in Kortrijk, Belgium, is a specialist in advanced visualization solutions. ScioTeq is the current GA-ASI advanced displays supplier and will be awarded a project to study the feasibility of a vision-based navigation capability for Unmanned Aircraft Systems. (Source: UAS VISION)
19 Oct 20. US defence department updates pre-solicitation notice relating to ongoing counter sUAS procurement. In the latest update to the US Air Force requirement for counter small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) capabilities, the US Department of Defense (DoD) has released a digital copy of the Tech Read Library Instructions for review by potential small business offerors. The name of the document is C-sUAS Digital Tech Read Library_Instr_20201006.
This follows an update in August which highlighted small business participation; released industry day question & answer responses; and notice of suspension of the Technical Read Library Access in March.
The Air Force Research Laboratory, Information Directorate, Rome NY (AFRL/RI) has a requirement provide a focused yet flexible, rapid, agile contracting vehicle between Air Force Research Laboratory, its products centres, and the operational community to support rapid research, development, prototyping, demonstration, evaluation, and transition of Counter small Unmanned Aircraft System (C-sUAS) capabilities. These capabilities are to be used in combating Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS)—and others leveraging COTS technology—presently being used by our adversaries in asymmetric warfare against U.S. military personnel and materiel. Emphasis will be placed on:
- a) development of technology capability solutions that address specific user requirements;
- b) delivery of prototype technologies for evaluation and feedback in the context of the user’s operational environment; and
- c) provision of a mechanism for user acquisition of limited product quantities required for operational introduction of technologies. Anticipated deliverables include software, hardware, technical documentation and technical reports.
For the aforementioned requirements, the Government anticipates a single award Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite-Quantity (ID/IQ) research and development (R&D) contract with Cost-Plus-Fixed-Fee Completion (CPFF/C) Task Orders, an ordering period of seventy-two (72) months, and a maximum ordering amount of approximately USD490,000,000.
The North American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS) code for this effort is 541715 with a small business size standard of 1,500 employees based on the Aircraft, Aircraft Engine, and Engine Parts exception.
At time of award, the successful Offeror must be able to provide approximately 20% of proposed personnel to be TS/SCI cleared and assigned at time of award, with graduated increases in proportion over time. During performance, the Contractor’s continued ability to meet security requirements will be evaluated. It is anticipated that Foreign Allied Participation will be excluded at the prime contractor level.
A technical library relating to the subject area of this acquisition will be made available. Potential Offerors will first need to request access through AFRL/RI personnel. Full instructions and contact information are contained within attachment 1 of this posting. For planning purposes, potential Offerors who wish to gain access to the Technical Read Library will be required to sign a “Statement of Terms for Receipt of Technical Read Library Access”, provide a copy of an approved DD Form 2345 “Militarily Critical Technical Data Agreement”, and provide a letter from the Data Custodian designated on that form authorizing access by whomever will be reviewing the library.
Evaluation of the capability packages received in response to the Request for Information (RFI-RIKD-19-01) resulted in a determination that a small business set-aside could be established.
Notice ID: FA875020R1000
Air Force Research Laboratory
NAICS Code: 541715
Product service code: AD93 – R&D
For more information visit:
22 Oct 20. USAF Seeking Upgrades to Counter-UAS Weapons. The US Air Force is in the market for upgrades to its counter-drone technologies, according to an Oct. 16 request for information posted on a federal contracting website.
The service is in the early stages of deploying lasers, microwaves, and other weapons more advanced than a shotgun to deal with potentially threatening drones loitering around bases. In particular, the RFI is looking for ideas to fend off the smallest unmanned aerial systems like quadcopters.
“These threats may have characteristics such as small size, low radar cross-sections, low infrared or radio frequency signatures (or no RF signatures), ability to hover, and low-altitude flight capability, which may render them difficult to detect and/or defeat,” the Air Force stated. “These UAS are typically either controlled remotely from a ground control station or capable of flying pre-planned routes.”
Cheap aircraft can be turned into battlefield weapons when modified to drop hand grenades, and they can spy on military installations or heavily damage jets if sucked into an engine. American military officials have warned for years that small drones pose a pervasive threat to troops in the Middle East.
Over the next year, the Air Force wants to pursue updates to counter-drone command-and-control, radar, and electronic warfare systems related to directed-energy weapons. It’s soliciting concepts in 12 areas from lethality to crunching weather data. Responses are due Nov. 17.
For instance, the service suggests automating the process of targeting, tracking, and shooting at an incoming drone instead of relying as heavily on a human operator.
“At a minimum, the ideal configuration is for [a high-energy laser] system to have its beam director/optics automate all steps between acquisition, tracking, aimpoint selection, and only requires a human to interact with it through final approval to fire from operator/battle commander,” the RFI said.
The service also considers being able to compile and send reports with the details of drone threats and conflicts to other units, which could give the military a better understanding of an enemy in a particular area.
Pentagon researchers are looking into several different counter-UAS system designs spanning the weapons themselves to the subsystems that point and shoot them. The Air Force is currently testing high-powered lasers and microwaves overseas while it takes less-destructive approaches—like using gun-fired nets to trap quadcopters—in the continental U.S.
Photo: An unmanned aerial system is staged on a mobile landing zone as U.S. Marines with 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, prepare to engage the UAS with a Compact Laser Weapon System during Counter-UAS training with Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron (VMX) 1 in Yuma, Ariz., on July 30, 2020. USMC photo by Lance Cpl. Larisa Chavez. (Source: UAS VISION/Air Force Magazine)
REST OF THE WORLD
22 Oct 20. Peruvian Navy surface fleet plan focuses on new OPVs. As part of its plans to revamp its surface fleet, the Peruvian Navy (MGP) will focus on building up to three new offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) as its new priority, according to Admiral Fernando Cerdan, MGP commander in chief.
“[The] navy had recently approved the update of its long-term planning, which define several projects and objectives in the short and long term,” Adm Cerdan said on 8 October during a speech commemorating the navy’s anniversary.
“We had identified the need for off-shore patrol vessels, with helicopter carrying capability. The construction of up to three of these units at [the] SIMA shipyard is required.”
At the same ceremony, Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra confirmed the government’s support of the OPV project, noting, “We make the commitment to start, during the current government administration, the project of building two OPVs”.
Due to industrial capability limitations, the OPVs project is split between an initial two-ship batch, to be completed by 2023, and a follow-up unit to be contracted by 2022. While the navy-approved project includes all three ships, it will be up to the next elected administration, which will take office in July 2021, whether to buy the third ship.
The Navy’s OPV requirements include a displacement between 1,500 and 2,000 tonnes; a length between 80 and 100 m and a 10 to 14 m beam, with either a CODAD (Combined Diesel and Diesel) or a CODAG (Combined Diesel and Gas) propulsion system; and the capability to deploy at least two rigid-hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) and one helicopter, navy sources at Lima told Janes . The total per-ship cost could reach about USD85m. (Source: Jane’s)
20 Oct 20. UK and Australia commit to shipbuilding partnership. Australia and the UK have further strengthened their enduring defence relationship by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate on building and delivering the next generation of cutting-edge frigates.
The MoU signed this week re-enforces the two countries’ commitment to working together on delivering these important high-profile national programmes and exploiting mutual opportunities. A key aspect of the MOU is a pledge on information exchange to ensure shipbuilding best practice is shared and that both frigate programmes deliver world beating maritime capabilities to the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy.
The agreement also sets out a framework to enable both nations to utilise the T26 and Hunter programmes to create jobs and contribute to the growth of the UK and Australian economies, seeking to support small and medium-sized enterprises.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said, “The UK and Australia have always been natural allies. This agreement demonstrates this Government’s ongoing commitment to the Type 26 shipbuilding programme whilst supporting our Australian allies to design and build the Hunter class frigate. As we look to the future of our respective navies, our shared continued cooperation will benefit our close alliance and support the industrial supply chain to grow each nation’s shipbuilding sectors. The UK’s defence relationship with Australia is based on deep historical and cultural ties, reinforced by strong operational cooperation. From working together in defence operations around the world and to the broader shared interest in safeguarding the rules‑based global order, UK and Australia continue to invest in their long-standing alliance.”
In his role as Shipbuilding Tsar, the Defence Secretary is actively reinvigorating UK shipbuilding. This role brings together other government departments to shape policies and strategies and to ensure British shipbuilding thrives.
Australian Minister for Defence, the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said, “There are currently seven Australian companies contracted for work on the UK’s Type 26 programmes and this agreement supports the close co-operation between UK and Australian industry. We are already seeing the benefits of cooperation on the two programmes, with Australian workers involved in the Type 26 build ready to come home and help build the Hunter class frigates in South Australia. The Australian Government is committed to delivering a continuous naval shipbuilding programme and the Hunter and Type 26 programmes provide a great opportunity to capitalise on our shared industrial capability with the UK. The MoU will support the successful delivery of Australia’s Hunter Class Frigate Programme, while also growing key defence capabilities in Australia”.
Prototyping for the Hunter Class Frigate Programme will begin by the end of 2020. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
20 Oct 20. Australian DOD launches online information portal for Queensland SMEs. Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price has announced the rollout of a new online tutorial series to help local SMEs secure defence contracts. A new online information portal — Getting Defence Ready — has been launched to help business across central and north Queensland pursue contracts under the Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative (ASMTI).
The tutorial series — developed in response to social distancing requirements and travel restrictions imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19 — provides tips on how to lodge an expression of interest, to help businesses prepare high quality tenders and meet contractual obligations.
According to Defence, the ASMTI would deliver advanced military training areas through the expansion of Shoalwater Bay Training Area in central Queensland and the establishment of a new training area near Greenvale in north Queensland.
“While Defence’s primary goal is to obtain value for money to deliver defence capabilities, it remains committed to maximising the role of Australian businesses,” Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said.
“With numerous opportunities available under the ASMTI, I want to ensure businesses have the tools they need to compete for work and participate in our defence industry.
“I am excited to see Defence innovating in the way it engages with businesses in these challenging times.”
Minister Price highlighted the importance of the role local businesses play in the development, maintenance and service of Defence training areas.
“The ASMTI is already delivering significant economic benefits for Queensland, with 23 businesses based in the Rockhampton and Livingstone Shire regions sharing close to $79m of work,” she said.
“Recently, I announced two contracts worth more than $10m, which were awarded for works and services on site.
“This online tutorial series is in line with the government’s intent to maximise local industry participation as part of the government’s Local Industry Capability Plan initiative.”
Federal member for Capricornia Michelle Landry welcomed the launch of the tutorial series
“Businesses in central Queensland are continually looking for opportunities to engage with Defence and take advantage of the opportunities available in relation to the ASMTI and the Shoalwater Bay Training Area Expansion,” Landry said.
“With the creation of Getting Defence Ready online tutorial series, businesses will have more clarity on how they can work with Defence to deliver projects in the area.
“Major construction works recently started on the expansion of Shoalwater Bay Training Area, which is bringing optimism and opportunities for the local and national economy during a period of economic uncertainty brought on by COVID-19.”
Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson added that the series would also help businesses in Townsville make the most of the new Greenvale training area.
“As a garrison city our local contractors are familiar with Defence projects and with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity like the ASMTI, I know the online tutorial series will give them an extra edge,” he said.
Townsville-based Senator Susan McDonald said many north Queensland businesses have the capability and expertise to secure Defence contracts.
“There are so many benefits to accessing services that are not only based in Australia but in the regions closest to military training areas,” Senator McDonald said.
“Late last year, Defence convened workshops throughout the north to advise and encourage local businesses to tender for contracts, and these were very well attended.
“I believe this new online tutorial will be extremely popular and I will be encouraging businesses to make full use of it.” (Source: Defence Connect)
19 Oct 20. Naval Group opens first ‘Local Manufacturing Package’ for SEA 1000 industry partners. Naval Group has officially launched its first ‘Local Manufacturing Package’ expression of interest (EOI) to Australian industry – part of a package expected to be worth almost $900m, with the company also opening its office at Port Adelaide.
In the first of many local packages to be offered throughout the life of the 50-year program, these specialised pieces of equipment include the steering gear system, weapons handling system and main shaft line, and will support hundreds of Australian jobs.
In contrast to previous submarine builds that have involved manufacturing similar equipment overseas, this announcement will deliver increased capability, technology and capacity in Australia.
Jean-Michel Billig, Naval Group executive vice-president Australian Future Submarine, said that this significant package of work demonstrated Naval Group’s real action to maximise Australian capability and involvement as well as benefit local manufacturing and jobs.
“Ever since Naval Group has been chosen as strategic partner for the Attack Class submarine program, we have had a strong focus on ensuring that significant benefits are delivered to Australians and local industry through the 50-year program. This package, the first of many, demonstrates our clear commitment to Australian industry and will lead to increased manufacturing capability in Australia and local jobs,” Billig explained.
Naval Group Australia chief executive John Davis said that Naval Group was sending a clear message to Australian industry that Naval Group means business.
“The release of the EOI marks the start of a competitive selection process for Australian capability partners to deliver specialised submarine equipment to the Attack Class Program. Our team has been working closely with local industry to prepare for the significant work that is required to deliver these submarines and the selection of our capability partners will mark another significant milestone achievement for Australian industry and the program,” Davis added.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the Morrison government’s Future Submarine Program will deliver Australia a regionally-superior, sovereign submarine capability.
“This commitment by Naval Group demonstrates the significant benefits to Australian industry that will flow from the Attack Class Submarine Program. As we approach the next design phase in January 2021, this is a critical phase of the program where we are in the process of designing and selecting more than a million submarine parts that need to work perfectly together,” Minister Reynolds explained.
“The skills and knowledge to manufacture this equipment and others will progressively be transferred to Australian industry as work packages are released to industry as part of the government’s sovereignty objectives.”
Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price explained manufacturing such essential pieces of equipment in Australia supported Australian jobs and built confidence in the Australian defence industry.
“I have said from the outset that our government will have the backs of Aussie workers. The decision to manufacture these essential pieces of equipment in Australia demonstrates our commitment to create new opportunities and jobs for Australian businesses,” Minister Price said.
Businesses are also encouraged to work with industry groups, associations and Naval Group to prepare themselves to become a supplier ahead of the roll out of Attack Class submarine work.
Minister Price added, “This is a significant step in the right direction to build up Australian capability in the Morrison government’s Future Submarine Program.”
Minister Reynolds and senator for South Australia and Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham also opened Naval Group Australia’s new office at Port Adelaide. The new office will host its 250 strong workforce, with the capacity to accommodate up to 350 employees.
“The new dedicated office, close to where the Attack Class fleet will be built at the Osborne North Submarine Construction Yard, demonstrates Naval Group’s commitment to deliver the regionally-superior Attack Class submarines,” Minister Reynolds said.
Minister Birmingham said Naval Group Australia’s commitment was a testament to South Australia’s capability as a powerhouse for naval sub and shipbuilding: “This commitment reinforces South Australia as the home of our nation’s rapidly growing defence industry, which is delivering thousands of cutting-edge jobs locally.
“Naval Group Australia’s announcement builds on the Morrison government’s plan of maximising the development of our defence industry through key partnerships, encouraging business capability for advanced technology development and job creation.”
Naval Group will build 12 regionally-superior submarines to the Royal Australian Navy. Naval Group’s successful Shortfin Barracuda design, which serves as the basis for the new Attack Class, is a conventionally-powered variant of the nuclear-powered Barracuda fast attack submarine currently under construction for the French Navy.
Lockheed Martin will provide the AN/BYG-1 Combat control System, which provides an open-architecture submarine combat control system for analysing and tracking submarine and surface-ship contacts, providing situational awareness as well as the capability to target and employ torpedoes and missiles.
The 12 vessels will be built by Naval Group at a specialist submarine shipyard at Osborne, South Australia.
The Commonwealth government’s Australian Naval Infrastructure (ANI) program will support the development of the future submarine shipyards. The Commonwealth government formally signed the strategic partnering agreement (SPA) with Naval Group in February 2019 ahead of confirming the final design specifications and requirements for the Attack Class submarines.
The Attack Class will enter service with the Royal Australian Navy at a time when 50 per cent of the world’s submarines will be operating in the Indo-Pacific region.
The EOI process will run until 16 November with businesses encouraged to apply to be a partner or sign up to the Industry Capability Network (ICN) to receive regular updates. (Source: Defence Connect)
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