Australia: Future Submarine Industry Skills Plan Seen as Good Start

Future Submarine Industry Skills Plan a good start

BAE Systems has described the Federal Government’s Future Submarine Industry Skills Plan as a “positive first step towards creating a sustainable, Australian naval shipbuilding capability.”

BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive David Allott today welcomed the Plan’s release.

“It is however, only a first step towards balancing Australia’s defence requirements with the necessary industry sector capability to support it.  There is now an urgent need to take the intent of this Plan and turn it into action.”

Mr Allott said the Defence White Paper foreshadowed a significant amount of shipbuilding activity in the near to long term, including a commitment to replacing Australia’s supply ships HMAS Success and HMAS Sirius ‘at the earliest opportunity.’

“We welcome this commitment, particularly as it will examine local options, because this project will be important in helping industry to bridge the near term gap in shipbuilding activity.”

“The scale of the task ahead, in particular the Future Submarine Program, requires the combined efforts of the entire naval shipbuilding sector in order to meet the forecast workloads.

“Having rebuilt a significant skills base through the LHD and AWD programs it is vital that we sustain this capability in the short to medium term to ensure we do not repeat the ‘boom bust’ issues of the past.

“As recognised in the Plan released today, having the necessary skills, experience and infrastructure in place will be critical to ensure our naval shipbuilding sector is ‘match fit’ and equipped to deliver our Navy the capability edge it requires.”

“We are proud to play a frontline role in delivering Australia’s naval capability as prime contractor for the Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) Project, systems integrator for the upgrade of our ANZAC frigate fleet, and as a trusted supplier of blocks for the AWD Program.”

Mr Allott also welcomed the Government’s decision to reallocate four Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) hull blocks to BAE Systems’ Williamstown Shipyard.

“The decision recognizes that our yard has the capacity and skills to take on additional work.

“We look forward to delivering these additional blocks and to working closely with the Government in implementing the plan’s recommendations to create a secure and strong naval shipbuilding sector.”

Press Release, May 6, 2013; Image: BAE Systems