The Australian Government has signed a six-year contract with BAE Systems to take on a new, innovative sustainment role designed to optimise the capability of the Royal Australian Navy’s Hobart class destroyers.
The new approach will see a capability life cycle manager installed for the Hobart-class destroyers, the first of its kind for a major in-service asset, as part of the realisation of the future maritime sustainment model under Plan Galileo. The plan is defence’s new national, innovative approach to sustainment in support of continuous naval shipbuilding.
“We are operating in an increasingly uncertain strategic environment; we have to ensure we have the necessary skill and capability, coupled with robust supply chains, here in Australia to equip and enable our Defence force,” said Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy MP.
“We know how critical the local Defence industry is to that effort and to building our sovereign naval capability. Extending our partnership with BAE Systems for our Hobart class destroyers will ensure the vessels are fit-for-purpose, reliable and available when and where they are needed.”
Under the new approach, BAE Systems will steward the destroyers through life, including a significant upgrade to their combat management system in 2025.
The partner will work with Regional Maintenance Centre East, which as part of the new approach is being established to maintain multiple asset classes.
“We’re committed to investing in our local Defence industry and our assets with an upgrade to our Hobart class destroyers valued between $3.4 and $5.1 billion to be delivered at the Osborne Naval Shipyard, which will create 300 jobs in South Australia,” the government officials noted.
The appointment of BAE Systems follows the appointment of Raytheon as the capability life cycle manager for the new Arafura-class offshore patrol vessels in December 2020.
The $155 million contract is the result of a competitive tender process. It is part of the Australian Government’s $200 billion investment in providing a secure, sustainable, continuous Australian naval shipbuilding and sustainment capability.