The Commonwealth of Australia represented by the Department of Defence has signed a Strategic Agreement with Navantia Australia, recognising Navantia as a Design Authority for four classes of Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ships. The Strategic Agreement strengthens the relationship between the Commonwealth of Australia and Navantia Australia and provides a framework to ensure that all current and future Navantia designed vessels in service with the RAN are adequately supported for their life of type.
Under the Agreement Navantia Australia will work towards establishing a digital ship as a means to enhance the service level for each class of ship. This will ensure that the design integrity, configuration control, upgrades and modernisation of Navantia designed ships and supplied systems and equipment is fully supported in Australia. Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO, Chief of Navy, and Navantia Australia’s Chairman, Warren King, signed the Agreement on board HMAS Hobart in Sydney Harbour on Sunday, 17 May 2020. Defence’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group Deputy Secretary National Naval Shipbuilding, Tony Dalton, and Navantia’s Global President, Susana de Sarría, are also signatories to the Agreement.
Australian Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mike Noonan, AO, RAN said “the Strategic Agreement outlines Defence and Navantia Australia’s joint commitment to ensure the best possible support for Australia’s Navantia-designed warships. This agreement further enhances the important relationship between Defence and Navantia.”
Navantia Australia Chairman, Mr Warren King, remarked that “This represents a significant milestone in the development of the sovereign capability of Navantia Australia and strengthens Australia’s naval shipbuilding and sustainment industry. It will see the largest, most valuable transfer of capability that I am aware of in the history of Australian defence industry. This transfer means that the design data for the Hobart class Guided Missile Destroyers, Canberra class Landing Helicopter Docks and Landing Craft and the Navy’s new Supply class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment ships and the maintenance, update and upgrade of the Navantia Integrated Platform Management System components will all be managed from Australia.”
Navantia Australia’s Managing Director, Alfonso García-Valdés, said “that having the responsibility for contributing to the management and development of the Hobart class family in Australia means we have greater ability to incorporate local technologies Navantia Australia is already providing a global export access opportunities for Australian companies. The local development and management of the Navantia designs offers substantial opportunities for Australian industry.
Navantia’s productive partnership with the Royal Australian Navy began with the contracts to design the Hobart class guided missile destroyers (DDG) and continued with the design and co-manufacture of the Canberra class Landing Helicopter Docks (LHD), the design and construction of twelve LHD landing craft (LLC), and the design, build and sustainment of the new Supply class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment ships (AOR). Established in 2012, Navantia Australia currently delivers platform system design and integration services for all classes of Navantia designed vessels.