The first Indigenous supplier contracted for the Hunter-class frigate program’s prototyping phase has been announced.
BAE Systems Australia’s subsidiary, ASC Shipbuilding, signed a contract with Indigenous Defence & Infrastructure Consortium and its consortium partner TQCSI-Yaran recently.
Former AFL footballer and Indigenous Defence & Infrastructure Consortium Chief Executive Officer Adam Goodes said the company was delighted to be a strategic partner of ASC Shipbuilding on the Hunter-class frigate program.
“We’ve been working on the program since inception and I am delighted that the Indigenous Defence & Infrastructure Consortium has been able to facilitate this partnership with TQCSI-Yaran,” Mr Goodes said.
Adelaide-based TQCSI-Yaran, a majority Aboriginal-owned and operated joint venture, will audit and undertake quality, safety, health and environmental systems certification during the program’s prototyping phase, which is on track to begin this month.
TQCSI-Yaran Principal Craig Bates said Indigenous Defence & Infrastructure Consortium and TQCSI-Yaran had worked together for three years, providing auditing and certification of ISO management systems to companies and organisations wishing to grow their supply chain with Indigenous-owned companies.
“TQCSI-Yaran’s senior leaders have decades of naval experience and the company is looking forward to building on this contract and potentially building our participation in this world-class program,” Mr Bates said.
CASG’s First Assistant Secretary Ships Sheryl Lutz said the prototyping program was vital to overall program success, which would ultimately provide the Navy with a leading anti-submarine warfare capability in the form of nine Hunter-class frigates.
“During prototyping, the processes, systems, tools, facilities and workforce competencies will be extensively tested and refined at the world-class Osborne shipyard, before construction starts on the first frigate end 2022,” Ms Lutz said.
“This announcement underscores the importance of maximising Australian industry content for the Hunter program while also supporting Australian jobs.”
BAE Systems Australia’s Reconciliation Action Plan and strategic relationship with the consortium is opening up new opportunities for Indigenous businesses to win work and be an important part of the Hunter program.