Defence is adopting a new approach to the sustainment of its Navy fleet, creating significant opportunities for Australian industry to become involved.

Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group Head Maritime Systems Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm said the result would ensure delivery of complex naval capabilities while increasing opportunities for local small and medium businesses.

“We are looking for an Australian industry partner to deliver a new, innovative approach to the sustainment of Navy’s fleet, which will benefit defence industry in the regions through the establishment of regional maintenance centres,” Rear Admiral Malcolm said. 

“This approach will ensure Defence has sustainment operations in strategic home ports with the first tender already open for a regional maintenance provider in Cairns.

“As outlined in Plan Galileo, these maintenance centres will be vitally important in sustaining our Navy fleet following the government’s investment of more than $170 billion in future naval assets.”

Rear Admiral Malcolm said the investment would result in the fleet doubling in tonnage while significantly increasing in complexity. 

“Importantly these regional maintenance providers will build resilient local and regional supply chains,” Rear Admiral Malcolm said.  

“The Cairns facility is the first of four to be established with construction due to be completed by the end of 2021 to initially sustain Navy’s new Evolved Cape-class patrol boats.

“This will be supported by the Skilling Australia’s Defence Industry Grants program, which provides businesses in the defence sector with upskilling and training opportunities.”

The tender opened on November 27 and will close on March 12, 2021 with further information available on AusTender.