ASC, Forgacs join forces for Australian OPV construction

Illustration. Photo: Australian Department of Defence

Australian shipbuilders ASC Shipbuilding and Forgacs Marine and Defence have teamed up to jointly bid for the construction of 12 offshore patrol vessels for the Royal Australian Navy.

The two companies are cooperating under a Memorandum of Understanding announced on March 20 by Civmec, a parent company of Forgacs.

ASC Shipbuilding and Forgacs were jointly chosen by two of the three shortlisted designers to work with them on the tender for the Australian OPV program, known as Project SEA 1180. B.V. Scheepswerf Damen Gorinchem of the Netherlands and Lürssen Werft GmbH & Co. KG of Germany are two of the shortlisted designers.

ASC Shipbuilding and Forgacs will work with both companies on their bids for Project SEA 1180 and also to explore opportunities to build other minor war vessels for the RAN and export markets.

Civmec further said that both companies have agreed to share intellectual property regarding shipbuilding and steel fabrication.

If the tender is successful, ASC Shipbuilding and Forgacs will form a 50:50 joint venture to build the OPVs, utilizing the expertise of the experienced ship designers from Europe.

Two OPVs will be built at ASC Shipbuilding’s facilities in South Australia and the remainder at Civmec/Forgacs’ facilities in Western Australia.

“It (the agreement) sees the two main shipbuilding hubs of Adelaide in South Australia and Henderson in Western Australia becoming closely linked in a relationship which will offer considerable advantages to a national naval shipbuilding industry,” said Civmec chairman, James Fitzgerald.

Apart from Damen and Lürssen, Fassmer is the third shortlisted bidder for the OPV design.

The $3 billion is expected to start in Adelaide from 2018 and move to Western Australia from 2020.

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