The Australian government has awarded Naval Ship Management (NSM), a 50/50 joint venture between Babcock and UGL, a contract for the maintenance of the Royal Australian Navy’s two Canberra-class landing helicopter docks.
The contract is worth around AU$1.5 billion, according to Babcock, and has an initial duration period of five years with two further five year extensions.
In addition to the two LHDs, the contract includes the maintenance of the ships’ 12 associated amphibious landing crafts. The joint venture will begin the work to sustain and support these vessels in July 2019.
NSM provides sustainment support to the Royal Australian Navy’s fleet of ANZAC class frigates through to the end of their life. Babcock also supports the Australian Defence Force’s ground support equipment.
“NSM has a proven track record in innovation, performance, collaboration and building the Australian workforce capability with similar sustainment programmes,” Australian defense minister Christopher Pyne said. “We are looking forward to working with them to ensure safe delivery of the LHD assets, ensuring they are both available and performing as required.”
“We are delighted to have been chosen for this strategically important role which builds on our existing relationship with the Australian Defence Force,” Babcock chief executive Archie Bethel said. “Through NSM we will apply Babcock’s digitally enabled asset management capabilities to support this strategically important capability over the next decade and beyond.”
The 27,000-ton Canberra-class amphibious assault ships are the largest ships ever built for the Royal Australian Navy. They were commissioned in 2014 and 2015 after being delivered by Spanish shipbuilder Navantia.