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The Royal Australian Navy has released a new Navy Industry Engagement Strategy that outlines its new approach to securing further collaboration and partnership between them.

Chief of the RAN, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan announced on 8th October at the Pacific 2019 exhibition that the new strategy is not just a document but “a status of mind” and that its vision is to engage more deeply with industry with navy making a commitment and securing long term partnerships.

Under the strategy the Chief of Navy role will be to become a capability manager responsible for the full capability life cycle of the RAN. This will put the head of the navy at the heart of procurement.

He said that the strategy is centred on four ‘D’s: Direction, Dialogue, Delivery and Difference. Under ‘Direction’ the plan is to develop and share ‘problem statements’ that better communicate the RAN’s capability needs with focus groups that can explain context and also challenge existing norms.

Noonan said that the ‘Dialogue’ element is “key” and he aims to foster “transparent dialogue” at every stage of the procurement life cycle and transform the Maritime Environment Working Group into a forum for continuous engagement with the involvement of a wider industry and academia.

Under ‘Delivery’ the RAN wants to maintain its focus as Noonan acknowledged that there are “tight deadlines” for the delivery of major equipment programmes to meet future capability needs. He wants to ensure that the Navy’s role in the capability life cycle is clear and that it can capitalise on opportunities that arise.

The ‘Difference’ element wants to give industry and academia more power to influence how to achieve outcomes and the Defence Innovation Scheme will allow the Navy to sponsor proposals that can meet navy needs.

Noonan added that the new industry strategy will directly support the RAN’s Plan Pelorus 2022 Navy Strategy outcome Two that is focussed on planning and delivering future maritime systems.

Tim Fish

Vice Admiral Michael Noonan launches the Navy Industry Engagement Strategy with Melissa Price MP Minister for Defence Industry. It puts the chief of navy at the head of procurement and sustainment of navy capability through-life. (Tim Fish)

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