The Australian DoD signed a strategic agreement with Navantia Australia on 17 May, the company announced on 3 June, recognizing Navantia as a design authority for four classes of Royal Australian Navy (RAN) vessels.

The agreement strengthens the relationship between Australia and Navantia Australia, providing a framework to ensure that all current and future Navantia-designed vessels in service with the RAN are adequately supported for their life of type.

Under the agreement, the company will work towards establishing a digital ship as a means to enhance the service level for each class of ship. This will ensure that the design integrity, configuration control, upgrades and modernisation of Navantia-designed ships and supplied systems and equipment is fully supported in Australia.

Vice Adm Mike Noonan, Chief of the RAN, observed that “the strategic agreement outlines Defence and Navantia Australia’s joint commitment to ensure the best possible support for Australia’s Navantia-designed warships. This agreement further enhances the important relationship between Defence and Navantia.”

Navantia Australia Chairman, Warren King, Chairman of Navantia Australia, remarked “This represents a significant milestone in the development of the sovereign capability of Navantia Australia and strengthens Australia’s naval shipbuilding and sustainment industry. It will see the largest, most valuable transfer of capability that I am aware of in the history of [the] Australian defence industry […] This transfer means that the design data for the HOBART-class guided missile destroyers (DDG), CANBERRA-class Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) and Landing Craft (LLC) and the Navy’s new SUPPLY-class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment (AOR) ships and the maintenance, update and upgrade of the Navantia Integrated Platform Management System components will all be managed from Australia.”

Navantia Australia is already providing […] global export access opportunities for Australian companies. The local development and management of the Navantia designs offers substantial opportunities for Australian industry,” offered Alfonso García-Valdés, Navantia Australia Managing Director, adding that contributing to the management and development of the HOBART-class family in Australia means a greater ability to incorporate local technologies.

Navantia’s productive partnership with the RAN began with contracts to design the HOBART-class DDG and continued with design and co-manufacture of the CANBERRA-class LHD, design and construction of twelve LLC and design, build and sustainment of the new SUPPLY-class AOR. Established in 2012, Navantia Australia currently delivers platform system design and integration services for all classes of Navantia-designed vessels.

Vice Adm Michael Noonan, Chief of Navy (right), and Navantia Australia’s Chairman, Warren King, signing the agreement on board HMAS HOBART in Sydney Harbour on 17 May. (Photo: Navantia)

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