SeoulBabcock Australasia (Babcock) and NORSTA Maritime (NORSTA) have announced an agreement to collaborate for the sustainment of the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) warships as part of Plan Galileo. The backbone of Plan Galileo is the creation of a network of Regional Maintenance Centres (RMCs) at strategic locations around Australia.

The new collaboration follows last month’s announcement that Babcock’s wholly owned subsidiary Naval Ship Management was selected as the Regional Maintenance Provider (RMP) West for the sustainment of RAN ships at Henderson, Western Australia over the next five years. In May 2020, NORSTA was selected as the RMP North East tasked with managing the maintenance of RAN ships in Cairns, Queensland.

Babcock Australasia’s Executive Director – Strategy & Future Business, Martin Halloran, said Babcock’s new collaboration with NORSTA will provide the opportunity to build consistent approaches and share best practice across the dispersed geographic locations of the RMC’s. “A key element of Plan Galileo is bringing together the Commonwealth, large defence companies and small business suppliers to drive a common and consistent approach to naval maintenance across the RMCs. Committing our two organisations to work together will help ensure we offer the Commonwealth a national perspective,” Halloran said. “We are also committed to reducing barriers to entry for Defence-ready SMEs. This includes the implementation of a shared national sustainment supply chain to support small to medium business growth plans and the development of enduring sovereign naval sustainment industry capability in our region.”

Babcock and NORSTA will share lessons learned across areas such as best practice health, safety, and environmental control measures. Joint continuous improvement activities will also be implemented to identify efficiencies and opportunities for improvement in any region, where they are applicable.

NORSTA’s general manager, Stewart Barr, said the collaboration between the Commonwealth and NORSTA is already making a significant difference to the efficiency and effectiveness of naval sustainment delivery in Cairns. “Collaboration at all levels is important. We are working closely with our supply chain and other regional organisations such as the Cairns Regional Council and we’re seeing immediate positive results. NORSTA looks forward to extending this across the nation with our collaboration with Babcock,” said Barr.

Babcock (and Atlantic & Peninsula as Team Bower) and NORSTA have also pledged to extend these commitments should they be selected by the Commonwealth in their respective proposals for RMP East (Sydney) and RMP North (Darwin).

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