Defence is looking for an Australian industry partner to deliver a new, innovative approach to the sustainment of Navy’s fleet, which will boost defence industry in the regions through the establishment of Regional Maintenance Centres. A tender has opened for a Regional Maintenance Provider for Defence’s first Regional Maintenance Centre – Regional Maintenance Centre North East in Cairns. Regional Maintenance Providers will ensure sustainment capability in strategic Navy homeports and over time will be able to conduct maintenance on a range of vessels.
Head Maritime Systems, Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm, said the new approach will ensure delivery of complex naval capability and will increase opportunities for local small and medium businesses. “The new approach, as outlined in Defence’s Plan Galileo, is part of the Australian government’s investment of over A$170 billion in naval shipbuilding announced in the 2020 Force Structure Plan. This will result in the fleet doubling in tonnage and significantly increasing in complexity,” Malcolm said. “Regional Maintenance Providers will coordinate the delivery of maintenance and build resilient local and regional supply chains on behalf of the Commonwealth. This will provide more stable work packages and remove barriers to entry for local small and medium businesses, enabling the opportunity for increased participation.”
Regional Maintenance Centre North East is the first of four to be set up, and will be in place by the end of 2021 to initially sustain Navy’s new Evolved Cape Class Patrol Boats. This will be supported by the Australian government’s Skilling Australia’s Defence Industry Grants program, which provides businesses servicing the defence sector with upskilling and training opportunities It also aligns with the Australian government’s recently announced A$1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy which will build resilient supply chains. The tender opened on 27 November 2020 and will close on 12 March 2021. Further information is available on AusTender.