Raytheon Australia and partners have successfully completed the first year of the innovative Capability Life Cycle Manager (CLCM) contract for the Arafura-class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs). The OPV program is the first implementation and a vital proof of concept for the Department of Defence’s new Plan Galileo – Maritime Sustainment model, developed to ensure the significantly larger and more complex Royal Australian Navy fleet that results from Continuous Naval Shipbuilding is effectively sustained so it can fight and win at sea.

Raytheon Australia, together with key partners the Department of Defence and Navy, has established a strong team, integrating into the OPV Systems Program Office (SPO) to deliver the contract at Western Australia’s Henderson maritime precinct where the OPVs are being constructed by Luerssen Australia and CIVMEC. Work began on the Arafura Class OPV CLCM program in January 2021, and phase in was completed efficiently and on time, with Raytheon Australia’s Above Water Systems team mobilising to site, supported by the company’s transition team from South Australia and the recruitment of a further 22 new staff and individuals from various defence industry SMEs.

The CLCM team is responsible for providing OPV enterprise management, transition-to-service, configuration and asset management, industry development, supply chain management and seaworthiness assurance. It draws on the proven track record of Raytheon Australia, which has been committed to growing a sovereign defence industry capability in Australia for over two decades.

“Many significant milestones have been achieved in the first year of the CLCM contract,” said Raytheon Australia’s Managing Director Michael Ward. “Leveraging our experience in complex program management for Australia’s defence, we have completed continuous improvement training for all SPO personnel, delivered documentation for ISO quality audit accreditation activities and led activities for the establishment of the SPO required to underpin the through-life sustainment of the OPV fleet prior to the arrival of NUSHIP Arafura in 2022.”

Sophisticated ICT systems and data management tools are in place to support the integrated engineering, supply chain and maintenance activities, with an Asset Management Framework being developed to optimise performance and cost of ownership of the OPV fleet. Phase 2 of the CLCM program is scheduled to begin in July 2022 following on from the official launch of NUSHIP Arafura in December 2021, when responsibility for the ship’s sustainment requirements will transition to the OPV SPO. This will involve development of a work scope for the first OPV maintenance package, sparing determination, delivering the new Asset Management Framework and achieving Authorised Material Seaworthiness Delivery Organisation certification by Navy.

The whole CLCM program is heavily focused on building Australian Industry Capability. Raytheon Australia is engaging extensively with local industry and the education sector to facilitate their participation, promote the growth of Defence maritime investment in WA, and harness the flow on benefits for the broader Australian Defence industry and create jobs. Through this contract enterprise, relationships will continue to grow across the Department of Defence’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG), Navy and wider Defence industry, to foster cooperation and innovation, leverage new technologies and grow a skilled sovereign workforce that meets future Navy fleet requirements.

Learnings from the contract are being shared across the OPV Enterprise, encouraging industry collaboration and supporting State governments and industry in WA, the Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland to prepare and build their regional capability. At the heart of Plan Galileo lies the Integrated Capability Life Cycle Management model for the OPV CLCM. Named after the 16th century astronomer, who turned convention upside down with his discovery that the earth revolved around the sun, Plan Galileo seeks to reshape current thinking about the delivery and sustainment of Navy’s maritime assets.

Instead of maintenance and development programs siloed for each vessel class, the plan focuses on maximising resources and reducing duplication, to enhance the supply of affordable, reliable and fit for purpose systems and ships to Navy. It aims to build an integrated national capability, backed by strong industry support, regional capacity, and a skilled and sustained workforce.

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    • Good question. I’ll be updating this in the next edition. Defence will run a competition for a new 40mm main gun soon – but bizarrely the RAN seems to have zero interest in containerised missiles, such as the NSM, for the OPVs.


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