Defence, Manufacturing News

Award recognises contribution of shipbuilding chief

The managing director of BAE Systems Australia’s Maritime business has been awarded the Australian Naval Institute’s McNeil Prize for 2024.

The McNeil Prize, which was awarded to Craig Lockhart during a ceremony in Canberra, recognises an industry professional for an outstanding contribution to the capabilities of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

Craig Lockhart has spent 40 years working in national naval shipbuilding and sustainment programs in the United Kingdom and Australia.

In his role overseeing BAE Systems Australia’s maritime capabilities, including the Hunter Class Frigate Program and sustainment programs for the RAN’s ANZAC class frigates, the Hobart class Air Warfare Destroyers and with his previous nuclear experience, he is now supporting the AUKUS program.

In this capacity, Craig Lockhart has played a key part in the evolution of Continuous Naval Shipbuilding in Australia.

Ben Hudson, chief executive officer, BAE Systems Australia, said: “This award rightly recognises the pivotal role that Craig has played in shaping the future of Australia’s maritime defence.

“Under Craig’s stewardship, the Osborne Naval Shipyard has flourished into a hub of innovation, shaping the foundation of Australia’s continuous naval shipbuilding capability.”

Craig Lockhart, managing director, BAE Systems Australia – Maritime, said: “Receiving the McNeil Prize is a tremendous honour and a testament to the collective efforts of the whole team at BAE Systems’ maritime operations.

“Every day we work to protect those who protect us and this award underscores the importance of our mission.”

Commodore Peter Leavy, president, Australian Naval Institute, said: “Craig Lockhart’s exceptional leadership, outstanding professional expertise and drive have tangibly assisted the development of a world-class sovereign ship building capability in Australia both with the development of the Hunter class frigates and the sustainment program for the Hobart class destroyers.

“He is a most worthy recipient of the 2024 McNeil Prize.”

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