Manufacturing News

AWD project on track for 2014

MORE than $1 billion dollars worth of equipment will be delivered by suppliers to the Air Warfare Destroyer program with the AWD Alliance set to deliver the first of three air warfare destroyers (AWDs) to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in 2014.

The Alliance is made up of the Defence Materiel Organisation, ASC as the shipbuilder and Raytheon Australia as the Combat System-Systems Engineer.

Alliance CEO, John Gallacher, said contracts had been signed for two major components of the destroyers’ combat system and a preferred supplier selected for a third.

“This is a complex project and we know that we will face a number of significant challenges but we are on course to deliver the first ship in 2014.

“In what are major milestones for the project and as we approach our first anniversary, the contract for the destroyers’ Aegis combat system is in place and production is on schedule, the contract for ship’s guns is also in place and we have selected the preferred supplier for the sonar system,” Gallacher said.

The Aegis contract is said to be worth about $1 billion, the sonar contract in the region of $100m and the gun $80m.

The supplier of the Mark 45 naval gun will be BAE Land and Armaments, which is headquartered in the USA and is a leader in the design, development, production and through life support such equipment.

“Together with a number of other smaller contracts across the project we now have a more than a billion dollars of contracts in place,” Gallacher said.

According to Gallacher, the project is also well advanced in identifying the companies or consortiums that will build the ship modules or ‘blocks’.

The blocks will be fabricated at various sites around the country and then integrated at the ASC facility in Adelaide.

On average the blocks measure about 15m by 12m by 9m and weigh about 200 tonnes each.

“We have been in extensive consultation with industry since January and are currently providing a number of companies and consortiums with Requests for Tender (RFT) documents.

“We aim to have those RFTs back by early November and to have identified the successful tenderers by early next year to enable fabrication to get under way in the latter half of 2009.

“The total value of this work is about $400m,” he added.

Gallacher said the Alliance has also begun the process of identifying potential suppliers of the steel which will go into the destroyers and expects to release an RFT shortly.

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