Adelaide company Ezy-Fit Hydraulics spent approximately $4 million on upgrades in preparation for a tender to replace the Collins Class periscope tubes, only to lose the tender to Thales, the original manufacturer of the parts.
Ezy-Fit Hydraulics was awarded a $1.9 million Federal Government grant to upgrade its machinery and facilities, which the company was required to match dollar for dollar.
When the tender was awarded to the UK branch of Thales, Defence Industries Minister Christopher Pyne asked contractor BAE to review the process, however the outcome did not change.
“This should not have happened – what a waste,” Senator Xenophon told The Advertiser.
“They’ve had the rug pulled out from under them. You don’t need a hi-tech periscope to work out that what’s happened to this company is unfair and a slap in the face to Australian manufacturing.”
The company missed out on what was potentially a $12 million contract.
Thales, Ezy-Fit and WA company Hoffman Engineering were vying for the contract, but according to BAE, because neither of the Australian companies had experience manufacturing periscopes, the tender went to Thales.
While the review of the process did not change the outcome, it has resulted in offers for Hoffman and Ezy-Fit in BAE’s global supply chain, including in the periscope project.