Page 34 - Australian Defence Magazine Oct 2018
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Managing the asset
Future LHD sustainment
FROM the Navy’s surface fleet perspective at least, this is also intended to align its support organisations across the fleet. It’s aiming to build on the experiences and les- sons learned from other Defence and best- practice thinking, such as the Anzac-class Warship Alliance Management Agree- ment (WAMA), a strategic partnership between Defence and industry which has been in place for some time now.
The new sustainment model will take over from the existing contracts with Prime Contractor BAE Systems Australia for the LHD and UGL for the LLC, which was an interim arrangement negotiated as part of the project JP2048 Phase 3 & 4 acquisition programs.
The transfer of LHD sustainment to a long-term performance-based contract is leading the way in achieving the best reali- sation of Defence reform outcomes, seeking engagement with industry to plan, manage and undertake sustainment and support of the asset class in the long-term.
The new LHD sustainment contract will be for an initial five-year period, with two five-year extension options, based on the on- going performance of the winning bidder.
Current status
The two LHDs are currently performing very well in service with the Navy and both have been at sea for significant periods in recent months.
One of the challenges with designing a long-term sustainment regime for the LHDs is that the RAN is unique in the manner they operate them, compared with that of the Spanish Navy’s Juan Carlos-class ships, from which they are derived.
“We are learning more every day through our engagement with Navantia, as the designer and other unique suppliers (original equip- ment manufacturers), but the Armada usage is very different to the RAN’s, and we are see-
ing things in the supply chain that they either haven’t seen, or didn’t impact on them opera- tionally,” CDRE Elliott said to ADM. “Their usage upkeep cycle and support arrangements are also quite different to our own. We’re work- ing with Navy to make sure we can match that against the government’s tasking requirements and Australian industry capabilities.”
The two ships are currently sustained by an industry consortium known as the LHD enterprise, with BAE Systems Australia as the prime contractor. In addition, BAE Sys- tems provides maintenance and planning support, with most sustainment functions performed at Fleet Base East in Sydney, home port of the two LHDs.
Defence has released a Request For Tender (RFT) to industry for the future sustainment of the Navy’s two Canberra-class LHDs and 12 LHD Landing Craft (LLC). The model is based around an asset management-based approach to maintaining the capability of the platforms.
Fleet Base West's Port Services members wait on the wharf as Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD), HMAS Adelaide, enters Fremantle Harbour for the first time to dock alongside the Port of Fremantle, Western Australia.
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