Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR July-August 2015 Contents Built by Austal, HMAS Larrakia anchored in Leyte Gulf, Philippines.
PACIFIC PATROL BOATS
AND A NON-
GEOFF SLOCOMBE // VICTORIA
Tenders closed 17 June 2015 for the
$594m contract to build 22 Pacific
Patrol Boat – Replacement (PPB-R)
craft, up to 40 metres in length. At a
time when naval shipbuilding projects
are being completed and with little future
work committed, the major Australian
naval shipyards are having to lay off
staff, since the construction start for this
project is still two years away.
he status of tender bids by five leading naval
shipbuilders are summarised below - and
there might be others unknown to APDR. No
attempt is made to describe the patrol boat
designs offered, since Defence’s tender document
included their standard section about non-disclosure
of submission details.
More information can be found about this project in
an article “SEA 3036 Phase 1 Pacific Patrol Boat –
Replacement (PPB-R) Program” published on pages
22-24, APDR April 2015.
After tenders closed an Austal spokesperson
advised APDR by email “I can confirm that Austal did
submit a tender.”
Austal are highly experienced in construction of
patrol boats. As well as building the Armidale Class
for the RAN, they built the Bay Class for Customs
and Border Protection – now being replaced by the
Cape Class with the eighth and final vessel due to be
delivered in August 2015.
International prime contractor Thales, and Forgacs
shipyard in Newcastle, have also teamed to bid for the
contract. Thales has experience with building smaller
naval vessels, since it acquired ADI who constructed
the Huon Class coastal minehunters.
Forgacs chief executive Lindsay Stratton believes
the patrol boat contract is well within the capabilities
of the company’s facilities and staff abilities. They are
determined to get more work for the hundreds of their
people who are currently building ten modules for the
third and final AWD. With PPB-R construction not due
to start for at least two years, they know that even if
they win the contract they will be unable to maintain a
full workforce until that time.
Adelaide Ship Construction International (ASCI)
lodged its joint bid with the Defence Department
on the last day for tender submissions, partnering
with naval shipbuilder Singapore Technologies Marine
and multinational KBR, which has a large Australian
ASCI, one of the largest steel shipbuilders in
Australia, is based at Port Adelaide where it has
workshops and three active slipways. It is best known
for the large numbers of steel fishing vessels that it has
designed, built and maintained.
South Australian Defence Industries Minister Martin
Hamilton-Smith said if ASCI was successful, the
project could provide jobs for retrenched South
Australian car assembly workers. "It's important work.
It keeps welders, fitters, turners, boiler makers in jobs
and it's a productive and sensible way for Australian
taxpayers to spend their money on foreign aid."
Incat Tasmania, Haywards Shipyards and others
within the Tasmania Maritime Network are at the
heart of the ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems Australia
(TKMSA) and UGL Engineering joint bid.
TKMS Australia will drive the overall acquisition
program, fully integrated with UGL Engineering in its
through life support role. Each has a strong record
in naval design, acquisition and support programs
over many years and a track record of successful
Dieter Rottsieper, Deputy CEO of TKMS Australia’s
parent company ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems,
said in Hobart when announcing the bid, “We are
committed to Australia and to our Australian business.
We’ll bring all of our experience, our latest technology
and our support to Australian and regional naval and
Incat Tasmania is well known from its nearly 50 years
of innovation and quality highlighted by its range of
Wave Piercing Catamarans. Incat is now also building
smaller ferries of between 30 and 40 metres, for local
and export markets. Haywards has a long tradition of
steel boatbuilding in Margate and a steel fabrication
base in Launceston. This city also features as the
current Pacific Patrol Boats’ training centre at the
Australian Maritime College.
For some time BAE Systems has been warning
Defence and Government that without further naval
shipbuilding orders, their Williamstown dockyard is
under threat of closure when the AWD blocks and
second Canberra Class LHD Nuship ADELAIDE are
In mid-June, BAE Systems Maritime director Bill
Saltzer advised its Williamstown staff that it would
not be bidding for the PPB-R tender on the basis
that it could not afford to retain staff without work
and without certainty of winning the $594m contract.
"Reconstituting a workforce in 2017-2018 to produce
Pacific Patrol Boats would not be economically viable,"
Mr Saltzer said, noting production will not commence
until the end of 2017 or early 2018, well after other
work at the shipyard is due to run out.
Announcing the PPB-R tender, Defence Minister
Kevin Andrews advised “Following this tender process,
the Government is likely to make further decisions
about this project nearing the end of 2015.”
It is anticipated that the first PPB-R will be
commissioned in 2018. Thereafter there will be a
continuous build program. It is an open field to
determine which team will win the contract as they all
have the capability to perform successfully. ¢
12 Asia Pacific Defence Reporter JULY-AUG 2015
2/07/2015 3:27 pm
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