Monday, May 23, 2011

Australian Shipyard Ready for AA Destroyers

ASC is pleased to invite the public to its shipyard today to reveal progress on the construction of Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyers (AWD) in an event jointly hosted with the AWD Alliance.

ASC is the Shipbuilder for the AWD Alliance. The Alliance is responsible for delivering three AWDs to the Royal Australian Navy.

The inaugural Community Open Day will give the public the opportunity to walk through the shipyard from 12-noon to 3pm and see the large steel blocks that are being outfitted with equipment - including pipes, ventilation ducts and cabling - in readiness for building the warships at the neighbouring Government of South Australia’s Common User Facility at Techport Australia.

ASC Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Steve Ludlam said that this is the first time ever that the ASC Shipyard will be open to the public.

“The public will get the rare opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes at our shipyard and get a glimpse of some of the blocks that will be used to build the AWDs for the Navy,” Mr Ludlam said.

Blast and paint facilities

This week also marked the start of blast and paint work at a new $8 million facility at ASC’s Shipyard to paint steel blocks under construction.

Blast and paint work is one of the final stages of block production before the blocks are consolidated to build the warship. Once the blocks are painted, the final fit-out work is done.

The AWDs are being built using a block strategy, which involves the ship being constructed in 31 separate blocks at three shipyards across Australia – ASC in Adelaide, BAE Systems in Melbourne, and Forgacs in Newcastle.

AWD Alliance CEO Rod Equid said the start of blast and paint work is another important step forward in delivering the AWDs. In December 2010, the Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare announced the contract to carry out the blast and paint work had been awarded to Transfield Services as part of a contract worth more than $35 million.

“The contract with Transfield Services will create jobs for more than 60 people over the next six years. Transfield will do paintwork on the blocks built by ASC and will also blast and paint the complete ships when they are assembled on the Common User Facility,” Mr Equid said.

“The Transfield Services start-up team includes a relatively small group of about 19 people which will rapidly grow over coming months to as many as 100 people by 2012.”

Job opportunities

The $8 billion AWD project is the largest Defence procurement project ever undertaken in Australia. It is a nation-building project that is expected to create 3,000 jobs benefiting thousands of businesses and families in Australia. The AWD Alliance workforce is growing and will peak during full production in 2012.

Around 200 skilled workers are sought for the project over the next 12 months. Current and future job opportunities within the AWD project are being showcased at the 2011 National Careers Expos. The first two were held in Melbourne and Sydney. Expos will be held in Brisbane this weekend, in Adelaide next weekend (May 20-21) and in Perth in August.

AWD Alliance

The AWD project is being delivered under an Alliance arrangement between Raytheon Australia, ASC and the Commonwealth, represented by the Defence Materiel Organisation.

The AWDs are based on the Spanish F100 design and include key features of the F104 design, an Australianised combat system and platform upgrades that will provide the Navy with one of the world’s most advanced multi-mission warships.

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