Sep 25, 2014

Spanish firm Navantia called in to salvage Australian Air Warfar Destroyer program

The Australian government will install a senior team of shipbuilders from Spanish firm Navantia to work on the Air Warfare Destroyers as it attempts to salvage the troubled $8.5 billion project.
The move is one of the first steps in the government’s recovery plan for what Defence Minister David Johnston has described as a “disgraceful mess of a project” and a “skunk” that has been plagued with cost overruns of more than $500 million and delays of up to two years.
Additional personnel from systems contractor Raytheon are also expected to be embedded into the workforce. Navantia, which was excluded from the original AWD ­Alliance consortium and blamed for many of the project’s initial design flaws, will provide direction for the workforce alongside ASC.
The move comes after a government review by former US secretary of navy Don Winter and Australian shipbuilder John White reportedly recommended installing BAE Industries to take control of the project.
Government sources say the move is a small step in a “long, tortuous and complex” process that may yet see BAE take on a greater role.
Navantia and BAE are jockeying for work on the Future Frigate program to replace the navy’s eight Anzac-class frigates. BAE is understood to be reluctant to take over the AWD project without a guarantee of work on the Future Frigate program for which it wants to build its Type-26 global combat ship. Navantia wants to build a Future Frigate based on the AWD hull.

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