have recently completed two milestones at their UK
dockyards which they believe will be of great interest to Australia.
Babcock is undertaking an upgrade and investment program at its historical Devonport Royal Dockyard in the UK.
The overall program, encompasses a range of projects, from a major refurbishment of 10 dock to provide a first class facility to service the UK's amphibious fleet, and refurbishment of the frigate refit complex, to installing new caissons and penstocks, and refitting of a specialist crane.
Babcock Naval Platform Support Director Simon Foster commented that within Australia, Defence has identified a requirement to invest in the basing infrastructure at Garden Island for the arrival of the LHDs.
He also added that $30m of capital works is being planned for these sustainment activities and they will need to be sensitively managed with regard to the heritage site dating back to the First Fleet.
Foster said that while any potential works are progressing, it will be vital that interruption to the operational program for the Royal Australian Navy is minimised and that guaranteeing continued use of the dock while a potential upgrade is underway will be just one complexity of managing a Victorian era, historical dockyard.
Another milestone for Babcock is the two UK Royal Navy landing craft which have completed a support period docking (SP(D)) in the UK, under a Continuous Engineering Support (CES) arrangement which is delivering a significant increase in availability - an arrangement that Babcock believes could be of interest to Australia.
Foster pointed out that this could have relevance for Australia, where the 12 medium-sized fast landing craft purchased for the two Canberra class LHD ships will be maintained and supported by Australian industry.
Foster went on to say that the UK’s CES approach is an important part of the drive for further improvements as part of the joint initiative between MoD and Babcock to develop Devonport as the RN Centre for Amphibious Support Excellence (CASE).
Similarly in Australia it makes sense for the landing craft support to be managed under the same arrangements as for the LHDs, Foster said.
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