The Essington Lewis Awards recognise excellence in industry and the Department of Defence collaboration, working together to overcome challenges or problems – ensuring that the ADF has or will have the materiel it needs, when it needs it, and at a cost that represents value for money.
Sadly, this year's awards could not go ahead in-person as initially planned due to pandemic-related restrictions and domestic border closures. However, ADM will announce the award winners on our website and via electronic direct messages on Monday October 18.
Ahead of the announcement, we are running a series of articles on the finalists in each category. Today we are proud to cover the finalists for Minor Sustainment - under $20 million: the Mini Typhoon, Typhoon and Toplite sustainment from Maritime Cross Platform Systems Program Office and Serco; and the Shadow Tactical UAS Support from Australian Army's Unmanned Aerial Systems Management Unit (UASMU) and Textron Systems Australia.
The Mini Typhoon, Typhoon and Toplite sustainment from Maritime Cross Platform Systems Program Office and Serco
Serco provides in-service support of Mini Typhoon, Typhoon and Toplite (MTTT) systems to the RAN. These systems are deployed across twenty eight vessels in five different classes of ship and Serco is responsible for ensuring the capability is always maintained to meet operational preparedness and seaworthiness requirements of the RAN.
Prior to the contract, each system was managed using different methodologies, under different prime contractors, within different inventory management systems often outside of Commonwealth visibility, with technical support provided directly by the OEM. This disaggregated approach led to suboptimal system availability and excessive turn-around-time for repairs (often greater than 12 months).
Since contract start in 2018 Serco has increased Australian Industry Capability (AIC) through the transfer of knowledge from the international Original Equipment Manufacturers to Australian based weapons technicians. This has delivered a reduced repair time and increased operational availability to the RAN.
Robust team communication and shared ownership of issues between Serco and the Maritime Cross Platform Systems Program Office has been a key factor in the success of this trusted partnership. High frequency communication coupled with scheduled monthly working-level meetings and quarterly performance meetings has resulted in a high performing Defence and Industry team.
The Shadow Tactical UAS Support from Australian Army's Unmanned Aerial Systems Management Unit (UASMU) and Textron Systems Australia
The Australian Army's Unmanned Aerial Systems Management Unit (UASMU) and Textron Systems Australia have successfully performed obsolescence management activities to ensure the Army's Shadow 200 Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (TUAS) maintains its operational capability as it nears the end of its life.
The team has completed multiple activities to maintain the Shadow 200s following the US Army's decision to cease support for the capability. These activities included design engineering and local manufacture of bespoke cables, integrating a Portable Ground Control Station configuration that addresses OH&S issues for sole operator functionality, and providing Ground Power Units.
A significant obsolescence issue arose when the Unimog trucks mounting the SH200v1 systems were universally replaced by larger, more capable 40M trucks designed by Rheinmetall under Land 121.
Integration onto the larger vehicles required critical path work by UASMU and Textron to ensure the Shadow TUAS could deploy to Operation Resolute in mid-2020, including creating new machined struts designed to mount access platforms, manufacturing wire cables, implementing a new interface structure arrangement, and conducting vibration and structural analysis.
These were all achieved in the demanding compressed timeframe, enabling the rollout to Operation Resolute.
Congratulations to both finalists and we look forward to announcing a winner on October 18.