This paper discusses concepts involved in the establishment of sovereign independent naval design capability in Australia.
Gibbs & Cox Australia (GCA) provides marine and naval engineering expertise for Australia’s maritime enterprise. Our vision is a vibrant, sustainable, sovereign Australian shipbuilding, design and maritime enterprise.
GCA is the Australian subsidiary of marine design group Gibbs & Cox. Based in Arlington, Virginia, US, Gibbs & Cox has served naval, government, commercial and recreational markets since 1929. GCA leverages support from Gibbs & Cox’s network of global experts to offer best practice in naval ship design and engineering.
Internationally, Gibbs & Cox is the United States’ preferred combatant design partner, and supports a range of major and minor surface programmes, including combatants and autonomous systems, for the US Navy and other international navies. In Australia, Gibbs & Cox has been a trusted technical partner on Royal Australian Navy (RAN) combatant programmes for more than 60 years.
Gibbs & Cox Australia
GCA is focused on continuously sharing experience and capabilities with our client teams and partners to maximise the transference and development of naval engineering knowledge into the Australian shipbuilding enterprise.
Pre-concept activities and requirements development
We have proven experience capturing requirements for a variety of applications and deriving meaningful requirements that lead to effective system solutions. Our experience enables effective support in decision making through detailed understanding of end user requirements and a direct approach to finding and addressing key issues.
GCA has an informed understanding of the strategic geo-political and technological environment, which supports our ability to articulate problem and solution spaces for clients’ future capabilities.
Concept development for naval vessels
GCA’s engineering team has naval design experience essential to derive concept designs using a systematic, evidence-based decision approach. We use model-based systems engineering and set-based design techniques to develop options and align requirements, system architecture, design and cost with user needs at the concept level.
Naval architecture and marine engineering
Our team can deliver naval architecture, survivability analysis, auxiliary and mechanical systems design, ship electrical systems design and analysis, and naval sustainment and logistics analysis.
Whether performing project definition, concept development, detailed design, system evaluation, or technical assurance, GCA’s naval architects and marine engineers can advise on all aspects of naval ship engineering.
Shipyard and industrial capability assessment
Gibbs & Cox has extensive experience in supporting shipyards. With several decades operating in the ship design and shipbuilding sector, we have a thorough understanding of the development of bid packages, drafting of proposals, production engineering and construction and management support.
The GCA team holds broad naval sector industrial expertise, working across shipyards, prime contractors, system designers, and the surface ship equipment supply chain. Leveraging this experience, we can provide both strategic and technical marine industrial capability analysis.
Engineering programme management
Our programme management capabilities span across design engineering, assurance and production program definition. Our team can support systems engineering, change management, configuration control and engineering governance functions.
Strength from combined maritime expertise
The strength of GCA lies in the talents, expertise and professionalism of our highly-skilled, internationally diverse engineering team. We have experience across acquisition programme management, naval architecture, marine engineering, systems engineering, integrated logistics support and engineering consulting.
Our team has expertise across all stages of vessel design and engineering, from concept, functional design, production engineering and production operations, to in-service support.
Established history of naval design
GCA has a long-standing relationship with the RAN. Spanning more than 60 years, it covers involvement in every major RAN surface combatant since the Gibbs & Cox-designed Perth-Class DDGs were selected for RAN service.
- Perth-Class DDG – Designer
- Adelaide-Class FFG – Class Design Agent during Detailed Design
- ANZAC-Class FFH – Design Support to Warfighting Improvement Programme
- Hobart-Class DDG – Evolved DDG-51 Concept & Design Support to Navantia
- Hunter-Class DDG – Engineering Programme Assurance
We currently provide direct support to the SEA1000 Attack Class Submarine project (Adelaide, Australia, and Cherbourg, France) and the SEA5000 Hunter Class Frigate project (Canberra, Australia, and UK).
Programme development and platform design for naval applications
GCA currently supports a range of programme development and assurance activities, including platform design and engineering assessment, design and compliance reviews, engineering programme risk management, production schedule development and logistic programme data integration.
We hold broad capabilities and experience across the defence, maritime and naval sector. We specialise in capability requirements development, systems engineering, naval architecture and ship concept design and assessment.
Hunter-class frigates are a new class of multi-mission frigates being developed by BAE Systems Australia for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) under the Hunter class frigate programme, which is the country’s biggest surface ship project till date.
The Hobart-class air warfare destroyers (AWD) are being built by AWD Alliance for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The air warfare destroyer programme, known as SEA 4000, will deliver three advanced multirole warships to replace the FFGs of the RAN.