Babcock Australasia (Babcock) and NORSTA Maritime (Norsta) have signed a collaboration agreement to sustain the Royal Australian Navy’s (Ran) vessels under the Plan Galileo.

The focus of Plan Galileo is to create a network of regional maintenance centres (RMCs) at strategic locations around the country.

This new collaboration comes after last month’s announcement on Babcock’s completely owned subsidiary Naval Ship Management being selected as the Regional Maintenance Provider (RMP) West to sustain RAN vessels at Henderson, Western Australia over the next five years.

Norsta was chosen as the RMP North East in May 2020 with the responsibility to manage the maintenance of RAN vessels in Cairns, Queensland.

Babcock Australasia executive director for strategy & future business Martin Halloran said: “A key element of Plan Galileo is bringing together the Commonwealth, large defence companies and small business suppliers to drive a common and consistent approach to naval maintenance across the RMCs. Committing our two organisations to work together will help ensure we offer the Commonwealth a national perspective.”

“We are also committed to reducing barriers to entry for Defence-ready SMEs. This includes the implementation of a shared national sustainment supply chain to support small to medium business growth plans and the development of enduring sovereign naval sustainment industry capability in our region.

The two entities will share lessons learned across areas including safety, best practice health, and environmental control measures.

They also undertake joint continuous improvement activities to identify efficiencies and opportunities.

NORSTA’s general manager Stewart Barr said: “Collaboration at all levels is important. We are working closely with our supply chain and other regional organisations such as the Cairns Regional Council and we’re seeing immediate positive results.

“NORSTA looks forward to extending this across the nation with our collaboration with Babcock.”