The Australian Defense Materiel Organisation (DMO) has received technical clearances to float a request for tender (RFT) for group maintenance of the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) Adelaide-class guided missile frigate fleet.
Australian Defence Materiel minister Dr Mike Kelly said that the RFT was for grouped-asset, long-term, performance-based contracts for the repair and maintenance of the navy's major surface ships.
"It demonstrates the government's commitment, to transform the naval ship repair sector and apply innovative contracting practices to get the best outcome for the navy, for industry and for every Australian taxpayer," Kelly added.
The tender documentation will be released by the DMO to BAE Systems, Rolls Royce/KBR and Thales Australia.
"This initiative will provide industry with the predictability and stability it needs to achieve efficiencies, to offer job security to its workforce and to invest in capital infrastructure," Kelly said.
The RFI follows a previously awarded 2012 group maintenance contract to Babcock and UGL Infrastructure joint venture, Naval Ship Management Australia, for the repair and maintenance of the RAN's eight ANZAC ships.
In addition to assisting in lower costs realisation for greater continuity in ships repair and maintenance, the contract will provide improved forecasting and planning of maintenance localities and duration for the Australian Navy.
Armed with a 76mm gun to counter both air and surface threats, the Adelaide ships are equipped with Standard medium range anti-aircraft missile, Harpoon anti-ship missile, and 20mm Phalanx close-in-weapon system for anti-missile defence.
Capable of countering simultaneous threats from the air, surface and sub-surface, the long-range escort vessels can support missions such as air defence, anti-submarine warfare, surveillance, interdiction and reconnaissance.
The five-year contract will have year-on-year extensions until the life-of-type of the ships.
Image: HMAS Darwin (FFG 04) stationed at a port. Photo: © Commonwealth of Australia 2013/ Defence Materiel Organisation.