BAE Systems, Navantia and Raytheon Australia are set to offer additional shipbuilding expertise for the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) $8.5bn air warfare destroyer (AWD) programme.
The programme, which has been hit with a series of setbacks, is reportedly running more than $600m over budget.
The latest move is the first step of a three-part scheme to develop naval maritime potential in Australia.
Australia Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said: "The government is committed to putting this important defence project back on track and stop the growing cost and schedule overruns we inherited from our predecessors, by implementing the reform strategy, [which was] recommended by Professor Donald Winter’s independent review of the air warfare destroyer programme."
With no decisions made concerning the long-term arrangements for the AWD programme, the AWD alliance industry participants, including ASC Shipbuilder and Raytheon, will construct and deliver three ships.
Cormann added: "We are committed to working collaboratively and constructively with all stakeholders to ensure we realise both the critically important national security benefits of this programme, as well as its long-term benefits for the Australian shipbuilding industry, in the most efficient and effective way possible."
As part of the deal, BAE will be responsible for the provision of a team of expert shipbuilders and executives from its Australian and global businesses.
BAE Systems Australia chief executive David Allott said: "The Australian Government has made it clear that turning this programme around is critical to the future of Australian naval shipbuilding."
Navantia will provide design function expertise and Raytheon will be responsible for management areas.
Image: BAE Systems, Navantia and Raytheon Australia will develop the AWD reform project. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.