The Australian Ministry of Defence has awarded the Royal Australian Navy's Adelaide-class guided-missile frigate (FFG) group maintenance contract to Thales.
The four-and-a-half-year agreement, which has extensions that could bring the value to $130m, is likely to provide both industry and navy with improved certainty and stability in the repair and maintenance of the frigates.
Australia Minister for Defence Senator David Johnston said that this is the second of the grouped-asset, long-term, performance-based contracts for the repair and maintenance of the navy's major surface ships.
"If contracted quality and service level requirements are met and efficiencies are achieved, the contract can be extended to the ship's withdrawal-from-service dates," Johnston said
Thales will carry out the work at the navy's Garden Island facility in Sydney.
"We have always recognised that the grouping of ship repair and maintenance work offers the potential for real savings, by reducing the administrative burden of per-event tender contracting, providing greater certainty of revenue streams and work effort, and promoting better planning," Johnston added.
Powered by a gas turbine for main propulsion, the Adelaide-class frigates feature two retractable auxiliary units, which provide a secondary means of propulsion and manoeuvrability in confined waters.
Furthermore, the FFGs are equipped with the standard medium-range anti-aircraft missile, the Harpoon anti-ship missile, a 76mm gun for air and surface threats, and one 20mm Phalanx close-in-weapon system for anti-missile defence.
Image: The Royal Australian Navy's Adelaide-class guided-missile frigate HMAS Darwin. Photo: courtesy of Sizuru.