Thales Australia has signed an agreement with Orbis Sibro to jointly support the advancement of the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) maritime sustainment operations.

An Industrial Enterprise partner for the US Navy, Orbis is responsible for developing, delivering and supporting a wide range of existing and future sustainment technologies and solutions for the navy.

The new agreement will see Thales and Obris work together to expedite maritime sustainment capability at the RAN’s Fleet Base East in Garden Island, Sydney.

Specific initiatives to be covered under this agreement include technological innovations, the development of naval sustainment industrial base and associated workforce, as well as optimisation of the shipyard infrastructure.

The companies have already completed preliminary feasibility studies and detailed reviews of the RAN’s available naval sustainment and support operations, ongoing mentoring and upskilling programmes, and workforce optimisation.

All this work is being performed as part of the Australian Government’s National Naval Shipbuilding and Sustainment Enterprise.

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The latest effort will strengthen the availability of maritime maintenance and support capabilities in the region while enhancing the RAN’s readiness, interoperability and availability to operate with the US and allied nations.

Thales Australian and New Zealand Above Water Systems vice-president Max Kufner said: “This partnership will help deliver greater integration of platform and infrastructure through digitisation and automation of maritime sustainment environment, which is necessary to increase readiness, availability and performance of RAN fleets and assets.”

For the last two decades, Thales Australia has been involved in lifecycle management and sustainment of the RAN fleet while Obris also possesses over 20-year experience in setting-up sustainment systems for the US Navy.

Orbis Submarine Initiatives vice-president Greg Thomas said: “Partnering with Thales to lead critical elements of Commonwealth of Australia’s Plan Galileo is as much an obligation as it is an opportunity.”