Finally, the wait is over. The SEA 5000 design and prime contractor has been announced. Congratulations to BAE Systems Australia (BAE).
The Future Frigate program will see BAE prime the build of nine ships in Adelaide for the Royal Australian Navy.
ASC Shipbuilding (ASC) will play their part in the program and become a subsidiary of BAE for the duration of the build. Whilst not entirely clear at this stage exactly what that will look like or when it will occur, we expect the ASC transition to become clearer in the coming weeks and months. ASC still need to complete the build and warranty phases of the AWD program and are due to begin constructing the first two OPV’s for Luerssen Australia under SEA 1180 later this year.
What else do we know? Well, it will be a CEA Phased-Array Radar, the Lockheed Martin Aegis Combat Management System with a technical interface to be developed by SAAB Australia.
The CSI role is still not clear, but one would imagine BAE and CASG are in discussions with at least LMA, Raytheon and SAAB. L-3 Oceania will provide the IPMS System.
Rolls Royce will be a major subcontractor providing the MT 30 Gas Turbine, the majority of the Propulsion Train, RAS equipment and Mission Bay Handling System. They recently announced a partnership with Marand to develop, manufacture and integrate the MT 30 enclosure locally.
BAE has already pre-qualified around 500 suppliers for the program. With companies such as Liferaft Systems Australia a specified supplier and others such as REDARC signing MOUs.
So, what does this all mean if you want to work on the program?
Once in full swing, the program will employ about 2,500 directly and another 5,000 indirectly.
A fair portion of these roles will be in Adelaide. However, this will truly be a national endeavour and work will be conducted all over Australia with a need for a distributed workforce.
Opportunities will exist to work both above the line as CASG ramp up their Project Office and below the line in industry.
We anticipate hiring on mass to commence from 2019 onwards. Between now and then, BAE will be working through contract negotiations with the Commonwealth and engaging with their identified supply chain and tender process with others.
Some organisations involved or looking to be involved in the program have already started recruiting off the back of the announcement with initial demand for white collar workers.
As we move into the delivery phase of the program, demand will increase for engineers, ILS professionals, PMO staff and commercial/ procurement professionals amongst other technical and non-technical skill sets.
The SEA 5000 program will present many opportunities for people currently working in the Defence Industry. Through the sheer demand, we will also see opportunities for people from other industries aligned professionally and culturally to move into Defence.
Kinexus has a team dedicated to delivering on SEA 5000 requirements and identifying opportunities for individuals on the program. To explore your opportunity to work on SEA 5000, please contact one of our consultants.
By Chris Money