Navantia buoyed by AWD commissioning

Hobart-1Navantia has hailed the commissioning of the Hobart class destroyer HMAS Hobart as a confidence booster that reflects well on its bid for the Future Frigate program.

“There is nothing quite like the presence of the real item here in Sydney, and Sydney is the maritime centre of Australia…having it showcased, if you like; not that it is here to showcase, it is here to do a job,” said Warren King, the newly appointed chairman of the Navantia Australia board.

“The early struggles that we had on the Air Warfare Destroyer project can now be at least viewed in the light of Australia’s most competent surface combatant ever being delivered to the Royal Australian Navy, broadly with a minimum of fuss; trials went very well.”

The class of guided missile destroyers represent the reference ship on which the Spanish company’s proposed F-5000 design for SEA 5000 is based.

“We actually demonstrate and give confidence to the Australian people that the government’s commitment to a shipbuilding program – a sovereign capability – is well founded,” King told the Show Daily on Tuesday.

“It is confidence building for Navy, confidence building for the government, confidence building for the people of Australia that these highly complex ships can be built in Australia.”

Donato Martínez, managing director of Navantia Australia, said the company’s value proposition for the Future Frigate program involves building on the experience and capability gained through working on the AWD program.

Navantia is up against BAE Systems with the Global Combat Ship-Australia and Fincantieri offering the FREMM-A.