Spanish company Navantia has been selected as the preferred tenderer for the construction of two replacement replenishment vessels for the Royal Australian Navy, Minister for Defence Senator Marise Payne has confirmed.
The federal government announced in June 2014 that first pass approval had been given for Defence to conduct a limited competitive tender process involving Navantia and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME). Navantia submitted a bid based on the fleet replenishment ship Cantabria, while DSME’s proposal centred on a bespoke version of BMT’s Aegir family of vessel designs.
“The evaluation process for the SEA 1654 Phase 3 [Maritime Operational Support Capability] limited tender has been completed, and Navantia has been selected as the preferred tenderer to proceed to the Offer Definition and Improvement Activity (ODIA) and negotiations,” Minister Payne said in a statement provided to Australian Defence Business Review.
“The tender process is ongoing. Following the conduct of the ODIA and negotiations, Defence will return to government for consideration of second pass approval, likely in mid-2016.”
The Integrated Investment Program that was published with the 2016 Defence White Paper values the replenishment ships project at somewhere between $1 billion and $2 billion, and notes that the new vessels will replace the current fleet by the early 2020s, adding that a third high-capacity replenishment ship or an additional logistics support ship will be acquired in the late 2020s.
“Tender documents identified the need for Australian industry capability for both the proposed acquisition and support contracts,” the Defence Minister stated. “Local Australian industry content under the acquisition contract is estimated to provide a combined value in excess of $100 million. The government is committed to getting the right capability for the Navy, at the right time and for the right price.”
Navantia is also targeting the Future Frigate and Offshore Patrol Vessel programs.