Defence has released a tender to industry for a Capability Life Cycle Manager for the Royal Australian Navy’s three Hobart class destroyers.
An October 25 release says the successful tender will act as a steward for the Hobart class vessels under what it says is a “new approach to sustainment” which was devised as part of Defence’s Plan Galileo. A similar stewardship model has been applied to the RAAF’s KC-30A MRTT, C-27J, Special Purpose Aircraft (SPA), C-130J, and Super Hornet/Growler fleets.
The Hobart class will be the first major fleet unit to have a dedicated capability life cycle manager, although a ‘shallower’ maritime sustainment arrangement is in place in Sydney with Navantia Australia, BAE Systems Australia, and the RAN’s Fleet Support Unit to support the two Canberra class LHDs. Raytheon Australia was appointed as the Capability Life Cycle Manager for the forthcoming Project SEA 1180 Arafura class offshore patrol vessels in December 2020.
“This model builds on the success of our continuous naval shipbuilding initiative and has been designed to ensure we can continue to deliver complex naval capability at sea that is reliable and fit-for-purpose,” Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said in the release. “It includes performing asset management for the capability and supporting the upgrade of their combat management system.”
The Hobart class achieved full operational capability (FOC) in August 2021, and is programmed for a number of significant upgrades in the next few years, including upgrades to the vessels’ SPY-1D radar, Aegis combat system, sonar system, and the addition of new weapons.
An industry briefing for the Hobart class destroyer Capability Life Cycle Manager is scheduled for 4 November 2021, and tenders are due to be submitted by 21 January 2022.