Designer Selected for Australian Air Warfare Destroyers
The Australian Government has chosen Gibbs & Cox as the preferred ship designer for the Royal Australian Navy’s USD $4.5 billion SEA 4000 Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) program. The US firm Gibbs & Cox beat out Germany’s Blohm + Voss and Spain’s Navantia to join a team made up of ship builder ASC Shipbuilder Pty Ltd and combat system engineer Raytheon Australia.
“The selection of Gibbs and Cox as platform designer now completes the team whose responsibility it is to deliver the project,” Defence Minister Hill said. Nevertheless, the final AWD ship design is not set…
Gibbs & Cox were the lead ship designers for the DDG 51 Arleigh Burke-Class AEGIS Destroyer, the first destroyer with the AEGIS system and currently the main air defense and missile strike platform in the US Navy. Their evolved Arleigh Burke design will now compete with an Australianised version of Navantia’s existing F100 AEGIS Frigate, and will be further considered by the Government as part of the next phase of the project.
Blohm + Voss’ F124 Sachsen Class air defense frigate design is no longer in the running.
The SEA 4000’s AEGIS combat system will provide significantly increased protection from air attack for troops being transported and deployed, integration with the US Navy and other Coalition partners, long-range air warfare defense for Royal Australian Navy task groups, and a coordinated air picture for fighter and surveillance aircraft. The destroyers will also have an anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare capability, as well as the ability to embark a helicopter at sea. They are scheduled to begin entering service with the Royal Australian Navy in 2013.
Senator Hill said Gibbs & Cox, a United States based company, was chosen through a competitive tender evaluation process, based on the recommendation of the Source Selection Board whose work (like previous contracts in this competition) was reviewed by AWD Program Probity Advisers KPMG and also independently by Sir Laurence Street.
Senator Hill said the Defence program office would now advise on a location to establish a state of the art AWD System Centre which will house up to 200 personnel working on the development and life-long support of the vessels. The Government has provided $455 million towards the current phase of the project which includes further design work, workforce skilling, initial infrastructure investment and facilities construction. This funding is currently being utilised by the Defence Materiel Organisation to carry out the detailed Design work required to deliver two business cases to Government for Second Pass consideration in the Second Half of 2007. The AWD Alliance (the Defence Materiel Organisation, ASC and Raytheon Australia) is working collaboratively to ensure these Evolved and Existing business cases provide Government with the detail they need to choose a preferred design to move into Phase 3 – Build.
Additional Readings & Sources
- See all DID coverage related to the SEA 4000 program.
- Senator the Hon. Robert Hill, Minister for Defence Leader of the Government in the Senate (Aug 16/05) – Preferred Designer Chosen for AWD Contract
- SEA 4000 Air Warfare Destroyer: Official Program Site and MoD page.
- Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance: contractor team site
- DID (June 1/05) – ASC Wins Australian Shipbuilding Contract with $455M First Pass Funding
- DID (April 27/05) – Raytheon Wins Contract for Australian SEA 4000 AEGIS Destroyers
- Government Release: Bids to Build Air Warfare Destroyers Announced
- AEGIS Combat system for Air Warfare Destroyers
- Naval-Technology.com – Arleigh Burke Class (AEGIS) Guided Missile Destroyers, USA
- Naval-Technology.com – F100 Alvaro De Bazan Multi-Purpose Frigate, Spain