GE-Thales Collaboration on LM2500 Held Up as an Example for Australia’s Defence Industry
On Wednesday, “Australia Embarking on Defense Industrial Strategy” covered Defence Minister Nelson’s November 24 speech and accompanying initiative. It probably isn’t coincidence that Australia’s DoD put out a release on November 27 titled “GE Partnership With Thales Australia Produces $300 Million In Export Sales.” It usually means someone is trying to make a point through example, a reasonable supposition given the correlation between the situation described and the Minister’s 7 priorities.
The relevant background is that GE has developed an ongoing relationship with Thales Australia involving the production of GE LM2500 gas turbine engine housing modules and kits…
The LM2500 is one of GE’s most popular products, used in a number of naval ships from Australia’s destroyers and Frigates to the USA’s DDG-51 AEGIS destroyers, and in commercial generation applications as well. Both marine and commercial applications require housing modules, many of which are produced at the Thales Australia facility at Bendigo, Victoria. The facility currently supplies all of the LM2500 bases and enclosures for the United States Navy, and for international customers who select the U.S. Navy-configured propulsion module.
Up to 50 Australian small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are used as subcontract suppliers. Bruce Billson (Australia’s “Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence”) noted that Thales Australia had been part of export sales exceeding $300 million, while GE’s Regional Vice President Military Systems Alex Gibbs said that “This is an outstanding example of the Defence capability outcomes that can be achieved through long-term business relationships and participation by Australian industry in global supply chains.”