Australian government extends WAMA alliance’s shipbuilding contract

Image credit: BAE Systems Australia

A warship alliance involving BAE Systems Australia has secured a contract extension with the Australian government, securing the future of critical ship management capability. 

The Warship Asset Management Agreement (WAMA) involves Saab Australia, Naval Ship Management, and the Commonwealth Government, and aims to sustain shipbuilding jobs at Henderson and establish a strong local supply chain. 

The Transition Capability Assurance Program (TransCAP) aligns with BAE Systems’ plans to modernise its Henderso site, paving the way for more efficient delivery of complex capability upgrades, the defence contractor said in a media release.  

“We have developed a critical ship management capability at Henderson, which has delivered significant ship-to-ship efficiencies. We’re investing in the local facilities, bringing innovation from the Hunter Class Frigate Program and the digital shipyard at Osborne to Henderson,” said Greg Laxton, maritime sustainment delivery director at BAE Systems Australia. 

“As the nation’s sovereign combat management system provider for the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) surface fleet, Saab Australia is delighted to continue its long-term role as the combat systems integrator for Australia’s Anzac Class frigates, delivering cutting-edge capability and in-service support under the WAMA contract,” Saab Australia Managing Director Andy Keough said. 

The extension of the contract covers the last 12 months of the current Anzac Mid-Life Capability Program, which is expected to finish in 2024 following work on HMAS Ballarat and HMAS Parramatta. 

It also covers the commencement of TransCAP, which will see work on HMAS Anzac, Warramunga, and Arunta. 

“Babcock, through its Australian warship division Naval Ship Management, welcomes the extension of the WAMA. We look forward to building on the 10+ years of experience already provided in safely delivering the sustainment needs of the Royal Australian Navy for the Anzac Class platform,” said Gavin Stewart, Babcock’s general manager for Warships Australia. 

“Our close partnerships with local industry in both Henderson and Sydney and the promotion of sovereign engagement, combined with the dedication and skills of our people, enables us to reliably provide this national maritime sustainment solution for the RAN,” Stewart said.