The Australian Government has partnered with Thales Australia to oversee the operation and maintenance of the Captain Cook Graving Dock in Sydney in a move to enhance the country’s sovereign industrial base and bolster defence capability.
Thales Australia secured a five-year contract worth around $50 million, set to generate up to 30 jobs directly within the defence industry and bolster an industrial workforce of roughly 300 individuals specialising in ship repair in the Sydney area.
The Captain Cook Graving Dock, situated within the Garden Island Defence Precinct, serves as a crucial asset for the sustainment of the Royal Australian Navy fleet, the government said in a news release.
In particular, Thales Australia will take charge of the asset management for the Garden Island Defence Precinct’s reticulated services and supporting systems.
Under the contract, Thales Australia will be responsible for coordinating and executing the docking procedures for naval vessels requiring maintenance, repair, and overhaul while out of the water.
Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy said this collaboration with Thales Australia will provide sustainment for intricate naval capabilities, reinforcing relationships within the sovereign defence industry.
“Enhancing the capability of our vessels is key; but we must meet enduring sustainment demand through advanced and reliable infrastructure. This approach will allow our naval vessels to be ready and up to the job when and where they’re needed,” the minister noted.
According to Conroy, the contract serves as a vital facilitator in establishing a foreseeable long-term sustainment demand, integrating Australian businesses into the supply chain.
The government said this initiative aligns seamlessly with Defence’s broader national strategy for sustainment, as outlined in the new Maritime Sustainment Model.