It has been reported that BAE Systems has held discussions with operators of its Henderson shipyard about hosting Royal Navy ships deployed to waters north of Australia.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:
“When we do have a ship in the region, we will of course exercise that right as Australia does and we’ll be working with Australia on what’s called the Five Powers arrangement to ensure that we learn to exercise together, to operate together as close as possible.”
Director of contract management for BAE Systems Andrew Coxall said the company was preparing for British deployments.
“I had discussions recently with Henderson along the lines of if the navy chooses to send a ship down to that part of the world, what sort of support arrangements would we be able to provide from Henderson.”
BAE Australia chief Glynn Phillips said the signing of the UK Type 26 Frigate contract should provide the Australian government with confidence in the company’s bid.
As quoted in Defence Connect, he said:
“This news is very exciting for Australia as it’s a turning point for the Type 26 Global Combat Ship program. This milestone means the Royal Australian Navy should have full confidence that our offer for SEA 5000 – the Global Combat Ship-Australia – will have the largest growth margins of any ASW frigate in the world and will remain at the leading edge of naval technology throughout its service life.
The potential for concurrent production in Glasgow and Osborne also means the Commonwealth stands to receive full knowledge sharing from a live program through BAE Systems’ best-practice exchange, significantly de-risking SEA 5000.”
BAE earlier welcomed the release of the SEA 5000 Request for Tender for the Royal Australian Navy, intending to offer the Type 26 Frigate as a contender. The defence giant was one of three organisations down-selected to refine their designs for a fleet of nine Future Frigates.