Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) Alliance Selects Preferred Suppliers for $450 Million Shipbuilding Work

09 May 2009

The Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) Alliance has selected the FORGACS group and NQEA Australia Pty Ltd as the preferred suppliers to build 70 per cent of the blocks that will make up Australia’s three air warfare destroyers.

The AWD Alliance CEO, John Gallacher says the work is worth in the region of $450 million and the selection of the two preferred suppliers is a major milestone for the $8 billion project which will provide the RAN with three of the world’s most capable warships.

“This demonstrates that the Alliance is ready to begin constructing the ships.

“It means the AWD Alliance has moved into the ‘production readiness’ phase of the project and is on schedule to begin ‘cutting steel’ later this year.

“The work will create about 450 direct jobs and many more through sub contractors and suppliers, which is good for the project and good for the nation,” he said.

NQEA is a Cairns based engineering and shipbuilding business specialising in provision of design, manufacture and project management services to the maritime, industrial and aerospace markets. It has a shipbuilding record dating back to 1966 involving more than 220 vessels in the defence (50), tourism, commercial and luxury markets.

The FORGACS group, based in northern NSW, is one of Australia’s leading ship construction, ship repair and engineering companies. The group’s shipyard has a long history in the construction, conversion and repair of defence and commercial vessels including building hull blocks for the Anzac frigate program.

The AWDs will be built using a modular construction method involving fabricated and pre outfitted hull blocks which are then joined together to form a completed ship. The contracts announced today will see 66 blocks (70 per cent) built at these two sites with the remaining 27 blocks (30 per cent) built at ASC’s facility in Osborne, South Australia.

When completed the blocks will be transported by ship or barge to the ASC facility where the block erection and integration will occur. On average the blocks measure 18m x 12m x 7m and weigh up to 200 tonnes. Fabrication of the first ship is expected to begin later this year with final deliveries of blocks for the third ship expected in late 2014.

The comprehensive process of selecting the two preferred suppliers began in January last year and included extensive consultation with industry.

The selection process was based on the principles applied to all AWD procurements including value for money, compliance with requirements, ethics and probity, accountability and transparency, good faith, fair dealing and competition.

The Alliance team included senior members from the three Alliance partners, the Commonwealth, ASC and Raytheon Australia. It also included ASC’s capability partner, the international ship builder, Bath Iron Works.

The AWD Alliance is made up of the Defence Materiel Organisation, ASC as the Shipbuilder and Raytheon Australia as the Combat System Systems Engineer. The first ship is scheduled for delivery in 2014.


Company Background

Subject to the finalisation of negotiations and contract execution:

NQEA will build 36 blocks made up of more than 3000 tonnes of steel and 1500 tonnes of equipment and materials, requiring a workforce of more than 300 over a five year period.

FORGACS will build 30 blocks made up of 1500 tonnes of steel and 600 tonnes of equipment and materials, requiring a workforce of more than 200 over a five year period. 

For further information contact:

James Cannon
AWD Alliance Communications Manager
P: (08) 8165 7368
M: 0417 880 481

Bronwyn Coles
AWD Alliance Communications Officer
P: (08) 8165 7520
M: 0434 313 043

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