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16 avril 2014 3 16 /04 /avril /2014 07:35
photo News Corp Australia

photo News Corp Australia

Australia's Hobart Class Destroyer (image : turbosquid)

14.04.2014 Defense Studies

An advanced training simulator, that will be used to train the future Navy crew of Australia’s new Hobart Class destroyers, is up and running at the Maritime Skills Centre at Techport in South Australia.

The system - called the Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS) Training Simulator - is part of a suite of simulators and other technologies that will be used to train the future Royal Australian Navy crews of the new guided missile destroyers. 

AWD Alliance CEO Rod Equid said it is great to see the first Hobart Class training system in place.   “It is a leap forward in technology and is on a scale never seen before for Royal Australian Navy warships or submarines,” Mr Equid said.

The IPMS is the next generation of ship management systems which has a software application that allows for real-time digital control of the ship’s functions, such as propulsion, steering and damage control. 

Course delivery has started for the AWD Alliance Test and Activation Group. Training for the first Navy crew for Ship 1 Hobart will start next year at the centre’s purpose-building training facility.

Training conducted this year will provide key members of the AWD Alliance with detailed information on the capability of the ship’s systems and develop the skills of the instructors prior to training future crew.   

The IPMS Training Simulator uses a variety of operating systems, applications and software to allow trainees to simulate the experience of being onboard the ship and having control of the ship’s systems including propulsion, steering, electrical distribution, auxiliaries and damage control.

“The simulation training system will be used to train crew on how to operate the ship using consoles that will be located throughout the ship, including those located on the bridge.” Mr Equid said.

All future crew members will need IPMS training before going to sea onboard one of the three new destroyers being built for the Navy by the AWD Alliance.

Training is also underway in the United States for the AWD Alliance Integrated Test Team (ITT), industry and future Navy crews to operate and maintain the highly complex combat system – including the Aegis Weapon System and Aegis Combat System Elements.  The training program is being delivered by the United States Navy through the Foreign Military Sales program and will continue over the next 18 months. More than 25 courses are being provided to a mix of Alliance and Navy personnel.

“The AWD Project is progressing with all Ship 1 hull blocks consolidated and work is now focussed on the next stage of systems integration including the load out of the combat system.  It is exciting to also be turning our attention to training people on how to use the equipment and operate the ship,” Mr Equid said.

The Alliance is made up of the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) representing the Australian Government, ASC as the lead shipbuilder and Raytheon Australia as the mission systems integrator.

(AWD Alliance)

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11 mars 2014 2 11 /03 /mars /2014 17:35
Navy Warships Project Heading for Cost Blowout

Hi-tech ... the Hobart Class Air Warfare destroyer. (image: News Corp Australia)


11.03.2014 Defense Studies

AN $8.5 billion taxpayer-funded “alliance’’ to build three hi-tech navy warships was a multi-tiered debacle, government auditors have found.

The Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance is running two years late, is $302 million over budget and is bleeding money at the rate of $1 million a week, according to well placed sources.

The auditors also revealed that the original premium for building the three ships in Australia rather than purchasing “off-the-shelf’’ overseas was $1 billion.

That is a 30 per cent taxpayer subsidy to the ship builders.

“The cost increase is likely to be significantly greater (than $302 million),’’ the document said.

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report could spell the end for government ownership of the ASC shipyard in Adelaide and, according to government sources, it draws a line in the sand for the whole Australian naval shipbuilding industry.

“Defence and its industry advisers underestimated the risks associated with incorporating the design changes to Navantia’s F-104 design, exporting that design to Australia ... built at shipyards that lacked recent experience in warship building,’’ the audit report said.

The 320-page document slams the government’s defence purchasing agency, the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO), and its management of an alliance that includes the government-owned Adelaide shipbuilder ASC and American defence giant Raytheon.

Under the alliance the DMO is both buyer and supplier.

“It was costing ASC, the lead ship builder, $1.60 to produce work that was originally estimated to cost $1,’’ the report said.

“It was not until 2013 that the Alliance put in place extensive key performance measures.’’

The Adelaide-based alliance began in 2007 and was the brainchild of the head of DMO Warren King.

The first ship, HMAS Hobart, was due for delivery to the navy this year but has been delayed until at least 2016.

The ships’ designer and hull-maker Spanish shipbuilder Navantia, the Melbourne-based block builder BAE Systems and the Newcastle-based Forgacs shipyard are all strongly criticised for a long list of failings, including dodgy block build practices and poor drawings.

The substandard drawings meant that many already installed watertight doors had to be moved 150mm so they could meet Australian safety standards.

One of the most damaging findings of the report appears on page 232 where the auditors reveal that 570 of 2,000 Chinese-made pipes were removed from the first ship, HMAS Hobart, because they were substandard and potentially dangerous.

“A supply chain failure led to the installation of defective pipes into the ship,’’ the report said.

The pipes were purchased by ASC — the company that wants to build the navy’s next generation submarine for more than $30 billion.

“They (ASC) haven’t done themselves any favours in justifying why they should build the new submarine,’’ a high-level source said.

The key lesson from the report is that Australian industry did not have the capability to undertake such a complex project.

This raises serious questions about whether or not governments should continue to prop-up Australian naval shipbuilders at high taxpayer premiums or buy off-the-shelf from more efficient overseas yards.

It is understood that the Abbott Government favours an Australian naval shipbuilding industry — but not at any cost.

The report was welcomed by Defence Minister David Johnston who agreed with its three recommendations to appoint a high-level project overseer and implement a new design review process and better performance monitoring.

* Air Warfare Destroyer two years late and $300 million over budget
* $1 billion premium for Australian build
* Risks under estimated
* ASC likely to be sold
* Naval shipbuilding under a cloud


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