UK-based business scores frigate valve contract


Perth engineering firm Score Australasia has been selected by BAE Systems Australia to manufacture, assemble and supply thousands of valves for the first batch of three Hunter class frigates being built in Adelaide.

The Uk-owned company, which makes valves, fuel systems and accessories, has made a commitment that ‘a significant amount’ of the $26 million contract will flow through to Australian-based businesses.

Twelve companies from five States will be subcontracted by Score to part manufacture, supply and assemble more than 300 different types of ‘wholeship’ valves.

Score Australasia director, Keith Simpson said: “We are committed to driving sovereign capability by increasing Australian manufacturing content and adding value to the local economy through the entire supply chain.

“This is a huge opportunity for the Australian manufacturing, and we look forward to working with local manufacturers, both current and new, in achieving the best possible outcomes for the Hunter program and for Australian industry.”

There are 305 types of valves in each Hunter class frigate, and 5,273 valves per ship. The largest valves are upwards of 400mm bore size, while the smallest is 5mm. Valves are spread throughout the warship in the many different subsystems.

Locally owned SMEs have become concerned at the slow flow of contracts to local firms brought about by delays in the frigate detailed design, with this contract only going some way to demonstrate that Australian companies will share in contracts for the frigate build.

BAE Systems said significant engagement and market analysis was undertaken to ensure a value for money outcome was achieved that maximised benefits for Australian industry, including building the capability to support continuous naval shipbuilding for future defence projects.

BAE Systems Australia CEO, Ben Hudson said: “We are committed to maximising opportunities for Australian businesses and thus creating Australian jobs, so we’re delighted a significant portion of valve assembly and testing will be done in Australia, by Australians.

“Securing such a significant portion of the valves scope for Australian companies is testament to our teams’ collaboration with industry and the Commonwealth.

“As the Hunter programme matures towards the second batch of Hunter class frigates, there will be opportunities for other Australian businesses to join the valves supply chain.

“Growing Australian industry capability is essential to ensure we support Australia’s continuous naval shipbuilding strategy for future generations.”

Picture: Score Australasia

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