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KBR to Sustain Australian Navy’s Amphibious, Replenishment Ships

Australia has partnered with defense contractor KBR to maintain the navy’s amphibious and replenishment vessels.

The 130-million Australian dollar ($85 million) project supports the government’s efforts to enhance “critical” capabilities employed to secure maritime trade and sea lines of communication.

As part of the agreement, KBR will provide sustainment services for the Royal Australian Navy’s Canberra-class landing helicopter docks, Supply-class auxiliary oilers, and landing ship docks, as well as the HMAS Choules Bay-class landing vessel.

The work will be performed at the Garden Island Defence Precinct in Sydney.

Throughout the effort, the government is expected to support approximately 300 local industry jobs, including 70 new direct opportunities and over 200 indirect roles across the supply chain.

Multi-Class Capability Life Cycle Manager

The Australian Department of Defence wrote that the initiative will be coordinated under the government’s Capability Life Cycle Manager (CLCM) program.

CLCM is a broad framework for revamping, optimizing, and modernizing tactical capabilities to ensure their operability across the country’s regions.

According to the government, the latest CLCM phase is the first to be applied to a multi-class fleet to retain resource management, effectively meet capability requirements and streamline cost and consistency between similar military asset classes.

Simultaneously, this CLCM setup will deliver “greater certainty of work” and enable the domestic industry to invest and expand its businesses.

HMAS Canberra
HMAS Canberra. Photo: Jam Sta Rosa/AFP

“The sustainment of Navy’s amphibious and replenishment ships into the future is critical to securing Australia’s maritime trade and safeguarding Australians and their economic interests,” Australian Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy stated.

“Growing our sovereign naval shipbuilding industrial capability is not just good for jobs, it’s imperative for our national security.”

“The Albanese Government is focused on making it easier for local industry to partner with Defence, and this partnership with KBR will help to do that.”

Naval Fleet Support Capabilities

Australia signed a similar initiative in October 2022 for each of the navy’s Hobart-class destroyers. The contract for the effort was awarded to BAE Systems, with works facilitated at the Fleet Base East in Sydney.

A year later, Thales and a South Carolina company teamed up to improve sustainment operations across the military base.

Earlier this month, the Australian government announced a $55 million investment to upgrade Garden Island’s infrastructure to support the country’s upcoming nuclear-powered submarines.

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