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Indo Pacific 2022: Australia to build new naval maintenance centre in Sydney

Australia's new Regional Maintenance Centre in Sydney will support platforms including the RAN's Hobart-class air warfare destroyers. (Commonwealth of Australia)

A new AUD1 billion (USD692 million) naval Regional Maintenance Centre (RMC) is to be built at Sydney's Garden Island defence precinct, Australian Minister for Defence Peter Dutton announced on 11 May. The announcement was made to coincide with the Indo Pacific 2022 show in Sydney.

A tender for the industry role in the future ‘RMC East' was released on the same day by the Department of Defence (DoD) and will close on 16 September. The evaluations will be completed in the first quarter of 2023 and contract signature is anticipated in quarter three, the DoD said.

According to Plan Galileo, a programme announced in 2020 to provide naval shipbuilding and sustainment support across the country, the RMCs will be developed at strategic locations including Sydney (east), Cairns (northeast), Darwin (north), and Henderson (west).

The RMCs are described by the DoD as platform-agnostic, integrated government and industry maintenance enterprises that will nationally co-ordinate maintenance and deliver it as regional hubs utilising common systems, standards, and procedures.

The Cairns RMC was opened in January, and Dutton said RMC East was planned to be operational by mid-2024.

The facility would initially support the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN's) three Hobart-class air warfare destroyers, and the Landing Ship Dock HMAS Choules, Dutton said.

Additional Sydney-based capabilities including the two Canberra-class landing helicopter docks and their landing craft, one Supply-class auxiliary oiler, and two Anzac-class frigates would also be considered for inclusion during the initial contract period.

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