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Australia launches group to oversee naval shipbuilding

Australia's new Naval Shipbuilding and Sustainment Group will lead the implementation of policy to support various shipbuilding programmes including the project to build 12 Arafura-class offshore patrol vessels, the first of which (pictured above) was launched in December 2021. (Luerssen Australia )

Australia's naval shipbuilding and sustainment activities are to be overseen by a new group quietly created within the country's Department of Defence (DoD), a DoD spokesperson has confirmed.

The new agency – the Naval Shipbuilding and Sustainment Group (NSSG) – is led by Tony Dalton, formerly the deputy secretary of naval shipbuilding in the DoD's Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG), and will comprise the latter organisation's maritime divisions.

“The NSSG will lead the implementation of government's policy priorities to develop a continuous naval shipbuilding and sovereign sustainment industry,” the DoD spokesperson told Janes .

“Prior to the establishment of the NSSG, CASG was responsible for delivering, maintaining, and upgrading Australia's maritime capabilities. NSSG will work alongside CASG and share a common corporate backbone.”

The DoD spokesperson added, “The new group will remain closely aligned with CASG to ensure delivery of interoperable capability and ongoing continuity of corporate services and functional support.”

Formation of the NSSG closely followed the DoD announcement of a AUD322 million (USD201 million) five-year contract with Raytheon Australia to provide in-service support for the combat systems of Australia's six Collins-class submarines.

Separately, Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy recently announced a six-year AUD155 million contract with BAE Systems Australia to act in the new role of Capability Life Cycle Manager for the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN's) three Hobart-class air warfare destroyers.

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