HMAS HOBART AWD-39

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HMAS HOBART AWD-39

Postby RussF172 » 02 Sep 2012 11:37

This Thursday the 6th of September the keel for the new AWD HMAS HOBART will be laid (if that is what you can call it)! The first of the midships engineering blocks will be placed by crane into the cradle designed to hold the ship until launch next year. Under the keel, as it is lowered onto the blocks, will be a gold coin placed by the Chief of Navy and the youngest apprentice at the yard. A lot of the blocks are already in Port Adelaide and will be transported by large wheeled vehicles to where the large crane will lift them into place. The ship will go together very quickly from here. Allan Pew, Tim Amos and myself got to see many of the blocks being built at FORGACS in Newcastle in late July. Most of them are either completed or just about complete and we got to touch the nearly completed bow of HOBART as well as BRISBANE (AWD-41) which is also well underway. It's a big month for the RAN with the keel laying of HOBART in Adelaide and the arrival of CANBERRA in Melbourne late in the month (weather depending!).
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Re: HMAS HOBART AWD-39

Postby RussF172 » 05 Sep 2012 20:09

Keep an eye on ABC news or ABC24 tomorrow night as they should show the keel laying of HOBART at Port Adelaide tomorrow, Thursday 6th of Sept. Big day for the RAN with the first of the three AWD's starting major assembley.
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Re: HMAS HOBART AWD-39

Postby SlatsSSN » 06 Sep 2012 10:07

And ironically there's this announcement today - delaying the project


Defence cuts delay $8 billion warships project
BY: CAMERON STEWART From: The Australian September 06, 2012 12:00AM


THE nation's biggest defence project, the $8 billion construction of three air warfare destroyers, will be delayed by at least another year because of savage cuts to the defence budget and critical shortages in skills and manpower.

The setback comes on top of an estimated 15-month blowout in the project last year after a Melbourne shipyard bungled the keel of the first boat, HMAS Hobart, as revealed in The Australian.

The move creates fresh uncertainty for the economy in South Australia, where the ships will be assembled, at a time when the state is reeling from BHP Billiton's decision to indefinitely shelve its proposed $28.7bn expansion of the Olympic Dam mine.

AWD shipbuilders have welcomed the move, however, with Forgacs in Newcastle saying the new timeframe for the project would extend the employment of its workforce of 1200 people.

The Australian understands that a newly revised shipbuilding schedule for the destroyers has been given to Defence Minister Stephen Smith for approval this week in the wake of the $5.45bn cuts to Defence over four years in this year's budget.

The Defence Materiel Organisation has recommended that the gap between the delivery of AWD ships one and two and ships two and three be extended by six months each because of a shortfall in capital funding and to ease the stress on local shipbuilders and allow the navy time to find enough sailors to man the new ships.

The strategic move to delay the schedule reflects deep concern within Defence that local shipbuilders are struggling to handle the complex demands of the AWD project, which aims to produce the most potent warships in the navy's history.

The delay in the destroyers further undercuts plans to strengthen Australia's naval strength at a time when China's is using its navy to assert territorial claims in the region. It is also another nail in the coffin of the Rudd government's failed 2009 defence white paper, with budget cuts now threatening either to cancel or to slow the delivery of major defence projects across the board.

The revised AWD schedule means that the navy will now not receive the third and final destroyer, HMAS Sydney, until 2019, two years later than originally planned.

The later delivery dates will ease pressure on the navy to find enough sailors for the new ships at a time when it is struggling for new recruits because of competition from cashed-up mining companies. A keel-laying ceremony for HMAS Hobart will take place in Adelaide today. The completion of that ship has been delayed by an estimated 15 months after welding on the keel was botched in 2010 at Melbourne shipyards owned by BAE Systems. That setback forced the government last year to reallocate work for the AWD project to other shipyards in Adelaide and Newcastle.

Earlier this year, the government quietly asked the AWD's Spanish designer, Navantia, to help it build the third air warfare destroyer. The surprise move was seen as as a vote of no confidence in local shipyards, which warned it would cost hundreds of jobs and at least $40 million in lost revenue.

At the time, a spokesperson for the prime contractor, the AWD Alliance, said: "Adding extra work to Australian shipyards at this time would create additional pressure on current work, potentially creating a range of risks for the project."

One of the three Australian AWD shipbuilders, Forgacs, has welcomed the decision to extend the schedule, however, saying it will save jobs.

Forgacs Engineering executive director Tony Lobb said: "Forgacs wholeheartedly supports the extended AWD schedule. This is a major plus for both Forgacs and for Australian shipbuilding capability.

"Forgacs can now retain its skilled marine engineering workforce of 1200 people - skills vital in supplying our nation with warship capability for a secure future."

Stephen Ludlum, of leading AWD shipbuilder ASC, said the decision "reflects extensive consultation between Defence and industry and ASC welcomes the government's commitment to navy shipbuilding in this country."

There has been bad blood between the AWD Alliance and the third AWD shipbuilder, BAE, since the keel bungle.

The decision by the alliance to give work on the third destroyer to Spain rather than to BAE placed hundreds of jobs at risk in BAE's Williamstown shipyard, but the extension of the project may now provide a lifeline to those threatened workers.

Construction of the AWDs involves 90 separate steel blocks being built in four shipyards at the ASC in Adelaide, Forgacs in Newcastle, BAE in Melbourne and by Navantia in Spain. The destroyers will be assembled by ASC in Adelaide.

The proposed new schedule for the ships means HMAS Hobart will now not be delivered to the navy until March 2016, while the gaps between the second and third ship will be extended from about 12 months to 18 months.

That means the second ship will now be due in September 2017 and the final ship will be due in March 2019.

Defence hopes the slower schedule will help extend and stabilise shipbuilding activity and create a better transition into future naval shipbuilding projects, which are typically exposed to boom and bust cycles.

The three ships will carry US-designed missile defences and will give the navy the ability to destroy aircraft more than 150km away.
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Re: HMAS HOBART AWD-39

Postby RussF172 » 06 Sep 2012 11:46

Siphoning money off to other departments. Now they have to rebuild Mannus Island the money has to be taken from projects such as this. I can see a delay coming in the LHD's now too! I can't see how FORGACS is very happy about it as they will still only get the same amount of money to do the modules, but they will have to keep the guys there for an extra 2 years and pay them for that time. They pay out around $1Million per week in wages up there. Looks like I'll have the only sailing AWD for a while yet (come on Scott, Richard and Malcolm).
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Re: HMAS HOBART AWD-39

Postby alienpew » 06 Sep 2012 21:14

Perhaps a re design of our future 5 ship 'Spanish Amada' to a hybred composite 'AWLHD' before we go too far, they might also be used as 'convict hulks'
off Nauru & charge for accomodation.

Alien.
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Re: HMAS HOBART AWD-39

Postby BsHvyCgn9 » 07 Sep 2012 20:10

Maybe if the Pollies all took a pay cut they would not need to cut back on vital defence projects!!

Its laughable that our dopey PM gets paid more per year than the Prez of USA...

Maybe stop spending money on aid to countries that don't need it.....Spend it here instead???

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Re: HMAS HOBART AWD-39

Postby Bill48585 » 08 Sep 2012 12:19

I certainly agree with you Bruce. I have 3 kids in the navy and they are all discharging for a variety of reasons , but one is the dismal state of affairs within the Navy such as if you're over 21 ( and single) you pay your own way home. Not good if you work in the west and have family in the east.

Then you get the pathetic statement from Bill Shorten, that he finds it hard to live on $300,000, well who's to blame for that!

As we wind down our commitments to Afghanistan, Timor, and possibly the Solomon islands the government now feels that the military can wind back some of their equipment expenditure. Truely, 1930's thinking and look what happened to the armed forces then particularly the Navy. Rudd's white paper has been shown to be the biggest fraud perpetrated against the defense forces. And, now we hear the delay of the AWD's and you can bet your bottom dollar this has happened to allow for the budget surplus of 1.5 billion dollars which in reality is a joke, the good olde saying " Rob Peter to pay Paul" is very true.

Sorry about the rant but being an ex serviceman having gone through what is happening now makes my blood boil

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Re: HMAS HOBART AWD-39

Postby rritchie71 » 09 Sep 2012 03:12

Guys, this is probably just the beginning and I would expect more to come. Mining tax and royalties from iron ore and coal have been factored into budgets to pay for the promises of family tax payments for the carbon tax, national disability scheme etc, etc. But the iron ore price has gone from $130/tonne to $87/tonne, will it rise again, drop more, stay around the $90/tonne? Who knows but one thing is for certain, this not very smart government factored it in at $120/tonne, that leaves them billions short on funding, as treasury has said, there is not enough revenue coming in at these prices to meet the commitments they have made.

So they are not saving money, you have to receive it to save it, they are just deferring costs now to try and make the books look better (remember there will be a surplus no matter what, according to Swan), it’s creative accounting, slow things down and spread the costs to later budgets, but in doing so you actually have to wear a larger bill in the end, because now you are paying salaries for longer. That bill will not fall due until after the election though. The collins replacement project will be next.

Robert
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MS Christina O.
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Re: HMAS HOBART AWD-39

Postby SlatsSSN » 09 Sep 2012 09:08

Any surplus will be pure fantasy- yet again who are we mere mortals to question what happens in "Wayne's World".
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Re: HMAS HOBART AWD-39

Postby scott154 » 28 Sep 2012 23:29

Has anybody got the story about the AWD program? first they come out and say they are going to push the ships back and hold the building side of things for a little. And today they said there will be a fourth ship built but they didn't say for who? Scott :dots:
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Re: HMAS HOBART AWD-39

Postby MikeJames » 29 Sep 2012 15:39

Push for Adelaide to secure a fourth $2 billion air warfare destroyer


ADELAIDE is in line to secure a fourth $2 billion air warfare destroyer because the Federal Government wants a major shipbuilding project in its defence program.

The project will be included in next year's Defence White Paper.

The Government wants to help bridge the national skills gap and a fourth air warfare destroyer is the likely choice.

Three of the hi-tech destroyers are being assembled by ASC at Osborne, with the work due to end by 2019, which is several years before the next generation submarine project is due to begin at the shipyard.

According to government sources an extra destroyer would provide enough work for ASC at Osborne and several other yards, including BAE Systems in Melbourne and Forgacs in Newcastle, to maintain skills until the submarine build begins.

The destroyer project is valued at $8 billion and is a major technological step forward for Australia.

The ships are equipped with the most advanced radars and a modern missile and fire control system.

The government plan could also include an acceleration of the $30 billion new submarine project so that the design and construction work can begin before the original 2025 start date.

This would provide the Osborne yard and Adelaide with a strong pool of skilled workers for the next 30 years.

In the past, vital national skills have been lost and then rehired at great cost because of gaps between major defence projects. Further funding flexibility is being created by delays to the $16 billion Joint Strike Fighter project that could free up hundreds of millions for another warship.

Defence Materiel Minister Jason Clare told an industry conference in Canberra yesterday that the nation could not afford to lose the skills acquired during the destroyer and amphibious ships build.

According to previous schedules there was a gap of several years between the end of the destroyers and the start of the submarines that will be assembled in Adelaide.

"We need to build a bridge across this valley of death," Mr Clare said. "We can't let this happen again, not in preparation for a project as large and complicated as the future submarine project."

The Government has already slowed down the destroyer project to buy itself and industry an extra year, but another major ship build is required to prevent another skills debacle between 2019 and 2025.

An extra air warfare destroyer or a third amphibious ship would fit the bill.

Industry experts said the long-term future of Australian shipbuilding was bright, with up to 48 new platforms including submarines, frigates, offshore patrol vessels and patrol boats on the drawing board.

They will be built around the country, including Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth.

"The next white paper will be realistic and affordable and provide significant incentives to invest," one source said.

The 12 new submarines will be built under a rolling schedule, with three or four coming out at a time over a total period of 25 years or more.

Senior officials, including chief defence scientist Dr Alexander Zelinsky and head of the navy's new submarine program Rear Admiral Rowan Moffitt have been to Japan recently to discuss technology transfers, including a revolutionary Japanese propulsion system and new generation lithium batteries.

Defence Minister Stephen Smith this week revealed that talks were well advanced on an agreement regarding the submarine propulsion system.
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Re: HMAS HOBART AWD-39

Postby rritchie71 » 30 Sep 2012 16:17

Well let’s hope they do get a 4th AWD, that would give two available, one working up and one in maintance at any single time, nicely sustainable, the question will be if we can crew them? I do hope so.

I’m not holding my breath though, to many times this government has snatched defeat from the hands of victory.

Robert
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Re: HMAS HOBART AWD-39

Postby RussF172 » 01 Oct 2012 07:46

I'd heard very early on in the project that there would probably a fourth ship built. Makes sense if they keep the funding going for it. Now, what's the bet on the name? I'l throw my hand in "MELBOURNE".
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Re: HMAS HOBART AWD-39

Postby MichaelB » 01 Oct 2012 10:19

Than again, Julia comes from Adelaide! :)
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Re: HMAS HOBART AWD-39

Postby MikeJames » 01 Oct 2012 13:16

Yes, there was talk of a fourth destroyer back when the dec ision was first announced, but that option was cancelled years ago.

The only reason this is back on the agenda is so that the Government can anounce the decision with lots of fanfare before the next election, proclaim all the jobs that will be saved (in a couple of marginal electorates) and when the new Abbot Government comes in, they have to announce that they have to cancel it, along with a raft of other programs, because the bank accounts will be bare.

That way, the Liberal - National government takes the wrap for cancelling all these generous Labour Party programs, pissing off the electorate and (in the mind of ALP strategists) helping make Abbot a one and done PM.

It may sound overly cynical, but I work in politics and trust me, this is small beans compared to some of the stuff that goes on.

Expect other major announcements in the next 6-8 months in the lead up to the election. In fact I wouldn't be surprised to see new AORs and the start of the FFG / Anzac replacement program announced during the Fleet Review period.

Just don't get your hopes up, there's no money for any of it unless Iron ore goes back over $150 per tonne, which is pretty bloody unlikely, at least for the next 4-6 years until the world economy gets going in ernest again.

Mike
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Re: HMAS HOBART AWD-39

Postby scott154 » 02 Oct 2012 00:02

Thank you Mike always a pleasure :clap: :clap: Scott
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Re: HMAS HOBART AWD-39

Postby scott154 » 14 Oct 2012 23:51

In Adelaide today they had the AWD Ship Yard open to the public as it is Navy week and they had a good array of tents with activities for the kids and stuff for the adults, We got to look at the progress of the first AWD and a few parts in the yard for ship 2. HMAS Parramatta was in town and first thing in the morning was not a bad time to board her as you could just about walk straight on, but as the day progressed it was over one and a half hours wait to board Parramatta. Good day down at the ship yard. :tup:
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