'Team Damen' Unites Dutch and Australian Industry
Australian Maritime Systems Group is entering into a joint venture with one of Europe’s leading marine technology companies as part of a tender for Australia’s next giant defence contract.
The Brisbane-based company is partnering with Dutch firm Alewijnse Marine to support the Damen Group’s bid to build the next generation of 12 Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) for the Royal Australian Navy. The vessels will be mainly constructed in Adelaide and Perth, but AMSG’s involvement would generate highly-skilled and long-term electrical engineering jobs for the Queensland-based company.
AMSG Managing Director John Sugarman said the company had been impressed by the extent of Damen’s engagement with Australian industry – as well as that of its long-established partners. “Damen’s commitment to collaboration and knowledge-sharing with Australian firms like ours is truly outstanding,” Mr Sugarman said. “But we haven’t just been impressed by Damen. It has many partners in the Netherlands with whom it has forged strong relationships over many decades, such as Alewijnse. Damen has built more than 250 ships with Alewijnse and that track record proves teamwork and knowledge-sharing are central to its culture. The formation of our joint venture with Alewijnse demonstrates the close and co-operative relationships the Damen Group and its trusted partners will build Down Under.”
Under the joint venture, Alewijnse Marine and AMS Defence would collaborate on the design and integration of the OPVs’ electrical systems. Knowledge transfer between the companies would begin with vessel one and be completed during construction of vessel five. Alewijnse has pledged to maximize Australian employment opportunities and the transfer of technology and intellectual property. The company is also committed to establishing an Australian training center and to co-operating with Australian universities and research institutes.
Damen Asia-Pacific Director Roland Briene said the company spoke with more than 800 business contacts at local industry briefings in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaid earlier this year and that relationships with some 50 Australian firms were further developed during follow-up visits to Perth, Adelaide and Sydney earlier this month.
“The joint venture between AMSG and Alewijnse is a prime example of the relationships we want to grow in Australia,” Mr Briene said. “We are committed to creating long-term naval and commercial ship-building capacity here. Fostering enduring relationships and knowledge transfers – not just procuring local components are key to achieving that long-term goal. We’re also keen to work with leading companies across the whole of Australia – not just those based in South Australia and Western Australia.”
AMSG is a specialized communications system contractor supporting the RAN’s ANZAC class frigate navigation radars. The Damen Group has also forged strong links with the RAN through construction of its new Multi-Role Aviation Training Vessel, the MV Sycamore, in which Alewijnse is also a key project partner. Damen is also building the Commonwealth’s new $500m Antarctic Supply Research Vessel.