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Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer’s Report

ASC Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Stuart Whiley
ASC Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Stuart Whiley

In 2018/19 ASC’s submarine business further strengthened and consolidated its position as Australia’s only established sovereign submarine company.

With capability extending across CCSM sustainment, maintenance, upgrade and in-service support, ASC is achieving continuous improvements in program performance, capability and increased support of its experienced workforce; remaining Australia’s leading provider of submarine platform expertise and services.

This financial year saw completion of ASC’s structural separation and the transfer of ASC Shipbuilding as a subsidiary to BAE Systems Australia, separating the businesses to help maximise the future success of ASC and the Australian naval shipbuilding industry, with the residual ASC Group continuing to deliver CCSM sustainment and the AWD and OPV Programs.

Among the highlights of the year was the delivery of ASC’s continued beyond benchmark performance, again exceeding the RAN’s submarine maintenance targets, and in support of its program performance, ASC’s Supply Chain achieved global accreditation, as the first Australian defence company to achieve certification against a global standard.

Collins Class Submarine Program

The 2018/19 financial year saw the completion of the second year of Performance Period Three for the ISSC for ASC’s CCSM sustainment, which commenced on 1 July 2017.

As per the previous Performance Period, ASC again exceeded the Navy’s maintenance performance targets across the 2018/19 reporting period, continuing its work on the FCD of HMAS Waller, which commenced in May 2018 at ASC North in South Australia. This is the third two-year FCD following introduction of the 10+2 Usage- Upkeep Cycle (UUC) and includes additional upgrades to ensure it remains regionally superior as Australia transitions to a two-class submarine fleet.

Meanwhile at ASC West, in Henderson Western Australia, ASC is mid-way through delivery of the MCD for HMAS Rankin, the second docking of this nature and duration in Western Australia, in addition to a number of shorter maintenance cycles on the CCSM fleet.

ASC is working with the Commonwealth on future performance targets to ensure the CCSM fleet’s increased availability, reliability, cost performance and continued delivery of improved outcomes.

Shipbuilding Programs

With the commissioning into service of the second AWD, HMAS Brisbane, in October 2018, ASC continued to successfully deliver the Hobart Class AWD Program, in collaboration with its Alliance partners.

As a proven builder of major warships, ASC maintained strong performance as the shipbuilder for the AWD Program, meeting all scheduled milestones since the last quarter of 2015. Both the lead and second AWDs, HMAS Hobart and HMAS Brisbane, have been commissioned into service and the 2018/19 reporting period saw ASC complete a number of critical milestones to enable delivery of the third ship, for Provisional Acceptance in early 2020.

As the shipbuilder of the lead and second Arafura OPV, under contract to Prime contractor, Luerssen Australia, in 2018/19 ASC commenced the construction of both OPVs, with construction progressing well and in line with baselined targets. The period also saw the celebration of the formal Keel Laying milestone, in May 2019, for the lead vessel.

Attract, retain and grow our people

Our people are our most valuable asset and the foundation on which ASC’s ongoing success is built.

As a company, our collective experience “know-how and know-why”, is uniquely built from over 30 years immersion in the submarine and shipbuilding industry. ASC focused on the retention of its workforce and critical personnel in 2018/19, through professional development activities and a range of new, exciting and varied roles across new industry programs.

The business continued to place emphasis on fostering its culture of inclusion, attaining greater workforce diversity and increased engagement, and evaluation of its commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), to enable actions that support all our employees in a workplace where they can be their best selves.

ASC’s support of numerous visits from school and university students, allowed it to further nurture the development of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills across 2018/19, as well as help motivate, mentor and educate, what we hope to be the workforce of the future.

In 2018/19, ASC again provided academic support to the University of Adelaide’s Master of Marine Engineering Program through lecturing and supervision; supporting several post graduate research projects from a range of institutions and the development of naval skills required for Australia’s maritime future.

With increasing competition in Australia’s defence industry, ASC works collaboratively with our partners in the Submarine Enterprise to establish a coordinated approach across Government and industry, to manage the utilisation of submarine platform personnel to ensure Australia is equipped for the future.

Leveraging Collins Class Submarine Sustainment

In 2018/19 ASC established its Maritime Services Group (MSG) to leverage ASC’s performance on the CCSM program to secure new lines of revenue in the submarine industry and allied markets.

ASC is actively engaging with the Commonwealth Government and international project participants to maximise its involvement in future projects, including the FSM program.

In financial year 2018/19 ASC executed a Framework Agreement with FSM program prime contractor Naval Group, enabling the companies to work collaboratively in support of both of Australia’s submarine programs.

In addition, leveraging its submarine, design, and shipbuilding capability and expertise, ASC is collaborating with a number of national and international maritime businesses to secure new lines of revenue.

The Future

As Australia’s only established sovereign submarine capability, ASC is uniquely positioned to make best for nation decisions.

Sustained beyond benchmark delivery of the CCSM fleet and strengthened performance on both the Hobart Class AWD and Arafura Class OPV Programs, enables ASC’s strong positioning to support the Commonwealth’s plan for a sovereign, sustainable shipbuilding sector, and Australia’s successful transition to a two-class submarine fleet.

ASC is supporting the Department of Defence in their investigation into the ongoing CCSM sustainment and the possibility of FCD transition to Western Australia.​

Conclusion

As Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the ASC Pty Ltd group I am very proud of our 1,300 employees across both our South Australian and Western Australian facilities, providing naval engineering, design, construction, maintenance and project management skills unparalleled within Australia’s defence industry.


Our collective experience is in high demand and ASC’s future will see exciting and varied roles across our shipbuilding programs and multiple submarine programs, including CCSM and FSM programs, and the new and varied opportunities that ASC’s MSG continue to deliver. ASC’s ability to build capacity within the Australian submarine sector, and work with key partners of the FSM program, positions the business as a critical part of Australia’s current and future, defence industry.


I sincerely thank the ASC workforce for their continued dedication and ability to consistently deliver on their commitment to quality, safety, innovation and performance – they remain an invaluable part of Australia’s naval defence.

Stuart Whiley Signature

Stuart Whiley,
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer