Future Frigate tech alliance set to start

South Australia’s expertise in smart ship technologies will be boosted with the establishment of a $3 million Centre of Excellence in Adelaide if Navantia Australia is selected to build the Royal Australian Navy’s Future Frigates.

The Navantia SAGE Automation Group (NSAG) and Flinders University have agreed to develop an Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS) Centre of Excellence (CoE), as part of Navantia Australia’s SEA 5000 Future Frigate proposal.

The CoE will bolster Australia’s sovereign defence capability through training and research collaboration.

The proposed 200 square metre facility at Tonsley Innovation District will house simulation rooms for the NSAG’s IPMS – the naval platform control system that allows the remote control and monitoring of platform systems on board Navantia designed naval vessels.

This, along with a Land Base Test Site for testing of sustainment analysis tools such as ARGOS 21, will provide Royal Australian Navy crews with access to training on the IPMS system.

“This partnership is about bringing together the best minds in industry and research to grow Australia’s sovereign defence capability,” says SAGE Automation CEO Mr Adrian Fahey.

“SAGE and the NSAG has strong ties with Flinders University through our engineering graduate program and a number of R&D projects.”

The IPMS CoE will draw on Flinders University’s strong maritime, automation and robotics research capabilities and the NSAG’s shipbuilding and automation industry experience to actively identify topics for collaborative research and development that will enable the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) to better adapt their control systems to innovative future technologies.

“Navantia’s IPMS system is already on board the RAN’s Canberra Class amphibious ships, Hobart Class destroyers, and the Supply Class replenishment ships currently being constructed by Navantia,” says Navantia Australia’s managing director Mr Donato Martinez.

“By 2020, almost 2,000 RAN servicemen and women will be trained and operate in the NSAG IPMS environment.

“The benefits resulting from the collaboration at this Centre will enable the continued development of smart ship technologies which in turn will provide the RAN with greater cost efficiencies and operational availability of these ships,” Mr Martinez says.

Navantia Australia has committed an early investment of $3 million towards the IPMS CoE and expects to create 10 jobs directly, with benefits expected to flow on through industry R&D and graduate opportunities.

Navantia’s integrated training system Navantis on display at the PACIFIC 2017 summit. Navantis is a combined IPMS and navigation virtual simulator providing 2D and 3D IPMS views and interconnects with different ship simulators to allow simultaneous training of ship crews.

With an aim to build on-ground defence skills and technology in Australia, the IPMS CoE will offer formal training, scholarships, work experience, graduate programs, and staff secondment opportunities.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling says Flinders is committed to advancing research and industry collaborations that contribute to the state, and the nation’s economic growth and development.

“I am delighted that Flinders University is partnering with the Navantia SAGE Automation Group in the establishment of a Centre of Excellence that that will help to develop national defence capabilities and create jobs here in South Australia.

“This agreement demonstrates Flinders University’s commitment to collaboration with industry in ways that will catalyse economic growth through our world-class research, our expertise in advanced manufacturing, robotics and autonomous systems, and the Industry 4.0 capability at our Tonsley Manufacturing Innovation Hub,” Professor Stirling says.

The IPMS CoE announcement comes on the back of NSAG’s selection to supply the Integrated Platform Management System for the Navantia Australia SEA-5000 Frigates bid.

NSAG was established in 2016 as a joint venture between Navantia Australia and SAGE Automation to support of Navantia’s IPMS system including its regional management, development and sustainment.

NSAG, the Navantia Australia and SAGE Automation joint venture, is committed to the development, delivery and support of Navantia’s IPMS monitoring and control solutions in Australia and New Zealand.

SAGE Automation is Australia’s largest independent industrial automation and control systems integrator that delivers solutions to clients across the defence, transport, manufacturing, resources and utilities sectors.

Since 2009, SAGE Defence has delivered fit for purpose, electrical and control systems to OEMs, Primes and major sub-contractors such as Navantia, ASC, Thales, Ultra Electronics, Daronmont, and Chemring.

Navantia Australia has been a leading shipbuilding company in Australia.


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