Raytheon Event At Osborne

15 Feb 2019 Transcipt


15 February 2019

Event - Raytheon Aegis Combat System Integration Limited Tender Released

SUBJECTS: Raytheon Australia; Naval Shipbuilding Project;

ANDREW WHITTAKER: Minister Pyne’s been one of the key drivers in leading the Government's continuous naval shipbuilding plan. He’s a long standing advocate for Australia’s sovereign shipbuilding and system integration capability. From his active role in providing ministerial oversight for the successful Air Warfare Destroyer programme, the launch and implementation of the naval shipbuilding plan, Minister Pyne is no stranger to the Osborne Naval Shipyard. He has been the most vocal champion of our industry and its role in providing national and economic security. So please join me in welcoming Mr Pyne.


CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Well thank you very much Andrew. It's a great pleasure to be here with the Premier of South Australia Steven Marshall who is as enthusiastic as I am about the capability that we've built here at Osborne and we'll be continuing to build happily because of the decisions that the government has made over the last few years. And with Senator David Fawcett, the Assistant Minister for Defence, who does much of the daily management of these, what are very complicated and sophisticated projects.

It's great to be here at Raytheon's operation at Osborne. I do love coming to Osborne. When I was growing up I would never have thought I would spend so much time at Osborne, but as the Minister for Defence, and now- before that Defence Industry, it's a great pleasure to come here and see and be able to touch and feel what it means when governments make decisions to invest in our military capability here in Australia and not simply buy off the shelf products from other countries. And today, Raytheon has shown yet again that not only can they do combat system integration, they can also put together fantastic promotional videos.


Whoever is responsible for that did a great job. I certainly got goose bumps because what it does bring home to us though is what we created with the air warfare destroyer and the project that you've all been involved in and, as Andrew said, the first two successfully delivered and commissioned, and the third, the Sydney, very close to being finally delivered and commissioned. What you have proven is that we here in Australia we have the capabilities, the quality, the skills to do this very sophisticated work. And what was very important in the last few years was not letting the air warfare destroyer be the last of these big ship projects. And what's very exciting for all of you, and I'm sure for your friends and family as well, is knowing that you can say with confidence to everybody that the shipbuilding industry is not only here to stay, but it's going to double, treble, quadruple in size and it's here for 100 years. The twelve submarines, the nine AHW frigates, of course, the twelve offshore patrol vessels which have already begun here in the ASC South shipyard, the Pacific patrol boats of course being done at Henderson – 54 vessels that this government has decided to build and one new vessel of course, the Hydrographic ship which I announced would be built here in Australia at Henderson. And recently in the Pacific step-up, we announced that we will build a large hulled vessel for humanitarian and disaster relief. And we haven't yet decided who will do that, but I'm sure the government will decide that that should be built in Australia as well.

So all of these capabilities mean that all of you have jobs, and your children will have jobs and grandchildren in the shipbuilding industry in Australia if they want them. But more importantly, you're adding to the capability of our Navy in an uncertain world, in difficult times since the Cold War finished. Governments have to invest in our military and defence capability and the work you've done has made that happen. And today's announcement, a $40 million contract to work with Raytheon over the next six years to make sure that the integration of the combat systems on the Hunter-class is second to none in the world. Raytheon will be working as the Department of Defence's agent to ensure that Lockheed Martin and Saab with the 9LV are integrating successfully on the Hunter-class, that what the Department of Defence – what the Navy needs in combat systems and combat system integration is being delivered. So this was a capability that Raytheon’s created over the last few years as part of the AWD that we didn't want to let to lose. And in the Defence Department we talked about how to make sure that that capability wasn't lost to Australia. And this is one of the ways we’ve come up with making sure that Raytheon will be part of that delivery of that really important capability – a sovereign capability as Andrew said, that will not be lost to Australia because of this announcement today.

So congratulations to all of you for having the capability that meant that the Department of Defence wanted to do a limited tender to Raytheon because of your capability that you've built up over the last few years. It's a credit to your leadership, to Michael Ward as the CEO, to Andrew Whittaker, to all the others who have been leading over the last few years. But it's a credit to all of you, that you've brought your skills and capability together to create that sovereign capability that Australia now has and will have into the future. So thank you very much.

ANDREW WHITTAKER: Thank you Minister. Now to another frequent flyer to Osborne. The Honourable Steven Marshall who recently celebrated one year as Premier of South Australia. The Premier who’s a strong supporter of the Federal Government's naval shipbuilding plan, on his regular visits to the shipyard he’s brought many colleagues from the Parliament of South Australia to see firsthand what we do here at Osborne. He too is an advocate for our industry. He understands the benefits we provide to the broader South Australian community. Over the past year the Premier has reset the relationship between state and federal governments on defence matters and we've seen the impact of that here. Please welcome him- please join me in welcoming the Premier Steven Marshall.

STEVEN MARSHALL: Thank you very much Andrew and congratulations to you and your team on the fantastic work that you are doing at Osborne. You know I can't keep the smile off my face. I think I'm the luckiest Premier in the entire country because of the sheer volume of work which is coming to our state courtesy of the federal government's massive recognition, quite frankly, recognition that the defence industry is actually a strategic capability for our nation, it's a strategic capability. And their decision to move forward with a continuous naval shipbuilding program really does secure jobs in South Australia for an extended period of time. But most importantly, I think it enhances our capability as a nation to defend ourselves.

I am a frequent flyer Andrew. I love coming down here to Osborne. I'm always impressed when I'm down here with the Federal Defence Minister – or in his previous incarnation as the Defence Industry Minister – I’m always impressed when I meet with people that have been working with Raytheon on the incredibly complex projects that we see every time we're down here. The set of skills that are required for the work that you do are quite frankly very inspiring and I want to congratulate each and every one of you who have been involved in these complex tasks around combat systems integration. The skills that you have are very much the highest level that we have here in our state and we're so happily- so happy that they've been deployed on such an important project for our state and for our nation. And can I just make this point that often when we see work being done down at Osborne or on defence projects, we often see people that are cutting steel and welding steel and this is very important.

But what we also know is that there are a complex set of skills that sit behind those frontline skills; skills with- around engineering, systems integration, project management, financial management. These are the skills that are necessary to ensure that these projects can be delivered on time and on budget, so that we can maintain the very important defence of our nation. I'm really excited about the future because not only are we coming towards the end of the Hobart-class project, the AWD project, but we've got much to look forward to. And as the Minister has pointed out, offshore patrol vessels, the Hunter-class future frigates, and of course the Attack-class future submarines. And the happy beneficiary of these wonderful projects are going to be South Australia, and we're very grateful for that. That's why the South Australian Government is working as quickly as we possibly can to make sure that we're doing our part in making sure that we have the requisite skills in place. Now some of those skills are going to be technical skills, and that's why in our first budget we announced $200 million for new apprenticeships and traineeships in South Australia. We're also doing what we can with the Naval Shipbuilding College to make sure that we have got the skills in place in many other areas. So the three universities that we have in South Australia - Flinders University, University of South Australia, and the Adelaide University - are working to that long term workforce development plan that we so desperately need if we're going to fill out our full ambition, our full opportunity in South Australia on these incredible projects.

I'd like to really acknowledge the wonderful work that Raytheon has done, I’d particular like to acknowledge the leadership team. Michael Ward is the managing director of Raytheon Australia. Andrew Whittaker is the general manager of the shipbuilding program. South Australia has more Raytheon employees than any other state in Australia, so I'd like to thank Martin for continuing to invest in the workforce here in South Australia. I think we now have in excess of 400 Raytheon employees here in South Australia, at Osborne, Edinburgh and Parkside. We're very grateful for that.

I'd also like to acknowledge Michael's support of our bid in South Australia to host the headquarters of the Australian Space Agency. As I said, I can hardly take this smile off my face at the moment. We have a national government which is focused on defending our nation; is focused on recognising the importance of the defence industry as a capability, a defence capability for our nation. And now to have that on top of that, the National Space Agency Announcement during the IIC two years ago and Adelaide selected just gladdens my heart. Again, thank you very much for what Raytheon are doing, and I would just like to acknowledge the announcement today by the Federal Government, that Raytheon will continue to play a very vital role in terms of combat systems integration for our nation going forward. All the very best. Thank you very much for having me.

ANDREW WHITTAKER: Thank you, Premier. I would now like to invite Raytheon’s Managing Director Michael Ward. As managing director of Raytheon Australia, he leads the largest combat system integration workforce in the country. Besides being a combat system integrator of the Air Warfare Destroyer Program, Raytheon Australia also provides us a full range of systems and services across naval, aerospace, space and land and joint domains. With more than 1400 Australian employees, many of whom are here today, please join me in welcoming Michael Ward.

MICHAEL WARD: Thanks, Andrew. Let me add my welcome to the Minister of Defence Christopher Pyne, the Assistant Minister of Defence Senator David Fawcett, and of course, Steven Marshall, the Premier of South Australia. What a great day for Defence. What a great day for Australian Defence Industry, and of course what a great day for South Australia. The Minister's announcement that Raytheon Australia has been chosen by Defence to act as its Australian Aegis systems integration agent represents an important milestone for the men and women of Australia's largest combat system integrator. This announcement means that the capability we've established on the Air Warfare Destroyer program will be applied to the development and enhancement of future Navy combat system capabilities. This, as you know, continues a decade of collaboration with the Royal Australian Navy and the Department of Defence to deliver world-class naval capability. The decision represents the next important step in the government's enterprise approach to naval combat systems management. And it's also a strong affirmation that the Raytheon Australian capability, forged through more than 10 million hours of complex combat system design and integration, has become a sovereign capability for Defence and a national asset. Minister Pyne's praise for the Air Warfare Destroyer combat system workforce recognises this outstanding work that has been carried out in the program, and I thank you for that, Minister.

But more than that, I applaud Christopher Pyne for his absolute determination to preserve the skills developed through the AWD, program and to deliver a genuine future for the AWD workforce. Through this decision, Christopher Pyne is creating a bridge over the valley of death for a significant number of AWD combat system professionals. These are new real jobs in Adelaide that will be sustained for years to come. Systems integration is more than what we do at Raytheon Australia, it characterises who we are. It represents the contribution Raytheon Australia makes to our local defence industry, and it defines the partnership role we seek to confirm with our defence partners.

Importantly, we are Australians integrating complex systems right here in Australia. The expertise generated through our company’s decade of Aegis system integration experience will assist Defence in extraordinary complex task of integrating Aegis combat systems of Australia's current and future service programs. Through our AWD experience, you have gained the unique capabilities necessary to integrate, evolve and continuously develop the Aegis combat system in Australia, working alongside the Commonwealth and our industry partners including Lockheed Martin.

To the Premier, and the Government of South Australia, I want to thank them for their unwavering support. Steven Marshall is with us every step of the way and I want to continue that journey together with him in Adelaide. In conclusion, I want you to know that Raytheon looks forward to playing an important partnership role with industry and to act as a capable agent of the Commonwealth into the future. I can think of no time in which I have been more proud of my company and our workforce, this state, and the wonderful systems integration capability we have built together. Thank you very much.

ANDREW WHITTAKER: Thank you Minister, Premier, and Michael. This concludes the official part of this morning’s event. I want to again thank the Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne for today’s announcement, and will also thank the Premier of South Australia, Steven Marshall, for celebrating this news with us here today.