First Nation Supplier Contract on Hunter

ASC Shipbuilding, a subsidiary of BAE Systems Australia, has today contracted its first Indigenous business to support prototyping for Australia’s largest surface shipbuilding program.

Adelaide based TQCSI-Yaran, a majority Aboriginal-owned and operated joint venture, will audit and undertake quality, safety, health and environmental systems certification for the Hunter Class frigate program’s prototyping phase, which begins in December.

During prototyping, the processes, systems, tools, facilities and workforce competencies will be extensively tested and refined before construction starts on the first Hunter Class frigate in 2022.

ASC Shipbuilding placed the contract with Indigenous Defence & Infrastructure Consortium (iDiC) and its consortium partner TQCSI-Yaran.

BAE Systems was the first Australian defence company to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan and has a Strategic Relationship Agreement with the iDiC which provides genuine opportunities for Indigenous suppliers to become part of BAE Systems’ supply chain. BAE Systems spend with Indigenous suppliers this year is expected to reach around $7 million by the end of December.

ASC Shipbuilding Managing Director, Craig Lockhart, said:
“Diversity in our supply chain is a critical part of developing Australian Industry Capability (AIC).

“Through Hunter, and the building of nine submarine hunting warships, ASC Shipbuilding is committed to creating and developing up to 20 new Indigenous businesses and increasing Indigenous employment opportunities over the life of the program.

“As we approach prototyping next month, we will place more contracts with Australian businesses, underpinning our commitment to maximise AIC and underpin a continuous naval shipbuilding capability for Australia well beyond the Hunter Class frigates.”

TQCSI-Yaran Principal, Craig Bates, said:
“IDiC and TQCSI-Yaran have worked together for three years providing auditing and certification of ISO management systems to companies and organisations wishing to grow their supply chain with Indigenous-owned companies.

“TQCSI-Yaran’s senior leaders have decades of naval experience and the company is looking forward to building on this contract and potentially building our participation in this world class program.”

iDiC Chief Executive Officer, Adam Goodes, said:
“We are delighted to be a strategic partner of ASC Shipbuilding on the Hunter Class frigate program.
“We’ve been working on the program since inception and I am delighted that the iDiC has been able to facilitate this partnership with TQCSI-Yaran.”

Source: BAE Systems PLC (LSE: BAES.L)
Date: Nov 10, 2020