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BAE Systems delivers more AWD blocks

Air Warfare Destroyer block
A further two Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) blocks manufactured by BAE Systems have been shipped to Adelaide making the total number of blocks delivered nine since the first block was delivered in August 2011. With this shipment, BAE Systems has completed work on all AWD Ship 1 and Ship 2 blocks that have been contracted to complete.

BAE Systems Director Maritime Bill Saltzer said the company’s AWD Project Team had again demonstrated their capability to deliver a quality product on schedule. Both blocks 415 and 111 were accepted by AWD lead shipbuilder ASC following inspections at the Williamstown shipyard prior to shipment to Adelaide.

“I’d like to congratulate everyone involved in the production of these blocks for the tremendous success they have achieved in both quality and productivity on this project. I would also like to thank our customer, ASC, for working with us in close co-operation throughout the process of planning, fabricating and inspection of the blocks.

“Our production performance has improved drastically since we began this project.  This clearly demonstrates that investment in capability development can be challenging at first, but it pays significant dividends over time as long as you can continue to apply that capability on current and future projects.”

Mr Saltzer said there had been many improvements implemented in a number of shipbuilding processes which have contributed to the excellent performance BAE Systems was now achieving on the AWD project.

“For this project in particular, our focus has been on improving processes for work planning and preparation, welding quality, and dimensional control.  We have also worked closely with ASC to make the inspection and acceptance process more effective and efficient for both parties. This has significantly reduced the amount of rework for ships 2 and 3 and improved our ability to deliver on time.

“Not long ago, the company was facing criticism regarding our performance on the AWD program.  All that has been put behind us and our focus now is on the present performance and securing more work for the future,” he said.

Block 415 is a hull block and weighs 117 tonnes. Block 111 is a keel block weighing 112 tonnes. The blocks left BAE Systems Williamstown yard on Thursday 17 January and arrived at the ASC on 20 January.