BAE Systems Director of Maritime, Harry Bradford, said the block left the Williamstown yard on 12 August and arrived at Osborne on 15 August . He said shipping of the first block by barge was a major milestone for the Williamstown yard.
“BAE Systems has taken on the more challenging blocks in the build and Block 109 is one of the larger and more complex keel line blocks.
“This first block weighs around 180 tonnes, is 18 metres long, 16 metres wide and five metres high. It contains a significant portion of the major equipment necessary for the ship’s operation.
Mr Bradford paid tribute to the staff who worked on the project.
“As the first block to be shipped to ASC it is the culmination of the efforts of many employees across the business.
“The scope of our work in the construction of the block included structural assembly and outfit. Further blocks under contract are the major keel line blocks which include all of the complex hull structure and major machinery spaces.”
Mr Bradford said initially there were some issues with design and skill shortages however BAE Systems had made substantial investment in bringing in the right skills to complete the job.
“We invested a lot of time and money in rebuilding our capability with our staff so we can meet the requirements of the AWD build,” he said.
“We are now at a stage where we have the right people and the right skills to meet the challenges this project will bring. As an international shipbuilder BAE Systems also has the added advantage of global reachback and can draw on our experiences in other markets.”
The $8 billion AWD project comprises three ships and will provide the Royal Australian Navy with one of the world's most capable multi-mission warships. Block 109 will form part of the keel of the first ship HMAS Hobart.