The Gillard Labor Government today announced that Rohde and Schwarz Australia has been selected as the preferred supplier for the suite of radio equipment to equip Australia’s Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyers (AWD).
The $8 billion AWD project is the biggest Defence procurement ever undertaken in Australia, and is expected to create 3,000 jobs over the life of the project.
HMAS Hobart is the first of three AWDs to be built, and is currently under construction at three shipyards across the country – ASC in Adelaide, BAE Systems in Melbourne and Forgacs in Newcastle.
The first of the warships is expected to be completed by 2014 and will significantly strengthen the Royal Australian Navy.
Greg Combet, the Minister for Defence Materiel and Science, said today’s announcement was an important step forward.
“The Gillard Labor Government takes its commitment to Australia’s defence and to local industry and jobs very seriously,” Greg Combet said.
“Today’s announcement is another step forward in providing our servicemen and women with the very best equipment needed to defend Australia.
“It’s also an important step forward in a project that will provide jobs for about 3,000 Australians.”
Greg Combet said radios are the core of the AWD communications solution, providing reliable long-range strategic and medium-range tactical communications between other ships, aircraft and land forces.
The Member for Bennelong, Maxine McKew, whose electorate takes in the Rohde and Schwarz Australia’s North Ryde facility where the design and fabrication work on the radio will be carried out, welcomed the announcement.
“Today’s announcement is welcome news for the North Ryde Technology Corridor which is going from strength to strength,” Maxine McKew said.
“Rohde and Schwarz’s contribution to Australia’s Air Warfare Destroyers is expected to create 15 new jobs right here in our community.”
The approximately $30 million procurement is already included in the budget, through the $8 billion Air Warfare Destroyer Program in Defence’s Approved Major Capital Investment Program.
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Tales from the Political Trenches is an intimate account of one of the most tumultuous periods in Australian politics, as well as a tale of personal change.
After winning a spectacular victory against Prime Minister John Howard in 2007, McKew was one of the many casualties of the disastrous 2010 election campaign, when Labor was left clinging to the wreckage and forced into minority government. Still dealing with her own disappointments in a political career cut short by the machinations of her own party, McKew has spent the past year talking to her colleagues in an effort to understand what went wrong.
Maxine McKew counters the view that in 2010 Julia Gillard was a reluctant conscript who was forced to move against a chaotic and dysfunctional Kevin Rudd—and offers a different version of events. Says McKew "Rudd was removed by an impatient deputy backed by a group of individuals who see themselves as the 'owners' of the Labor party".
Why is Labor now operating through the uncertainty of minority government and from a position of diminished trust? And why is our political culture so debauched? Tales from the Political Trenches is a must-read for those who have followed the events of the past few years and are still asking, 'What the hell happened?'For more information: