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LHD Phase in


Asset Class Prime Contractor contract for two Canberra Class Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) and 12 LHD Landing Craft (LLC).

To understand the new platform requirements and successfully phase in the service support contract for maintenance.


On the 3rd of December 2018, NSM signed the Asset Class Prime Contractor contract to support the RAN’s flagship capability the Landing Helicopter Dock, HMAS Canberra and Adelaide. This contract also includes the 12 LHD landing craft and the Through Life Support Facility and Navy Training System Centre based at Randwick Barracks. Contractually this was called the Effective Date (ED) and was the trigger for NSM to commence phase in. Phase in requires NSM gain a complete understanding of the assets and to set in place the people, systems, processes, procedures and infrastructure to enable works to be undertaken in line with the service support contract.


Phase in was a seven-month process. During this time, NSM recruited 85 people, put in place over 110 processes and implemented an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, SAP, ready to support asset sustainment, performance management and contract management.

The RAN wanted to develop enterprise collaboration using their own mapping tools and quality processes. This required NSM’s team to be trained on the Navy’s systems, which are being used to manage maintenance, support and engineering services. This provides our customer with another level of transparency over the work. The Navy’s governance system was also set up to formally review and approve tasks through a gate process. Further to this, the contract was amended for NSM to also perform engineering work.


As of the 1st of July 2019, NSM completed the phase in, giving us the detailed activities and schedule by which to undertake them. We formally commenced the full scope of services for the ongoing sustainment of the LHD Enterprise.

A due diligence study was undertaken on the work done with the asset fleet prior to NSM being awarded the contract. This was required in order to understand what was already in place, eliminate the potential for replication, and continue on the work, where appropriate.

Our supply chain was extended across the east coast, with new suppliers sourced to undertake works on the LHDs and Landing Craft. Australian suppliers were also sourced to support engineering works for Navantia, as integration of engineering works was now required.

The future:

The phase-in process gave NSM a solid understanding of all of the scopes of work in the contract and enabled us to establish a baseline from which we could progress. We produced a 12-month annual work plan, designed to incorporate the full maintenance cycle, broken up into 8 and 6 week external maintenance periods for the vessels. We also forecast component fatigue and life span to allow us to anticipate when items are likely to require replacing (for example, valves and hoses) and then build this replacement requirement into the schedule to ensure ongoing, materiel seaworthiness and operational readiness of the LHD.

NSM has positioned itself to deliver on and exceed our customer’s expectations in supporting this capability and to ensure the vessels are available and seaworthy as and when required.

Naval Ship Management (NSM) Australia was formed in 2010 as a Joint Venture between Babcock and UGL. In 2022, Babcock acquired the remaining shareholding in NSM. NSM is now fully owned and trades under Babcock.

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