Commercial Marine 417

Step forward for Navy’s Anti-Ship Missile Defence

A major milestone in the delivery of an upgraded Anti-Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) for the Royal Australian Navy's ANZAC Class frigates has been achieved with the completion of a successful trial of the system.

The project involved a comprehensive upgrade of HMAS Perth's anti-ship missile defence systems, including a new phased array radar. That technology was developed and designed in Australia by Canberra-based CEA Technologies.

“It's cutting edge technology, which will improve the ability of our frigates to detect and track targets,” said Minister for Defence Materiel, Jason Clare. “It also means the ship is now capable of engaging multiple targets at the same time.”

Sea Acceptance for the ASMD capability was completed after the ship engaged a Phoenix unmanned aerial target using an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile.

The ASMD project is being managed under the ANZAC Alliance by BAE Systems, Saab Systems and the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO). CEA Technologies was the prime contractor alongside the ANZAC Alliance members for Phase 2B of the project to supply the Phased Array Radar (PAR) for integration with the upgraded combat system by the ANZAC Alliance.

The upgrade of the frigates integrates CEA’s phased array radar (CEAFAR and CEAMOUNT); the Vampir NG infrared search and track system; the Sharpeye navigation radar system; and an upgraded 9LV combat management system, including improved operations room layout. Platform integration required significant structural modifications, undertaken at BAE Systems’ shipyard at Henderson, WA between January 2010 and February 2011.

BAE Systems’ Maritime Business Unit director, Harry Bradford said: “A key challenge in the project was the parallel development of new sensor systems, such as the PAR, and extensive changes to the ship and its systems, then ensuring that the integrated system worked effectively to meet customer requirements.

“HMAS Perth now has new forward and aft masts equipped with leading-edge radar and other sensor systems and the RAN’s most advanced operations room, housing a state-of-the-art combat management system,” he said.

HMAS Perth is the lead ship in the project. Defence is now preparing a business case for Government to upgrade the other seven frigates. Bradford said BAE Systems looked forward to seeing ASMD rolled out across the other ANZAC ships.

 Jockeying begins as Sydney Ferries EOI released
The commencement of the next stage of the NSW Government’s process to franchise Sydney Ferries has seen potential operators begin positioning themselves to bid.

NSW Minister for Transport, Gladys Berejiklian announced in July that formal Expressions of Interest were being sought from the private sector. She said the Government was on track to have a new operator for Sydney Ferries in place by the end of next year.

“The Expressions of Interest stage will be used to identify which companies will be short-listed to participate in a tender process later in the year,” Berejiklian said.

Key principles that will form the basis of the franchising arrangement include:
* The NSW Government will retain ownership of the existing vessels and of the Balmain shipyard, which will be made available to the new operator under leasing arrangements;
* The new operator will be responsible for maintenance of the fleet;
* Fares will be set by the Government and will remain part of Sydney’s multi-modal fare structure;
* The NSW Government will retain full control over contracted routes and service levels; and,
* The contract with the new operator will include clear and measurable key performance indicators, safety and staffing obligations and public reporting.

The EOI documents also note that the NSW Government will confirm the arrangements that will apply to existing Sydney Ferries staff prior to finalising the tender process. These arrangements are still being determined and will be the subject of further consultation with staff and relevant unions over the coming months.

Berejiklian said the Department of Transport used an earlier Registrations of Interest process to gauge the level and nature of industry interest and to assist with project planning.

That process resulted in 28 Australian and overseas companies registering interest. They included Austal Ships, Birdon, Captain Cook Cruises, DMS Maritime, Fullers Group, International Maritime Services, John Holland, Manly Fast Ferry, Riverside Coal Transport Company (the parent company of Fantasea Cruises), Royal Doeksen, SeaLink Travel Group, Serco Australia, Solar Sailor, Thales Australia, Transfield Services, Transit Systems and Veolia Transport Australasia.

Public transport operator Transit Systems underlined its desire to operate Sydney Ferries by appointing Brisbane Ferries’ Greg Balkin to its ferry division. Balkin was the general manager of the Brisbane City Council Ferry Network operations between 2003 and 2009.

Transit Systems CEO, Clint Feuerherdt said: “Transit Systems has been impressed with the commitment shown by the new NSW Government to breathe life into the Sydney Ferries service. This is the world’s best harbour, and it deserves the world’s best ferry service and we know how to deliver it.”

The company has declared itself an underdog as it did not participate in the previous government’s tender process in which Transdev and Veolia were shortlisted.

Commenting on this, Feuerherdt said: “With the merger of the two French giants Transdev and Veolia, we are keen to fly the flag for Australia in Sydney. We are starting behind the eight ball, but we are one of Australia’s largest ferry and bus operators and we successfully rival these international institutions in other Australian states.”

Commenting on Balkin’s appointment he said: “We are delighted to have Greg on our team. He was instrumental in the success of the iconic Brisbane CityCats and CityFerries. Greg has extensive experience working in the public and private sector, both in Sydney and Brisbane.”

Transfield Services and Veolia Transdev have confirmed they will jointly bid.

“We support this initiative by the O’Farrell Government and would welcome the opportunity to contribute to the improvement of public services to NSW commuters and tourists alike,” said Transfield Services managing director and chief executive, Peter Goode.

“The Transfield Services-Veolia Transdev team brings together a proven expert in the field of public transport with one of the world’s leading providers of essential services and asset management. It is a natural fit that will provide benefits to commuters, tourists, staff and the broader NSW community,” said Veolia Transdev chief executive, Jonathan Metcalfe.

Over the past decade, Veolia Transport, Transdev, and Transfield Services, together and separately, have delivered public transport services to communities throughout Australia. Veolia Transdev currently provides services in five different cities and regions in Australia and New Zealand, including Brisbane Ferries.

The former Transfield Services and Transdev joint venture, TransdevTSL, ran Brisbane City Ferries, Sydney’s Shorelink buses and Melbourne’s Yarra Trams.

 RDM delivers 26m Seychelles cat
The newest ferry in the Indian Ocean nation of Seychelles is a catamaran built in Hobart by Richardson Devine Marine.

Measuring 26.6m in length overall on a waterline length of 24.9m, Cat Cocos Isle of La Digue is constructed of aluminium and has an 8m beam. Although operating overseas, and carrying the Seychelles flag, the ferry has been surveyed to the 1C requirements of Australia’s Uniform Shipping Laws (USL) Code for the carriage of up to 227 passengers.

The main passenger deck seats 163 passengers in mostly forward-facing seats, with tables located in booth arrangements for those seats near to the bar aft. There is a forward door, with access to foredeck which features bench seats for passengers.

There are three toilets aft, as well as a large luggage room immediately adjacent to a crew gate, allowing quick and easy loading.

An external stair aft leads to the upper deck, where there are 48 outdoor seats and an upper deck cabin featuring 16 first class seats. This cabin also houses a mini-bar.

The catamaran is powered by a pair of MTU 12V 2000 M70 diesels, each delivering up to 787kW at 2100rpm. At the other end of the propulsion train is a pair of five-bladed propellers, with ZF gearboxes in between. The draft to the bottom of these props is 1.7m.

Also drawing on the total fuel capacity of 8000lt are a pair of 40kW Kohler 40EFO7D generators. Three-quarters of the fuel capacity is in the main tanks, with the remaining 2000lt in day tanks.

The ferry’s sea trials prior to shipping to the Seychelles established the efficiency of the hull design, provided by Incat Crowther, with fuel consumption lower than anticipated.

While the vessel reached a top speed in excess of 30kts on sea trials, its fully loaded operational speed is 26kts. This is achieved at 70 per cent MCR.

“Unknown” builder opts for Yanmar
A regional boatbuilder you most likely have not heard of previously is Nako Fisheries. The reason for that is that the company is based in Alotau, in the Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea, a nation known for boatbuilding. Nako, though, may be on the verge of changing that.

Producing a range of coastal trading vessels for local operation, Nako has been successful in delivering numerous new craft to modernise an otherwise ageing fleet.

Headed by Neil Stanton, the company concentrates on building vessels optimised for the harsh and demanding local operating environment, which lacks much of the support infrastructure Australian operators take for granted.

When it came to propulsion, Nako Fisheries typically takes something from the Yanmar range of commercial marine engines supplied through Victorian company Power Equipment. In particular, Nako opted for the Yanmar CH series of naturally aspirated marine engines. These are available in both four- (4CHE3) and six-cylinder (6CHE3) configurations rated at 78hp and 115hp respectively. Nako also elected to incorporate Yanmar marine transmissions as an integral part of the package.

Depending upon ultimate configuration of the Nako Fisheries boats, they typically achieve a loaded cruise speed of between 8 and 9kts, and consume about 12lt/h in the process.

Nako Fisheries has already launched more than 20 Yanmar-powered vessels, making the Nako-Yanmar combination an increasingly dominant one in the Papua New Guinea market.

 Common-user infrastructure mooted for the Pilbara
The Western Australian Government has announced the results of a study to determine the potential to develop a marine-based Common User Facility (CUF) in the state’s North West.

The study focused on identifying potential locations and the type of facilities and infrastructure needed to support the growth and development of the oil and gas, resources, defence, housing, building and construction industries.

It has identified that either Anketell Port or Port Hedland’s Lumsden Point would be the most appropriate sites to house common-use infrastructure in the Pilbara.

The study was promoted by the WA Government’s recognition of the need to further develop the economic base in the Pilbara, particularly given that resource projects under way or planned in the region represent significant opportunities for expansion.

Upcoming projects such as Gorgon, Wheatstone, Browse and Ichthys are expected to require infrastructure to support subsea installation and ongoing inspection, maintenance and repair work for more than 30 years. The Government hopes to encourage the development of local industries to service these projects by investing in common-use infrastructure.

A CUF in the north could potentially consist of wharves, lifting lay down areas, repair and maintenance and load-out facilities. The project would be modelled on the CUF at the Australian Marine Complex, 30 minutes south of Perth. That facility has been used by more than 100 different companies to undertake in excess of 350 multi-million-dollar contracts since it first opened in 2003.

Big cat goes to Denmark
The longest catamaran ever built in Australia, the 113m Leonora Christina, has been delivered to its Danish owners.

The high-speed vehicle-passenger ferry was constructed for Færgen (formerly Nordic Ferry Services) at Austal’s shipyard in Henderson, WA and is operated by Bornholmer Færgen, a subsidiary of Færgen. It operates the same route as the 86m Austal catamaran, Villum Clausen, which has been transporting vehicles and passengers between the Danish island of Bornholm and southeast Sweden since 2000.

Commenting prior to departure for Europe, Bornholmer Færgen senior captain, Soren Schow said: “Having spent a significant amount of time at Austal during the construction of Leonora Christina, I am confident that this vessel will perform well and exceed the expectations of the Bornholm public.

“After participating in recent sea trials, I am satisfied that Leonora Christina has fulfilled its speed requirements, while its proven seakeeping capabilities will ensure maximum passenger comfort,” he said.

Seating for the cat’s 1400 passengers is spread over the upper and bridge decks in a variety of fixed and adjustable seating from Australian company Beurteaux. Ample room and luxury fittings are evident throughout the ferry’s refined, high-quality interior, which reflects contemporary Scandinavian design aesthetics. Natural lighting and timber finishing deliver a feeling of light and space throughout, with large skylights located in the boat’s atrium completing the look.

The main passenger facilities are on the upper deck, which is split into several distinctive lounge areas along its length, each featuring its own style of seating, colour scheme and facilities as well as extensive use of glass to ensure a sea view for all. LCD TV screens are located throughout all passenger areas, with a screen visible from every seat in the interior of the vessel.

Bornholmer Færgen is particularly renowned for its high-quality food and beverage service, and the facilities on Leonora Christina are designed to assist the crew to exceed expectations not only in food quality but efficiency of delivery. The large galley features ergonomically-adjustable bench heights and extensive food storage and preparation services, along with a raft of features to enable rapid replenishment during the catamaran’s short time in port.

The design and layout of the food servery is unique to Bornholmer Færgen, with Austal’s design team working to ensure maximum efficiency and flow of people through food service areas. Adjacent to the servery is the shop, which features the same high-quality finishes found throughout the ferry. Tables and chairs border both sides of the servery, allowing passengers to enjoy their meals while taking in the panoramic ocean views. A separate bar and café facility towards the bow is also available to serve drinks and snacks throughout the duration of the voyage.

A children's play area is located on the upper passenger deck near the atrium and features a 42in flatscreen TV with DVD and surround-sound capabilities.

The ferry has also been designed to allow maximum wheelchair accessibility, with two lifts allowing disabled access from the vehicle to the passenger decks, together with designated wheelchair seating locations in the forward lounge in close proximity to the cafe.

The wheelhouse contains navigation and control stations for the captain and navigator, as well as an engineer’s station, with the Marine Link fully integrated monitoring and control system that provides the ability to monitor and control the ship’s safety, propulsion, generating and other operationally critical systems. The wheelhouse extends across the full width of the ferry, with fully equipped bridge wings. A crew mess and multiple crew storage areas add to the comfort and functionality of the boat.

The ferry’s three vehicle decks offer a total capacity of 300 truck lane metres, or a maximum of 357 cars, which are accessible via both bow and stern ramps, ensuring efficient drive-through loading and unloading of the vessel, thereby reducing port turnaround times.

With the ability to operate at speeds of up to 40kts, Leonora Christina is powered by four MAN 20V28/33D engines, each capable of producing a maximum output of 9100kW and driving Rolls-Royce Kamewa 125 SIII waterjets.

Leonora Christina was also built to comply with stringent Danish regulations, covering environmental noise, wave-wash and exhaust emissions, as well as ergonomic working arrangements for the crew and strict fire and safety standards.

Customs announces patrol boat preferred tenderer
Federal Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O’Connor, has announced the preferred tenderer to build the next generation of patrol boats to secure Australia’s borders. Western Australia’s Austal is the preferred tenderer for the $350 million contract to build and support eight new Customs and Border Protection vessels.

“Protecting Australia’s borders from threats of terrorism, people smuggling and organised crime, including the trafficking of illicit goods and illegal foreign fishing, is a major priority for the Government,” said O’Connor.

“The purchase of eight new Cape Class Patrol Boats is an investment in Australia’s long-term security.

“It will significantly bolster Customs and Border Protection’s capability to detect and respond to illegal activity in Australian waters. The new vessels will better support our dedicated Customs and Border Protection officers to more readily carry out their important work,” he said.

The Cape Class Patrol Boats Project calls for the new boats to have significantly enhanced surveillance and response capability and the ability to travel greater distances than the current Bay Class vessels.

Austal has a long history with Customs and Border Protection having produced the current eight Customs and Border Protection Bay Class vessels, as well as the current Royal Australian Navy fleet of 14 Armidale Class Patrol Boats.

“This is an important job retention and job creation opportunity for the Australian shipbuilding industry,” said O’Connor.

“The tender process was highly competitive showcasing the professional capability and substantial experience of the Australian shipbuilding industry.

“I wish to recognise the professional contribution of all the companies involved in the tender process, in particular Forgacs, who provided a strong bid into the parallel negotiations stage,” he said.

The eight new vessels will be named after geographical capes in each Australian State and Territory and reflect Australia’s geographic extremities.

Austal said the contract term is expected to be eight years, with options to extend the term for various periods up until the expiration of the life of the vessels, which is anticipated to be 20 years.

The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Bellamy said: “Austal is very proud to have been selected as
the preferred tenderer for the Cape Class Patrol Boat project given the importance of this new class of vessel to the duties that the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service performs in helping to safeguard our national boundaries.

“This contract is strategically important to Austal as it is a key first step in the repositioning of our Henderson facilities and our Australian business as a defence focused operation,” he said.

1). Combat Systems Operators closed up at Multi Function Consoles in the newly upgraded operations room on HMAS Perth.

2). A new operator for Sydney Ferries is expected by the end of next year.

3, 4, 5, 6). Cat Cocos Isle of La Digue is the third Incat Crowther-designed vessel for the operator.

7). PNG-based Nako Fisheries builds a range of specialist coastal traders for the local market.

8, 9). Apart from being a high-speed vehicle-passenger ferry, the Leonora Christina will also be known for her high-quality food and beverage service.

10). Cape Class is the next generation of Australian patrol boats.