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Local Content Key to Babcock Bid for Australian SOF Helicopter

Local Collaboration is “Business as Usual”

Innovation, job creation and Australian industrial content (AIC) are key components of Babcock Australasia’s bid for the ADF’s special operation forces helicopter, according to a 13 August company statement.

Babcock has evidently been planning well in advance of the recent announcement that the RfP would be opened up to Australian industry (see MON reporting for 11 August), since the company is already working with 12 Australian SMEs and education providers to deliver a responsive solution.

With 16 helicopters at stake in the LAND2097 Phase 4 project and 95% of all maintenance, repair and overhaul work mandated to take place in Australia, the issue of AIC is clearly a major discriminator for the selection process. Babcock’s bid claims that 178 new jobs will be created and $326.6 million (€197.9 million) in economic benefits generated, while simultaneously supporting local R&D and stimulating technology, knowledge transfer and export opportunities.

Partners in the Babcock team include:

Airspeed Composites


Craig International Ballistics

Eagle Copters Australasia

FlightSafety International


L3Harris Technologies

Logistic Engineering Services

MMC Learning and Development

Omni Executive

Praxis Aerospace

Virtual Simulation Systems

The team aims to modify the Bell 429 GlobalRanger to provide the ADF with a solution at the cutting edge of special forces aviation. Delivering an agile and responsive sovereign capability is central to Babcock’s AIC plan, with all partners selected specifically for reliability, flexibility, cost-effectiveness and their Australian IP expertise. “We recognise the importance of supporting Australian innovation and developing and enhancing local skills, knowledge, systems, technology and infrastructure to meet Australia’s defence capability goals, create jobs and support economic growth,” explained Babcock CEO, David Ruff. “This approach is central to our current and future business and fully aligns with the Australian Department of Defence’s Australian Industry Capability (AIC) programme […] The global footprint of Babcock International Group means we can bring world-leading technology, expertise and IP to Australia and New Zealand to build local defence capacity and capability […] Babcock Australasia has an established reputation for treating its suppliers as partners, not vendors. We work collaboratively with our partner network to generate solutions for our customers that are cost-effective, collaborative and trusted to deliver.”

Graeme Nayler, Executive Director, Strategy and Future Business, added that the expertise and experience of Babcock’s partner network was essential to its bid. “Our local SME partners offer specialist capabilities that are vital to our defence offering, from maintenance, repair and overhaul, ballistics protection and targeting systems, to logistics support, engineering services and simulation and computer-based training […] Our defence work, including bids for new contracts such as LAND125 Phase 4 Field Equipment, the JP9101 Enhanced Defence High Frequency Communications System and LAND2097 Phase 4 Special Forces Helicopter Capability, has a proven track record of partnership with Australian suppliers and communities […] In building on our established commitment to Australian industry, we also work with indigenous-owned and operated businesses, support veteran employment as well as provide backing for STEM initiatives in schools, universities and TAFEs […] These activities are business as usual for Babcock.”

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