Mr Vilasanchez and Navantia Australia chairman Warren King signed a deed of transfer for the intellectual property. The transfer formalises Navantia S.A.’s designation of Navantia Australia as class manager for the Hobart Class in February 2018.
“We are very proud of the capability which is being established in Australia,” said Mr Vilasanchez. “Navantia Australia now has full control and responsibility for the management and development of the Hobart Class intellectual property. This includes the development of our F-5000 Future Frigate design, as well as export variants, establishing a truly sovereign design capability for Australia.”
The Navantia and Bath Iron Works design for the US Navy’s FFG(X) future frigate program is based on the Hobart Class. With Navantia Australia having local control and responsibility for the design’s management and design will increase Australian industry’s ability to export to this and other programs, including Navantia’s bid for the Canadian Surface Combatant.
Mr King has hailed the decision as the most valuable transfer of intellectual property in the history of Australian defence industry.
“For the first time in our history, Australia now is building the capability to design our own major warships,” Mr King said. “Having control and ownership of this intellectual property in Australia provides us with sovereign control over the future development of our naval capability. Being able to use this intellectual property while drawing on Navantia’s centuries of experience provides Australia with our best opportunity to build our own sovereign industry.”
Navantia Australia’s F-5000 Future Frigate design is based on the Hobart Class. HMAS Hobart, the lead ship in the class, was commissioned in September 2017 and recently completed successful trials of the co-operative engagement capability with NUSHIP Brisbane.