Marine Support Facility
Western Australia has substantial marine repair, refit and modernisation capability centred around the Australian Marine Complex and the Marine Support Facility. The Marine Support Facility is owned and operated by BAE Systems and has significant capacity for vessel repair and refit.
Ideally located, the Marine Support Facility is now an integral part of Western Australia's shipbuilding, ship repair and maintenance industry.
The Marine Support Facility is equipped with extensive dry-berth support infrastructure, including one of Australia's largest ship-lifts, which is used extensively by the Royal Australian Navy. This is complemented by the $170million upgrade at the Common User Facility, which includes a floating dock capable of lifting vessels up to 12,000 tonnes and transfer system able to move vessels up to 3500 tonnes from the dock to anywhere within the AMC.
The Marine Support Facility ship-lift has a nominal lifting capacity of 8,065 tonnes, large enough to lift the majority of the Australian Navy's combat vessels.
It has been used to dry-dock the Royal Australian Navy's guided missile frigates, ANZAC class frigates and the Collins-class submarines, which are stationed at the nearby HMAS Stirling's Fleet Base West on Garden Island.
The ship-lift is also used for a wide range of commercial vessels and can accommodate ships up to 140 metres in length with 23 metre beams.
The ship-lift is supported by:
- Side transfer capability and cradles;
- Wheeled and trawler cranes of up to 210 tonnes;
- 3D-CAD system, using AutoCAD, Maxsurf, Netmate and MathCAD, together with associated CAM system; and
- Extensive workshops (approximately 5000 tonnes).
Backed by Government and Industry
The Federal and State Governments, in conjunction with the Western Australian marine industry, made a strategic decision to develop the ship-lift and dry berth facilities at the Australian Marine Complex. This was decided following the Royal Australian Navy's decision in 1986-87 to homeport its entire fleet of Collins-class submarines and later more than half its surface fleet at nearby Stirling Naval Base.