Systematiq attended the Maritime Environmental Working Group (MEWG) Conference in Canberra on 24 July 2019.  It was a successful day with over 470 delegates from Navy and Industry attending the forum with the intent to help develop Australia’s Navy capability modernisation program.

This article provides an overview of the day and the key themes presented.

Summary of themes from the Maritime Environmental Working Group (MEWG) 24 July 19

The Chief of Navy, Vic-Admiral (VADM) Michael Noonan, AO, RAN opened the MEWG forum and highlighted the following:

  • Growth of RAN to 20K people.
  • Autonomous and remote technologies and applications to the RAN
  • Looking to release an Industry Engagement Strategy in October 

He outlined to the delegates how industry engagement helped boost Navy’s capability needs.

Head of Navy Capability (HNC) – Rear Admiral (RADM) Peter Quinn, AM, CSC, RAN

RADM Peter Quinn, AM, CSC, RAN spoke about the future directions of the RAN and outlined his plans and ideas. He spoke about the challenges facing Navy with the support to the increase in capability. 

Captain (CPT) Greg Laxton, SCS, RAN spoke about Navy’s Fleet Support Unit (FUS) and how the RNA are looking to increase the capability to improve equipment availability

He highlighted the challenges facing FSU and how he was keen to adopt principles like Industry 4.0 through Navy’s approach to maintenance under Plan Gallaleo.

The other DG from Navy’s Capability managers CDRE David Mann, CSC, RAN spoke about his challenges as the DG for Surface Combatants and Aviation.

CDRE Christopher Smith, CSM, RAN the DG for Littoral also posed an interesting problem statement to Industry around his areas of Capability and spoke about the ability to integrate AI into Navy operations.

In addition to the various DGs, The Director from the Directorate of Navy Continuous Innovation (DNCI), CAPT Adam Allica, RAN spoke to the audience around their initiatives and an interesting adoption by the Navy of Additive manufacturing to improve the availability of equipment.

A final presentation was from the Defence Innovation Hub who outlined some of the projects that were being funded to help grow Future Maritime Capability.

Commodore (CDRE) David Scott, AM, RAN spoke about the challenges facing Navy from Information Warfare and posed the first problem statement of the day for Industry.

Overall it was a successful forum for engagement between Defence and the Maritime Industry which highlighted opportunities for innovation and informed on future capability programs.  We look forward to the release of the Industry Engagement Strategy in October to identify what opportunities there are to help the RAN move forward.

Are you planning on helping with Australia’s Navy capability modernisation program?  Contact us.