Breaking into the global supply chain

Tasmanian company exports to the world's navies

Homegrown Hobart-based Liferaft Systems Australia says a successful BAE Systems bid to build Australia’s next generation naval frigates will boost employment in Tasmania, while giving its company a milestone opportunity to celebrate the deployment of its cutting-edge technology to Royal Australian Navy vessels.

Having already this year delivered its Maritime Evacuation System to the first Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier and future Royal Naval Flagship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, Liferaft Systems Australia Managing Director Mike Grainger said the company was eager for the opportunity to extend its lifesaving expertise to the Royal Australian Navy.

Liferaft Systems Australia will also provide Maritime Evacuation System technology to the second QE Class aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, as well as the Royal Navy’s Type 26 frigates and has supplied its products to the French, Dutch and New Zealand Navies.

From its base in Hobart, Liferaft Systems Australia has developed the safest, most compact and lightweight Marine Evacuation System in the world. It designed and produced the first 100-person life raft to receive international approval – subsequently expanding its range of products to include 50 and 128-person liferafts and a range of marine rescue solutions, including inclined evacuation slides.

The partnership with BAE Systems has been a significant part of Liferaft Systems Australia’s success, according to Mike Grainger.

“We have a long-standing relationship with BAE Systems, and have worked very closely with them to produce a world class product for their world class ships,” Mr Grainger said.

In September this year Liferaft Systems Australia celebrated its 25th anniversary and the company and its 70 full time staff are hoping for expansion opportunities should BAE Systems be awarded the SEA 5000 Future Frigate program.

Liferaft Systems Australia’s Maritime Evacuation System can safely evacuate up to 600 personnel, regardless of age, gender, size or physical capability in less than 30 minutes at each separate station.

“Assuming we are successful in becoming a supplier for the SEA 5000 frigates, we would need to expand even more and quite significantly,” Mr Grainger said.

“It would be our first supply contract to the Royal Australian Navy and a real feather in the company’s cap.”

Mr Grainger estimated that a successful Liferaft Systems Australia product supply award to the Royal Australian Navy would see the company increasing its workforce by up to 43 per cent with 25-30 new employees coming onboard at its Derwent Park design and manufacturing hub.

“Our employee turnover is very low and we are very proud that our Marine Evacuation System, the world’s first direct from ship to life raft technology, was developed right here in Hobart. This was an extraordinary feat for Australia,” Mr Grainger said.

In the event of an ‘abandon ship’ emergency, the Marine Evacuation System facilitates the speedy and safe transfer of a ship’s crew to the liferafts via directly connected inflatable slides.

Liferaft Systems Australia was initially contracted to supply inflatable liferafts to high-speed aluminium multihull ferries manufactured in Tasmania by Incat. From those humble beginnings the company graduated to the premier league of the Rosyth Naval Dockyard in Scotland last October, where the successful test deployments of its three 20m Maritime Evacuation Systems and two 100-person self-righting link liferafts to HMS Queen Elizabeth were witnessed by senior Royal Navy officers.

“Our employee turnover is very low and we are very proud that our Marine Evacuation System, the world’s first direct from ship to life raft technology, was developed right here in Hobart. This was an extraordinary feat for Australia.”


Latest News
BAE Systems to use Australian steel for Royal Australian Navy’s Future Frigate construction
BAE Systems has committed to using Australian steel in the construction of the Future Frigates by signing a Letter of Intent with BlueScope Steel and Liberty OneSteel at a signing ceremony in Adelaide....
Global power and propulsion manufacturers to deliver leading technology to Australian industry
To support future Australian Naval programs and the development of a continuous naval shipbuilding capability, BAE Systems announced today that it has signed an agreement...
BAE Systems expands shipbuilding opportunities for local companies
BAE Systems today announced that Australian small to medium sized businesses will have the opportunity to work with the global defence company to deliver equipment and services...
BAE Systems Australia welcomes $200 million Nulka upgrade
BAE Systems Australia has welcomed today’s visit to the Company’s Henderson facility in Western Australia by the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull...
BAE Systems welcomes Australian Minister for Defence Industry to UK
Charles Woodburn, BAE Systems’ Chief Executive, today welcomed The Hon. Christopher Pyne MP, the Australian Minister for Defence Industry, to BAE Systems’ head office in London...
New defence projects offer genuine career options for university graduates
BAE Systems Australia has launched a ‘call to action’ for the nation’s university students to consider a future career in the defence industry...
Defence drives innovation exports
More than 30 global companies with contracts to supply critical major parts for the Type 26 Global Combat Ship being manufactured in the UK, will transfer bespoke technologies and capability to Australia...
BAE Systems provides a hand up to Indigenous entrepreneurs
BAE Systems will support the development and creation of up to 20 Indigenous defence companies, as part of the company’s efforts to mobilise Australian industry, should it be the preferred bidder for SEA 5000...
Adelaide to have Australia’s first digital shipyard
BAE Systems Australia will transform Australia’s shipbuilding industry through the development of a digital ship yard in Adelaide, if selected to build nine Future Frigates for Australia...
BAE Systems to create 1000 shipbuilding apprentice and graduate roles in SA
BAE Systems announced today its commitment to recruiting more than 1000 apprentices and graduates if down-selected for the Federal Government’s SEA 5000 Future Frigate program...
BAE Systems reaffirms its commitment to ship building in South Australia
BAE Systems today reaffirmed its commitment to ship building in South Australia...
BAE Systems submits bid for SEA 5000
BAE Systems today announced that it has submitted its bid to the Australian Government for the nation’s SEA 5000 Future Frigate program...
BAE Systems Australia

BAE Systems Australia has been a trusted partner to the Commonwealth for over 60 years. As Australia's largest provider of maritime sustainment work, with around 1,000 full-time employees, we're an important part of the fabric of Australian industry. We offer our customers and partners total capability in vital areas including through-life support, security, logistics and systems integration.

Click here to learn more about Australia's most versatile defence and security company.

BAE Systems Australia Global

We provide some of the world’s most advanced, technology-led defence, aerospace and security solutions and employ a skilled workforce of some 83,100 people in over 40 countries. Working with customers and local partners, we develop, engineer, manufacture and support products and systems to deliver military capability, protect national security and people and keep critical information and infrastructure secure.

Click here to find out more.

Email updates

Get in touch

BAE Systems Australia, 1 Taranaki Rd, Edinburgh, SA, Australia, 5111

(08) 8480 8888

Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy

Copyright © 2017 BAE Systems. All rights reserved.