The South Australian Government has strengthened its pursuit of major maritime projects including the next generation of submarines, with three key appointments.
Minister for Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith said that global submarine industry expert Steve Ludlam, formerly Chief Executive of Australian naval shipbuilding company ASC Pty Ltd, will join the Defence SA Advisory Board.
This follows the recent appointment of former submarine commander Andy Keough as the new Chief Executive of Defence SA, and the impending arrival of former naval officer Jim Hillock as Director Maritime with Defence SA.
“Sustaining the future of naval shipbuilding is critical to South Australia’s economy, creating thousands of jobs and significant opportunities for local businesses,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“These strategic appointments will add significant firepower to South Australia’s continued effort to capture the Future Submarine project and other major naval contracts.
“We are extremely fortunate to have secured the services of Mr Ludlam.
“As President of Submarines at Rolls-Royce in the United Kingdom, Mr Ludlam successfully modernised the country’s nuclear submarine program before moving to Adelaide in 2010 to take up his role at ASC.
“In his time at ASC Mr Ludlam played a key role in transforming the submarine business and started the company’s shipbuilding program from near scratch.
“I’m delighted he has agreed to bring his extensive maritime expertise to help guide the state’s defence efforts,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
Mr Ludlam said he was excited by the opportunity to contribute to the state’s development and add his experience to the formidable Defence SA Advisory Board.
“Based on our credentials and capabilities, South Australia has a compelling business case to secure the Future Submarine program, in addition to the Future Frigates,’ Mr Ludlam said.
“As a member of the Defence SA Advisory Board I will be pressing our case to the Federal Government and demonstrating that as the nation’s Defence State, South Australia can successfully lead Australia’s naval shipbuilding efforts for decades to come.”
Mr Keough commenced at Defence SA this week, leaving his role as General Manager Business and Strategic Development with ASC, which built the Air Warfare Destroyers and Collins Class submarines.
Jim Hillock, most recently Project Manager with Raytheon Australia on the Air Warfare Destroyer Program, will take up his appointment on 14 September.
“Mr Keough and Mr Hillock’s combined Navy and defence industry experience will enhance the already strong team at Defence SA – the state’s dedicated defence agency,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
Defence is a central pillar of South Australia’s economy, employing 28,500 South Australians and contributing about $2 billion to the state’s economy each year.