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In February 2021, John Sneddon, UGL Project Delivery Manager – Defence, and the team wrapped up UGL’s Bulk Head Upgrade project. The project required the upgrade of 12 of the Royal Australian Navy’s Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) Landing Craft (LLC), led by John as Project Manager. The works required a major structural modification which increased the operating load carrying capacity of the vessels. It was a collaborative effort between Defence and UGL to achieve this significant enhancement to a critical asset to both Defence and the Australian Community.
“This was a very rewarding project, and I was ably supported by the team throughout. The first of class vessels were very challenging as we had to complete two vessels by the end of Q1 2019 for the Royal Australian Navy to meet a planned operation. The UGL team led from the front covering to meet the delivery date. This commitment to meeting the client’s expectations secured UGL the upgrade of the remaining vessels. The schedule for the remaining 10 vessels provided a longer timeframe, but with each vessel taking five months it was a challenge to complete all 10 vessels in two years. The success of the project was dependent on developing good relationships between UGL, the client and our sub-contractors. Communication and good project controls were also key contributors.”
These vessels are the primary ship-to-shore connector, capable of transporting military personnel and the Australian Army’s heaviest vehicles and tanks from the LHD to shore. The program was required urgently to enable the vessels to meet their operational commitment to transport the Army’s M1 Abrams tanks. The UGL-led project was completed over two years, with the upgrade of each vessel taking approximately five months.
John managed a small project team based in Sydney to deliver the vessel modifications, on time and on budget. The Royal Australian Navy and contract organisation, Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG), commended the performance of the program and awarded the project a prestigious "Essington Lewis" award for sustainment projects valued at under $20 million.
UGL delivered the project on behalf of client Naval Ship Management (NSM) under the LHD Asset Class Prime Contract (ACPC).