As a strategic partner to the Australian Department of Defence, A&P Australia has provided In-Service Support for HMAS Choules since 2012. A critical part of this contract is the planning and execution of regular maintenance periods to ensure HMAS Choules is always seaworthy and ready to sail at her full capability. 

In late 2020, A&P Australia conducted a three-month Annual Maintenance Period (AMP 20) that included 379 planned maintenance tasks, 219 scheduled corrective maintenance tasks and 28 urgent defects. These were carried out alongside 16 engineering changes - 13 as part of the HMAS Choules Capability Assurance Programme. 

A&P Australia worked with over 50 local companies during AMP 20, including long-term partner Sydney-based Halliday Engineering. 

During AMP 20 Hallidays employed their largest ever team on-board HMAS Choules, and successfully completed numerous ship repair and engineering activities on behalf of A&P Australia.

Training and Accreditations

In order to support A&P Australia with the growing scope of work for the HMAS Choules contract, Hallidays have improved their processes, such as achieving ISO 9001 accreditation and Lloyds approval for their weld procedures. This has enabled them to train and codify an additional 15 welders who have achieved their Welder Qualified Test Certificates (WQTC) - certifying them to conduct structural weld repairs to HMAS Choules.

Scott Willey, Managing Director A&P Australia, said: “Hallidays’ commitment to up-skilling and training their team to respond to the growing requirements of the HMAS Choules contract gives us the confidence they will deliver what we need now and into the future.”

A Technical and Capability Challenge

A major change to the scope of work for AMP 20 resulted in 463 container and vehicle deck lashing pots needing to be replaced - compared to the 250 originally planned. Each replacement involved: Specific access; fire watch and controls; cropping; prepping; fitting; full penetration welding; NDT, cleaning and preservation. These tasks required around 75-hours of labour per lashing pot due to the complexity of access and controls. 

Several pots were located above sensitive equipment, machinery and accommodation spaces and often spanned compartments. This required careful planning so the work did not conflict with ship’s staff and other onboard activities. Fire sentries were also placed in multiple adjoining spaces to ensure the work was carried out to the highest safety standards.

Scott Willey, Managing Director A&P Australia, said: “Hallidays reacted exceptionally well to this challenge. The improvements in process and capability gained from our ongoing relationship is having a very positive impact on our services to defence.”

Knowledge Transfer and In-Country Support
Luke Halliday, Managing Director, Halliday Engineering, said: “Established by Charles Halliday in 1852, we will be celebrating our 170th birthday next year. The longevity and success of our business is subject to the commitment and investment we put into up-skilling our people and developing their crafts.

“As a result of A&P Australia’s continued support we have been able to develop and refine our defence sustainment capabilities. 

“The security provided by partnering with A&P Australia has also bolstered our ability to upscale with an additional 22 members of staff, including four apprentices and a team of undergraduate and graduate engineers

“Whilst our craftsmanship has been passed on through the generations, we employ modern manufacturing technologies and have invested in advanced manufacturing equipment including welding machines and numeric controlled cutting machinery.

“Our machinery, skillsets and IP are all transferrable, so we have been fortunate enough to provide our services on other Navy vessels including HMAS Canberra, HMAS Adelaide and Landing Craft.

“Without the support of A&P Australia we simply would not have accomplished what we have.”