able logo


Able Industries Engineering located at South Kingsville in the inner western suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, hopes to grow its business and employ more workers by supplying specialised metal fabricated components to Australia’s new submarines.

Supply of the Australian Navy’s new submarines is currently open to a Federal Government Competitive Evaluation Process (CEP). This is for the Federal Government and Department of Defence’s ‘SEA 1000 Future Submarine Program’. The Program is a high-value, high-skills national infrastructure project that can deliver substantial long-term benefits to the Australian economy.

Able has the right engineering credentials to participate given its 40 year defence manufacturing track-record.

Able is one of a select number of businesses which met with the German submarine manufacturer ThyssenKrupp during its recent supplier visit roadshow in Australia. These meetings were coordinated by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems Australia (TKMSA) which is preparing its bid to supply new submarines to the Australian Navy.

TKMSA was keen to meet the team from Able given their earlier, and ongoing role, supplying the Australian Defence Force, notably the Navy’s frigates, and more recently Air Warfare Destroyers (AWD) and a Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD).

Managing Director at Able, Stephen Martyn, said, “Defence manufacturing has been a major source of business for us since the mid-80's. Our first naval project was at Williamstown Victoria working on the The Royal Australian Navy Guided Missile Frigate build program. In the 1990’s, we again worked on frigates at Williamstown supporting the Navy’s Anzac Ships Project (ASP) as well as complex parts for the Huon class Mine Hunter Coastal (MHC) SEA 1555. The 2000’s included the manufacture of the FFG upgrade (guided missile frigate) followed by the recent AWD and LHD build program. Since then we have been awarded a range of other Australian land defence contracts.

“Importantly for our business, working in the defence industry has brought three major benefits."

"First: Credibility. Working for prime defence customers, Able invested in highly disciplined quality systems, Engineering Support, CAD design and project management. Having a quality system which meets the highest standard has provided Able with the opportunities and experience to utilise in other defence industry segments.

“Second: Technology. Able became early adopters with international standards and technologies required by defence programs. This has led to other opportunities outside defence, for example, new projects in the renewable energy sector.

“Third: Jobs. Since commencing operations in 1975, we’ve grown to now employ over 60 full-time staff. We invest in research and development, best-practice systems and procedures, advanced engineering technologies and most importantly, our people. Our aim is to develop skills, and challenge and reward our staff and deliver the best results possible to our clients.

“Should TKMSA be successful, Able look forward to being a supplier to Australia’s Future Submarine Program and working with TKMSA, especially via its proposed partnering and technology-sharing program in Australia. Our objective and focus is to partner with TKMSA to supply the world-class engineering these new submarines will require,” Stephen Martyn said.

Dr John White, Chairman of TKMSA, said, “We were keen to meet with the Able team during our roadshow given their capability and track-record in supplying specialised welding and engineering to other Australian defence contracts. Able’s great track-record working with other Defence Prime contractors in Australia over the years, also provides a great template for how we will actively partner with local manufacturers and service suppliers should our submarine bid be successful.”

Dr White noted, “As the most experienced designer and builder of conventional submarines, we have been very impressed with the calibre and track record of Able Industries and other potential suppliers we’ve met recently. We base this evaluation on delivering more than 160 submarines across 20 different navies.

“We have partnered to build some 50 submarines in our customer’s home country.

“Importantly, we provide the world’s largest submarine industrial support base for diesel-electric submarines and will replicate that naval industry capability in Australia,”

Dr White concluded.“We are committed to establish a naval service centre in Australia to serve the APAC region. Indeed, we have already demonstrated our ability to transfer naval vessel design and production technology with around 70% local industry participation; notably locally with the ANZAC Frigate program.

More about Able Industries Engineering: see-

About ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems
TKMS is the world’s largest submarine manufacturer and has designed and built submarines for some 160 countries. The company is actively engaged in programs across a number of countries to design, build and maintain submarines and continues to develop the most technologically advanced hardware available to meet changing defence requirements.