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SAGE Automation collaborated with sub-contractors and our client, BAE Systems Australia, to design, manufacture and commission cubic modular switchboards for four Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Paluma-class vessels.


Defence: Naval


SAGE Automation collaborated with sub-contractor ComAp and client, BAE Systems Australia, to design, manufacture and commission cubic modular switchboards for four Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Paluma-class vessels.


Design and manufacture of main switchboards and engine control panels for 4 Paluma-class vessels, factory acceptance testing (FAT), Performance Monitoring System upgrades, onboard commissioning support, design and manufacture of cubic modular switchboards that achieved Lloyd’s certification, sub-contractor collaboration.  


Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Adrien Staines, Electrical Engineer, BAE Systems Australia

“BAE Systems Australia engaged SAGE to design, manufacture and test four shipsets as part of the Power Generation & Distribution System refurbishment consisting of main switchboards and engine control panels, as well as upgrade the platform management systems for the RAN Paluma Class Survey Motor Launch vessels. SAGE was required to deliver the project under stringent deadlines within a compressed timeframe, however this proved to be no issue.

BAE Systems remains impressed by SAGE’s manufacturing capability and by the company’s ability to deliver this project on time and within budget.”


The Royal Australian Navy’s Paluma Class Hydrographic Fleet of Vessels carry out the majority of survey operations in shallow water areas of Northern Australia.   

The Paluma Class vessels were systematically having their obsolescence issues designed out, ensuring the vessels would be operationally capable out to 2025 (the current Planned Withdrawal Date (PWD)). As part of this program, the Power Generation and Distribution (PG&D) system was identified as requiring refurbishment to ensure its continued fitness for purpose and serviceability through to the current PWD.


BAE Systems Australia engaged SAGE Automation to undertake the design, construction and Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) of the PG&D system. SAGE was tasked with replacing the existing system with a new state-of-the-art version, suitable to meet the needs of the Paluma class vessels through to 2025 and beyond.

As part of this upgrade, SAGE designed, manufactured and tested the main switchboards and engine control panels for the fleet of vessels. The main switchboard of the vessel was an appropriately type-tested and approved modular switchboard. In addition, SAGE upgraded the onboard Performance Monitoring Systems in order to provide the new advanced Power System monitoring and alarming functions.   

The complete system was required to meet a number of stringent customer requirements including Lloyd’s certification and type testing approvals.


SAGE Automation delivered the cubic modular switchboards for all four vessels within strict deadlines, on budget.

BAE-Switchboard Manufacture

As part of the switchboard and control panel design and manufacturing process, SAGE worked closely with ComAp, the suppliers of the generator control system. The collaborative nature of this side of the project ensured the delivery of a Lloyd’s-certified modular switchboard that will serve the RAN for the next five years and beyond if required.

In addition, SAGE engineers in Melbourne successfully designed, implemented and tested upgrades to the Performance Monitoring System (PMS) to facilitate the enhanced functionality of the new PG&D system.



Project highlights

  • Project delivered within a tight timeframe to meet the operational requirements of the vessels
  • Strong collaborative outcome across the project, including design works and working with a new supplier
  • SAGE demonstrated a clear capability in design and manufacturing of the modular switchboard to meet onboard space restrictions and certification requirements
  • Performance Monitoring System upgrades and onboard commissioning support delivered by SAGE engineers
  • Completed works achieved Lloyd’s Certification.

SAGE Automation has the ability to collaborate closely with companies who need to manufacture within a tight timeframe. 

Recently, SAGE's manufacturing facility assembled more than 50 weapons training consoles that will be used for the Royal Australian Navy. To see how they came together, watch the video here.  

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