Naval Warfare

BAE Systems Maritime Australia Awarded Contract to Build First Three Hunter Class Frigates

Royal Australian Navy Hunter class Frigate
Royal Australian Navy Hunter class Frigate

The Commonwealth of Australia has awarded BAE Systems Maritime Australia a contract to build the first three Hunter class frigates as the program celebrates its transition into formal construction phase. Deputy Prime Minister, Richard Marles and the Premier of South Australia, Peter Malinauskas, officially cut steel on the first ship at a ceremony at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide, South Australia. The event was attended by representatives from Federal and State Governments and the Royal Australian Navy, as well as BAE Systems Australia industry partners, suppliers and employees. The piece of steel cut forms part of the under structure support for the port side propeller shaft brake system. Based on the Type 26 Global Combat Ship, the first four of which are under construction at BAE Systems’ site in Glasgow, UK, Hunter is one of the world’s most advanced anti-submarine warfare frigates and will provide the Royal Australian Navy with next-generation capability.

Craig Lockhart, Managing Director, BAE Systems Australia – Maritime, said:“We already have a head-start on the construction of the first Hunter class frigate, with six schedule protection blocks already in production approved under the design and productionisation phase as part of the risk mitigation strategy. This program has always been more than just building ships, we have created world-leading facilities, a vibrant supply chain ready to step up to full rate of production and a workforce that is proving it can produce the highest quality shipbuilding products that can compete anywhere.”

Contract award and steel cut marks historic day for Hunter Class Frigate Program
Contract award and steel cut marks historic day for Royal Australian Navy Hunter Class Frigate Program. (Photo by BAE Systems)

Ben Hudson, Chief Executive Officer, BAE Systems Australia, said:“This is a proud moment for all of us at BAE Systems Australia and it comes at a time when the capability of Hunter has never been more important. Hunter will be one of the most technologically advanced, stealth-capable anti-submarine warfare vessels in the world and its modular mission bay allows it to undertake a wide-range of missions from warfare to humanitarian and disaster relief. Over the coming years we will build and deliver the first three Hunter class frigates to the Royal Australian Navy.”

BAE System’s Global Combat Ship – Australia will be one of the most advanced anti-submarine warships in the world. The Hunter Class FFGs will be built in Australia by ASC Shipbuilding at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia. The Hunter Class will provide the Australian Defence Force with high levels of lethality and deterrence that major surface combatants need in periods of global uncertainty. They will have the capability to conduct a variety of missions with sufficient range and endurance to operate effectively throughout the region. The frigates will also have the flexibility to support non-warfare roles such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. The Hunter Class will begin entering service in the early 2030s replacing the 8 Anzac Class frigates, which have been in service since 1996.

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