The prime contractor for the Hunter program, ASC Shipbuilding, a subsidiary of BAE Systems Australia, has signed the contract with Altrad Services after a competitive tender process.
In June 2020, ASC Shipbuilding awarded a $2.6 million contract to BlueScope Steel AIS, which will deliver more than 1500 tonnes of steel plate.
Australian Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the Altrad Services contract signing is a testament to the truly national endeavour of the Morrison Government’s Hunter Class Frigate Program.
“This prototyping work is essential to ensure that workers are trained in the systems and processes prior to the beginning of the construction of Navy’s nine Hunter class anti-submarine warfare frigates in 2022”Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC
“Through this Government’s up to $183 billion Naval Shipbuilding Plan we are strengthening Australia’s sovereign shipbuilding capability for generations to come, which will play a crucial part in supporting Australia’s economy and jobs growth.
“The Hunter Class frigates, which will be built at Osborne in South Australia by Australian workers, will support jobs across Australia as the economy continues to recover from COVID-19.”
Altrad Services will prepare the steel supplied by BlueScope Steel AIS by blasting it and painting it with a primer, prior to being cut and fabricated into blocks.
The completed blocks will then pass through the new Block paint facility, ensuring the blocks are in a condition to paint and be ready to be transformed into prototype blocks.
During prototyping, five representative ship ‘blocks’ will be built at the world-class Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia. The processes, systems, tools, facilities and workforce competencies will be established, tested and refined before construction commences on the first Hunter class frigate in 2022.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said this contract was all about delivering on the Morrison Government’s commitment to supporting Australian jobs in the defence industry.
“As we come back from the COVID-19 recession, businesses like Altrad Services in Perth will play a critical role in keeping Australians in a job,” Minister Price said.
“Now more than ever, it is so important that we continue to deliver unprecedented opportunities to Australian industry in this program.”
About Hunter-class Frigate
The Hunter Class FFGs will be built in Australia by ASC Shipbuilding at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia, based on BAE System’s Global Combat Ship design (also selected for the Type 26 City-class of the Royal Navy and Canadian Surface Combatant or CSC for the Royal Canadian Navy).
According to the Royal Australian Navy, the Hunter Class will provide the Australian Defence Force with the highest levels of lethality and deterrence our major surface combatants need in periods of global uncertainty. They will have the capability to conduct a variety of missions independently, or as part of a task group, 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.
Incorporating the leading edge Australian-developed CEA Phased-Array Radar and the US Navy’s Aegis combat management system, with an Australian interface developed by Saab Australia, the Hunter Class will be one of the most capable warships in the world.
Hunter-class Frigate specifications
|Type||Frigate, Guided Missile (FFG)|
|Roles||Anti-submarine Warfare Air Defence Surface Warfare Surveillance & Intelligence Interdiction Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief|
|Builder||BAE Systems/ASC Shipbuilding|
|Displacement||8800 tonnes (full load)|
|Propulsion||Combined Diesel Electric or Gas (CODLOG)|
|Speed||27+ knots (top speed)|
|Range||7000nm (electric motor drive)|
|Weapons||MU90 torpedos Mk45 Mod 4 5″ gun SM2 & ESSM missiles Advanced anti-ship missiles Mk41 Vertical Launch System 2 x 30mm short range gun 2 x 20mm Close in Weapons System Nulka Decoy System|
|Aircraft||1 x MH-60R helicopter|
|Company||180 crew including embarked flight. Accommodation for up to 208.|