At the world-class Osborne shipyard in South Australia, Minister for Finance, Senator Simon Birmingham, SA Premier Steven Marshall and BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive Gabby Costigan were joined by BAE Systems Maritime Australia employees as Australian steel was cut to officially launch the Hunter program’s prototyping phase.
During prototyping, five representative ship blocks will be manufactured and assembled using Australian steel, and the systems, processes, facilities and workforce competencies will be established and tested, providing a solid operational foundation before construction starts on the first Hunter class frigate in 2022.
The 1000th employee recently joined the business and up to 1000 more people – including apprentices and graduates – will be recruited in 2021 as the program continues to ramp up.
BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive Officer, Gabby Costigan, said:
“To start prototyping just two years after the contract to deliver the Hunter program was signed in 2018, is an incredible achievement,” BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive Officer, Gabby Costigan, said.
“The pace of the program has been swift. We have moved into a modern, digitally advanced shipyard, progressed the design of the ship and significantly expanded our workforce. In the year ahead, we look forward to recruiting many more people to the program, putting the shipyard through its paces, engaging further with our supply chain and placing more contracts with Australian businesses.”BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive Officer, Gabby Costigan
“The next two years of prototyping will be incredibly important as we prove our systems and manufacturing processes ahead of construction starting at the end of 2022,” BAE Systems Maritime Australia Managing Director, Craig Lockhart, said.
“Australian companies will play a significant role in the prototyping phase – the overwhelming majority of the content provided will be from Australian sourced materials and services. In parallel, we’re also working with Australian industry and academia to explore and test local technologies that could contribute to the efficiency of the construction phase.”
BAE Systems Maritime Australia will build nine submarine hunting warships for the Royal Australian Navy over the next three decades using advanced manufacturing technologies that link digital engineer design with automated technologies and digitise work packs for shipbuilders on the ground.
Nearly 1,400 Australian businesses have registered their interest in the program via the online Industry Capability Network.
The Hunter Class frigate is based on the Type 26 Global Combat Ship design, which supports a close partnership between the UK Royal Navy, Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Australian Navy, all of whom have selected a variant of the design for their anti-submarine frigate programs, supporting greater operational, training and intelligence ties.
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.|