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Digital shipbuilding

Digital shipbuilding is all about connectivity – not just within the physical and digital shipyard, but also with our supply chain and customer. To create an enduring sovereign industrial capability that supports Australia’s continuous naval shipbuilding strategy for future generations, we require a connected ship design, a connected shipyard, a connected worker, a connected ship and a connected fleet.
This is a significant step-change to shipbuilding programs of the past. It will deliver a highly skilled workforce equipped to use Industry 4.0 technologies. The workforce will support activities that will be undertaken at the Osborne Naval Shipyard – one of the most technologically advanced shipyards in the world.
Simultaneously, the program is supported by the engineering team at Red Ochre Labs, BAE Systems’ hub for disruptive technology and early product development. Red Ochre Labs is working alongside our shipbuilding team to examine data analytics more closely, including the design of future sustainment technologies and exploring how they can be incorporated into block builds early in the process.

Line Zero: Tonsley Innovation District

Line Zero is a collaborative venture embedded within the Tonsley Innovation District, in Adelaide’s south, which allows us to solve real-world shipyard problems in a safe and intelligent environment.
In collaboration with Flinders University, we partner with academics, researchers and Australian businesses to develop and trial new manufacturing technologies and techniques to improve productivity, quality and safety outcomes at Osborne.
Developing and testing digital solutions in a controlled environment removes risk during the construction phase. It has already lead to improved outcomes for our employees and build techniques in the shipyard.
Pilot Line Zero
Pilot Line Zero


Diploma of Digital Technologies

A prominent feature of our digital shipbuilding strategy is Australia's first digital shipbuilding course, the Diploma of Digital Technologies. The curriculum is the result of collaboration between BAE Systems, Flinders University, the Commonwealth Government and the Government of South Australia.
The qualification equips employees with digital skills for modern shipbuilding. It combines theoretical approaches to Industry 4.0 technology with hands-on skills, changing the course of shipbuilders’ careers and building advanced manufacturing capability in the process.
In 2021, 51 former shipbuilders from the Air Warfare Destroyer Program completed the course. They successfully transitioned to the Hunter program, where they are now applying their newly-developed skills.

The Visualisation Suite

The state-of-the-art Visualisation Suite - or vis suite - at Osborne is a critical tool in the digital shipyard.
The state-of-the-art LCD wall is the first of its kind in Australia. It provides our design engineers with an unprecedented opportunity to refine the Hunter class frigate design before construction begins – saving cost, schedule and rework.
Detailed perfectly to scale, the vis suite provides our employees – engineers, test and commissioning teams, product planners, safety teams and operations – the chance to digitally review interior and exterior specifications and then make modifications before frigate construction begins.
The digital design of the Hunter class frigates gives us the opportunity to invest in the development of new technologies and solutions that will transform continuous naval shipbuilding, ensuring the Royal Australian Navy maintains its competitive edge.

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The Hunter-class frigate

Hunter class frigates

Visit the Hunter Class Frigate Program page to learn more about the largest surface ship project in the Australia's history.
Visit the Hunter webpage