BAE Systems Australia’s new subsidiary ASC Shipbuilding has been awarded a contract by the Australian Government that provides the framework for the design and build of nine Hunter Class frigates for the Royal Australian Navy.
The Hunter Class Frigate
The Hunter Class frigate incorporates years of investment in digital design techniques and builds on the UK Royal Navy’s formidable pedigree in anti-submarine warfare and extensive operational experience.
The Hunter Class frigate has been designed for maximum versatility and flexibility in operational roles, from humanitarian and disaster relief operations to high-intensity warfare.
The integrated Mission Bay and Hangar is capable of supporting multiple helicopters, unmanned vehicles, boats, mission loads and disaster relief stores. A launcher can be provided for fixed wing UAV operation and the Flight Deck is capable of landing a Chinook helicopter for transport of embarked forces.
ASC Shipbuilding has been building complex and highly capable surface naval vessels for the Royal Australian Navy for the past 10 years.
ASC Shipbuilding is currently working on the Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyer and Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessel programs and are an integral part of Australia’s sovereign naval shipbuilding capability.
Progress on the program
On 29 June 2018 the Australian Government announced BAE Systems was selected as the preferred tenderer to deliver nine frigates to the Royal Australian Navy and that BAE Systems would acquire ASC Shipbuilding.
In October, BAE Systems signed an Advanced Work Arrangement with the Australian Government for the Hunter program which allowed BAE Systems to continue to mobilise the program.
In November, BAE Systems announced it had selected Lockheed Martin Australia and Saab Australia to partner with the company to deliver the Combat System Integration on the frigates.
Modelling recently released predicted that at the peak of the build, in 2028, the program will contribute just under $1 billion in GDP to the Australian economy.