Navantia pitches F-5000 design for Future Frigates bid

Navantia Australia has submitted its response to the Commonwealth’s Request for Tender for the Sea 5000 Future Frigate program with what it regards as “a comprehensive plan for a leading edge anti-submarine warfare (ASW) vessel and Australia’s continuous shipbuilding industry”.

The F-5000, an evolution of the soon to be commissioned Navantia-designed Hobart Class DDG, will be designed locally to meet specific requirements of the Royal Australian Navy, and built in Adelaide using expertise, experience and equipment from Australia, according to the company.

With capabilities based on the Hobart Class, the F-5000 also incorporates lessons learnt from the operational requirements of the Navantia designed and built Norwegian F-310 ASW frigate. The F-5000 will also provide operational flexibility and force multiplication by incorporating 48 strike length missile cells, a Mk45 5” gun, an advanced above water sensor suite, and integration of the MH-60R combat helicopter and UAV featured in the F-5000’s design.

Navantia says that incorporating the Navantia-SAGE Automation Group’s (NSAG) Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS), which will already be operated by 1,500 men and women of the Navy across seven existing naval platforms, additional training requirements will be reduced and the Adelaide based NSAG will continue to grow as a key input to capability.

A rendered image of Navantia's F-5000 design. Credit: Navantia Australia“By using an in service Australian ship as our reference to build the F-5000, we will be ensuring that Australia’s future ASW frigate is able to seamlessly integrate into the RAN’s fleet and provide the savings through economies of scale for shipbuilding, training, maintenance and supply support.” Navantia Australia’s Donato Martínez said.

Navantia Australia board member and former DMO chief executive Warren King said the F-5000 builds on over a decade of ship design and build experience with industry that ensures a low risk, early start for the Australian shipbuilding industry.

“When Navantia first partnered with the Commonwealth on the Hobart Class destroyer, we didn’t have a ship designer, and we didn’t have a shipyard. Now, over a decade since the partnership first began, Navantia Australia has developed the intimate customer knowledge, understanding of Australian industry capability and commitment to building Australia’s own shipbuilding industry.”

In April Navantia Australia managing director Paco Barón told ADM studies had “basically confirmed the AWD platform can undertake Sea 5000 requirements in a very low risk fashion with engineering work we would consider routine”.

At the time, Navantia was analysing any changes to the Commonwealth’s requirements and “was trying to stick to a philosophy of minimum change”, and, according to Barón, the existing design had space and weight margins to provide for the requirements.

He didn’t foresee any change to the AWD hull design and said, “the platform as it is, even in terms of noise signature, is at a very high level of performance”.

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