• David Figallo and Paul Figallo from Novafast with Craig Lockhart from BAE Systems Australia. (Supplied)
    David Figallo and Paul Figallo from Novafast with Craig Lockhart from BAE Systems Australia. (Supplied)

BAE Systems Australia has contracted Adelaide-based businesses Novafast International and Century Engineering to manufacture parts to support the Hunter Class Frigate Program’s prototyping phase. 

During prototyping, BAE Systems’ workforce at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia is building representative ship blocks in order to test and refine the processes, systems, tools, facilities and workforce competencies prior to constructing the first of nine submarine-hunting warships. 

“Block manufacture is a critical part of the prototyping phase that provides our employees the chance to test the full productive  capacity of the yard, as well as the build process," BAE Systems Australia Managing Director – Maritime, Craig Lockhart, said.

“It’s important our supply chain is invested in our success and to that end I’m pleased Novafast International and Century Engineering are working with us – both  companies have a strong track record in delivering for defence."

Composite product and material manufacturer, Novafast International, has been awarded a contract to manufacture 331 composite pipe spools that will be used for water systems and drains, each one ranging from 9m to nearly 12m long.

Novafast has also been certified by Lloyd’s Register to manufacture composite pipe spool – the only company in Australia to be fully accredited to manufacture this product.

On the back of securing this contract, Novafast officially launched its new $4 million facility in South Australia yesterday, to house its manufacturing capabilities for composite production.

“We are pleased to partner with BAE Systems Australia to deliver world-class defence manufacturing capabilities in South Australia," Novafast International Business Manager, David Figallo, said.

“Our world-leading robotic technique manufactures advanced and automated composite piping and fittings to support the representative ship blocks that are being constructed as part of the Hunter program’s prototyping phase.

“We have already created 15 highly-skilled roles and are projected to create more than 25 roles by late 2023 as the first batch of  ships go into production.”

Century Engineering has also been contracted to manufacture more than 340 steel handrails for the prototype blocks and more than 2000 steel parts of varying sizes that will be used to support block outfitting.

“Our participation in the Hunter Class Frigate Program prototyping phase has provided the chance for many people in Adelaide to join this exciting program through Century Engineering," Century Engineering Managing Director, David Heaslip, said.

“With BAE Systems Australia, we continue to develop Australian industry supply initiatives leading to a more capable supply ecosystem and giving many individuals  the opportunity to develop their skills and provide them with long-term careers.”

BAE Systems Australia has reportedly contracted 45 Australian companies to support Hunter’s prototyping phase, and says it will progressively engage more local businesses as the program approaches cut steel on the first frigate. 



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