• Concept art of the Hunter Class Frigate.
    Concept art of the Hunter Class Frigate. BAE

ASC Shipbuilding, now a subsidiary of BAE Systems Australia, has been awarded a contract by the Government that provides the framework for the design and build of nine Hunter Class frigates.

The Australian Government and ASC Shipbuilding signed the contract after ASC Shipbuilding structurally separated from ASC Pty Ltd and was acquired today by BAE Systems. 

Work has begun to mobilise the program, and the head contract signed today incorporates detailed scope for the design and engineering work necessary to allow prototyping to commence in 2020. The first steel is due to be cut on the first ship in Adelaide in 2022.

The scopes for the build of the ships are yet to be agreed and added to the contract.

BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive Gabby Costigan said: “I am delighted that we are embarking on the biggest surface ship project in the nation’s defence history.

“Being awarded this contract demonstrates the confidence the Australian Government has in the combined capability of our employees across BAE Systems Australia and our new team at ASC Shipbuilding.

“We are extremely proud to have been chosen to design and manufacture a formidable fleet of frigates that will give the RAN an essential next generation capability that will be critical in helping protect the nation for decades to come.”

The signing comes as the first steel is raised for the new Hunter Class construction yard.

Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne and the Minister for Finance Senator Mathias Cormann said it was fantastic to see the project achieving significant milestones.

“The steel raising for the new shipyard involves the elevation of more than 8,000 tonnes of structural steel fabricated by local SA companies, Samaras Structural Engineering and SA Structural Steel, two of the fifty-eight local suppliers involved in this project," Minister Pyne said.

“The facilities being constructed are uniquely designed and built to facilitate the delivery of nine Hunter class frigates and to support a continuous naval shipbuilding program for future vessels." 

“Progress at the Osborne South Shipyard is critical to ensure we meet our ambitious timeline to start the frigate program in 2020,” Minister Cormann said.

“We would like to thank Defence, Australian Naval Infrastructure, Lendlease and the many contractors for their work on the project.”


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