28 Jun 18. Defence Connect announced today that Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has tonight unveiled BAE Systems’ Type 26 Global Combat Ship as the design for Australia’s $35bn Future Frigate program.
The new frigates will be officially known as the Hunter class, with the Royal Australian Navy to receive nine advanced guided missile frigates beginning in the late 2020s.
In one of defence’s most hotly-contested competitions in years, BAE Systems with its Type 26, Navantia with an evolved Hobart-class/F-100, and Fincantieri with its FREMM frigate were all considered for the next-generation of Australia’s surface fleet.
The new Hunter class will mark a major increase in the future capability of the Royal Australian Navy and will combine the powerful Aegis combat system, the Australian designed CEAFAR 2 phased array radar and a suite of advanced anti-submarine sensors allowing the ships to conduct a variety of missions, with sufficient range, endurance and world-leading combat capability throughout the projected life of the vessels.
It can also be revealed the next generation of frigates will be built by ASC Shipbuilding at the Osborne Naval Shipyard. ASC Shipbuilding, currently wholly owned by the Commonwealth, will become a subsidiary of BAE Systems during the build.
According to the Prime Minister, this will ensure BAE Systems is fully responsible and accountable for the delivery of the frigates and ensures the work will be carried out by Australian workers and create Australian jobs.
As part of the Government’s $89 billion Naval Shipbuilding Plan, BAE and its winning design will be responsible for directly creating 4,000 jobs around the nation while kickstarting the nation’s sustained sovereign shipbuilding capability once construction commences in 2020.
This concerted industrial effort will also provide further workforce and industry development opportunities in the lead-up to the rolling SEA 1000 Future Submarine procurement program, set to commence in Adelaide from 2022-23.