Preparation underway to build new frigates

January 7, 2021 – Prototyping is underway at the Osborne shipyard in Adelaide in preparation for work to start on Navy’s Hunter-class frigates.

Defence’s Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group’s first assistant secretary ships Sheryl Lutz said five prototype blocks would be built in the prototyping phase to test the shipyard’s production systems, develop the facilities and ensure the workforce was trained and ready to build the Hunter-class frigates.

“Nine of the world’s most advanced anti-submarine warfare frigates will be constructed in Australia and the prototyping phase marks the beginning of a decades-long program that will be the cornerstone of continuous naval shipbuilding in Australia,” Ms Lutz said.

“The Osborne shipyard is a world-leading shipyard, which will enable Australian industry do its job constructing this advanced fleet of frigates for the nation.

“Raising the capability of Australia’s shipbuilding industry is central to the National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise as we continue to develop a truly sovereign maritime industrial base.”

Ms Lutz said the prototyping phase of the Hunter-class frigate program would end in 2023.

“The actual construction phase of the Hunter program is scheduled to commence by the end of 2022, with prime contractor BAE Systems Maritime Australia, a subsidiary of BAE Systems, already supporting Australian jobs,” Ms Lutz said.

The Hunter-class program will be the cornerstone of the Federal Government’s $183b Naval Shipbuilding Plan, which will see more than 70 naval vessels built in Australia.

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