Australian business REDARC Defence & Space has been awarded a $23 million contract to supply 12,600 LED lights for the first batch of three Hunter class warships.

The contract is the culmination of a five-year collaboration between REDARC and UK company MARL International which will see Lonsdale-based REDARC lead the manufacture and delivery of lighting and related parts for the Royal Australian Navy’s anti-submarine warfare frigates.

BAE Systems Australia is working closely with the Commonwealth to build Australian industrial capability by contracting small and medium Australian businesses that are collaborating with the supply chain for the Type 26 frigates, under construction in the UK. The Hunter class frigates to be built at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia are based on BAE Systems’ reference ship Type 26 design.

REDARC Defence & Space is partnering with MARL International to manufacture and supply 79 different types of lights for each frigate, including bunk and flood lights, weatherdeck and step lights, general and emergency lights.

Shipbuilders working on the Hunter program are currently manufacturing five prototype ship blocks to test and refine the processes, systems, tools, facilities and workforce skills ahead of construction of four Hunter ship blocks in May 2023, planned to be used in the first ship.

BAE Systems Australia has already placed contracts with more than 50 Australian businesses to support Hunter’s prototyping phase, and as the program progresses will contract more local companies for equipment and parts manufacture, supply and assembly for the first three frigates.