USE THIS ONEBAE Systems Australia welcomed a visit Saturday (26 September) by Prime Minister Scott Morrison to the Osborne South Naval Shipyard to mark the progress that has been achieved towards delivering a sovereign and continuous naval shipbuilding industry. BAE Systems’ subsidiary, ASC Shipbuilding, is now in the final stages of the formal handover of the yard from Australian Naval Infrastructure of what will be one of the world’s most modern naval shipyards, a key enabler of Australia’s continuous naval shipbuilding strategy.

Hunter Class Frigate-joint-lab
Hunter Class Frigate rendering. (IMAGE: BAE Systems)

The Hunter Class Frigate program will deliver nine anti-submarine warfare frigates to the Royal Australian Navy, using a digital environment for the design and build of the ships made possible at the new shipyard and the company is now rapidly mobilising its people to work from the site. The company also announced that it has been given the green light to commence prototyping in December 2020 as planned, following the Prototyping Readiness Review, a formal review with Defence. The review assessed the Hunter program’s preparedness to commence prototyping across a range of areas including safety, quality production inputs, processes, tools, workforce and facilities.

These competencies will be extensively tested and refined during the prototyping phase before construction begins on the first Hunter class frigate in 2022.

The milestone builds on the significant momentum the program has made this year, including:

  • Growing the workforce to nearly 1,000, including the first intake of apprentices;
  • Signing the overarching licence for the new, state-of-the-art shipyard at Osborne;
  • Placing contracts with Australian businesses for materials and services to support prototyping.
BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive Officer Gabby Costigan.

BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive Officer Gabby Costigan said “the Hunter class frigate program is significant to both the defence of the nation, and the contribution it will make to the Australian economy. Today’s visit by the prime minister was important in demonstrating how despite the challenging environment we are working in as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, work on Hunter has not stopped. We now have the go-ahead to proceed towards cut steel on the prototyping phase of Hunter, and this will proceed in December, as planned, allowing us to continue to hire more Australians and sign contracts with more Australian businesses.”


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