BAE Systems Starts Building Australia's Hunter Class Frigates

BAE Systems Starts Building Australia’s Hunter Class Frigates

BAE Systems Maritime Australia has reached a significant milestone in the Hunter Class Frigate Program, securing a contract to build the first three ships. The program officially entered its formal construction phase with a steel-cutting ceremony at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide, South Australia.

Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles and South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas presided over the event, marking the beginning of construction for one of the world’s most advanced anti-submarine warfare frigates.

Based on the Type 26 Global Combat Ship design, the Hunter Class frigates will provide the Royal Australian Navy with next-generation capabilities. These vessels are set to be among the most technologically advanced, stealth-capable anti-submarine warfare ships globally.

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The frigates’ modular mission bay allows for a wide range of operations, from warfare to humanitarian and disaster relief efforts. This versatility underscores the strategic importance of the Hunter Class in enhancing Australia’s naval capabilities amid growing regional uncertainties.

The Hunter Class Frigate Program represents more than just shipbuilding; it’s a catalyst for economic growth and technological advancement in Australia. BAE Systems has established world-leading facilities and fostered a vibrant supply chain ready for full-rate production.

The program has already created a skilled workforce capable of producing high-quality shipbuilding products that can compete on a global scale.

Construction is already underway, with six schedule protection blocks in production as part of the risk mitigation strategy. The first Hunter Class frigate is expected to enter service in the early 2030s, replacing the Anzac Class frigates that have been in service since 1996.

In total, the program aims to deliver eight frigates to the Royal Australian Navy, significantly bolstering the nation’s naval capabilities.

This landmark project not only enhances Australia’s defense capabilities but also stimulates the local economy and advances the nation’s shipbuilding industry. As construction progresses, the Hunter Class Frigate Program is poised to play a crucial role in shaping Australia’s naval future and its position in the Indo-Pacific region.

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