Future Frigates RFT released to shortlisted designers

HMAS Ballarat patrolling the North West Shelf of Australia.
Anzac class frigates such as HMAS Ballarat are set to be replaced under SEA 5000. (Defence)

The Request for Tender (RFT) for the SEA 5000 Future Frigate program has been released to the shortlisted designers: BAE Systems, Fincantieri and Navantia.

Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said in a statement that Defence has been working with the three candidates since August 2015 on refining their designs, although the shortlist was only publicly announced in April 2016.

“Today’s announcement shows the government is on track to begin construction of the Future Frigates in 2020 in Adelaide,” Minister Pyne said. “The release of the RFT is an important part of the Competitive Evaluation Process, which will lead to the government announcing the successful designer for the Future Frigates in 2018.”

BAE Systems has been shortlisted with the Type 26 Global Combat Ship design, Fincantieri with the Bergamini class FREMM frigate and Navantia with a redesigned F100.

“The three shortlisted designers must demonstrate and develop an Australian supply chain to support Australia’s future shipbuilding industry, and also how they will leverage their local suppliers into global supply chains,” Minister Pyne said.

“The government is committed to maximising Australian industry opportunities and participation, and this project will contribute to building a sustainable Australian shipbuilding workforce.”

The evaluation of the responses to the RFT is due to commence later this year.

Minister Pyne toured the FREMM frigate Carabiniere in February, and visited the Navantia-built Cristóbal Colón on March 17.