The detailed design of the RAN’s new Hunter class frigates being acquired under Project SEA 5000 has commenced following the formal acquisition of ASC Shipbuilding by BAE Systems Australia.
The design phase follows the signing of the head contract between the commonwealth and ASC Shipbuilding which provides the scope and framework for the detailed design and engineering work program required to allow prototyping to commence in 2020.
“I am delighted that we are embarking on the biggest surface ship project in the nation’s defence history,” BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive Gabby Costigan said in a statement. “Being awarded this contract demonstrates the confidence the Australian Government has in the combined capability of our employees across BAE Systems Australia and our new team at ASC Shipbuilding.
In a separate statement, Defence Minister Christopher Pyne said, “This is a fantastic day because we have delivered on our promise to sign this contract before the end of the year. The $35 billion program will provide the Navy with a world-class anti-submarine warfare capability, create thousands of jobs and contribute billions of dollars to the national economy.”
Steel is due to be cut on the first Hunter class vessel in 2022, for service entry in 2028.