BAE Systems’ ASC Shipbuilding secures contract for Australian Hunter-class frigates

The Australian government has awarded a contract to BAE Systems Australia’s new subsidiary ASC Shipbuilding that provides the framework for the design and build of nine Hunter-class frigates for the Royal Australian Navy.

The country’s government and ASC Shipbuilding signed the contract after ASC Shipbuilding structurally separated from ASC Pty Ltd and was acquired today by BAE Systems.

“This is a fantastic day because we have delivered on our promise to sign this contract before the end of the year,” Christopher Pyne, Australian Minister for Defence, commented.

“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,” Pyne further said.

Work has already begun to mobilize the Hunter-class frigate program, and the head contract signed today incorporates detailed scope for the design and engineering work necessary to allow prototyping to commence in 2020, and to ensure steel is cut on the first ship in Adelaide in 2022. The scopes for the build of the ships are to be agreed and added to the head contract in due course.

“I am delighted that we are embarking on the biggest surface ship project in the nation’s defence history,” Gabby Costigan, BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive, said.

“We are extremely proud to have been chosen to design and manufacture a formidable fleet of frigates that will give the Royal Australian Navy an essential next generation capability that will be critical in helping protect the nation for decades to come,” Costigan added.

Photo: BAE Systems

The Hunter-class frigate is based on BAE Systems’ Type 26 frigate, one of the world’s most advanced anti-submarine warships, which the company is currently constructing in Glasgow for the Royal Navy.

The new multi-mission frigate is designed to support anti-submarine warfare, air defence and general-purpose operations.

Related: Australia awards BAE Systems first Hunter-class frigate contract