Another Australian company brought in as Type 26 frigate supplier

An Adelaide-based composite materials developer has become the latest Type 26 global combat ship supplier, the Australian defense minister announced during a visit to BAE Systems’ Govan shipyard in Scotland.

Australian defense minister Linda Reynolds visiting the Govan site. Photo: BAE Systems

Linda Reynolds, the Australian defense minister visited Govan to witness the build progress being made on future HMS Glasgow, the lead City-class Type 26 frigate.

Airspeed, the developer of ‘design and build’ applications of composite materials for aerospace, maritime and energy-related projects, has been awarded the contract to provide the replenishment at sea stump mast (RASSM) for the first batch of three Royal Navy Type 26 ships which will run until 2023.

The RASSM allows for the resupply of ammunition and small of amounts of stores whilst the ship is at sea.

This is the second supplier from South Australia to supply into the Type 26 program as part of BAE Systems’ Global Access Program, joining: Electro Optic Systems, Liferaft Systems Australia, Thales Australia, Mackay Consolidated Rubber, Rowlands Metalworks and CBG Systems (Moonraker).

“In recent years, we have evolved our aerospace background to roll out lightweight structural composites for the Collins class submarines and local warship programs,” Airspeed managing director Steve Barlow said.

“This latest contract with BAE Systems to design and build a lightweight replenishment at sea stump mast (RASSM) for the Type 26 is a great opportunity to showcase the talent and technology innovation we have in our company.”

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

Work has already begun to mobilize the Hunter-class frigate program, and the head contract signed earlier this year 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 at South Australia’s Osborne Naval Shipyard in 2022.

Australia will build nine of the Aegis-equipped ships to replace the existing fleet of Anzac-class frigates.