WATCH: Australia’s Hunter-class frigate taking shape at Osborne Naval Shipyard

Defence company BAE Systems has revealed that the Royal Australian Navy’s first Hunter-class frigate prototyping block is coming together at Osborne Naval Shipyard.

As explained, the block is made up of four units and soon all four units will be joined together.

The process was aided by cameras, lasers and guide-plates, ensuring the level of precision in lining up the units exceeded targets, with a margin of error less than 2 millimetres, according to BAE Systems.

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The structural manufacturing of the first prototyping unit for the Hunter-class frigate was completed last October. The 17 square meter unit, comprising more than 28 tonnes of steel, has moved from the shipyard’s primary manufacturing hall into the next stage of production where it was outfitted and consolidated into the first prototyping block.

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The Hunter-class frigate program will deliver nine anti-submarine warships to the Royal Australian Navy. In May this year, BAE Systems Australia announced that twelve firms from Australia will be subcontracted to manufacture, assemble and supply thousands of valves for the first batch of three Hunter-class vessels.

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The Hunter-class ships will have a 8,800-tonne full load displacement and will be approximately 150 metres long.

They will be equipped with an advanced anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability, a 24-cell strike length Mk 41 VLS for long-range strike weapons such as the Tomahawk, a vertical launch silo (VLS) for Sea Ceptor anti-air missiles, a 5-inch gun, and will be capable of landing a Chinook helicopter on its flight deck.