Steel cut for Australia’s first Hunter-class frigate

The steel was cut at Osbourne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide for the Royal Australian Navy’s first Hunter-class frigate.

BAE Systems

The event, which marked the beginning of the construction phase, took place on June 21, 2024.

The contract for the construction phase for the first three Hunter-class frigates has now been signed by Defence and BAE Systems Australia, with the first frigate expected to be operational in 2034. 

The piece of steel cut forms part of the under-structure support for the port side propeller shaft brake system. 

Based on the Type 26 global combat ship, the first four of which are under construction at BAE Systems’ site in Glasgow, UK, Hunter is one of the world’s most advanced anti-submarine warfare frigates and will provide the Royal Australian Navy with next-generation capability, according to BAE Systems.

“Hunter will be one of the most technologically advanced, stealth-capable anti-submarine warfare vessels in the world and its modular mission bay allows it to undertake a wide-range of missions from warfare to humanitarian and disaster relief. Over the coming years we will build and deliver the first three Hunter class frigates to the Royal Australian Navy,” Ben Hudson, Chief Executive Officer, BAE Systems Australia, said.

“We already have a head-start on the construction of the first Hunter class frigate, with six schedule protection blocks already in production approved under the design and productionisation phase as part of the risk mitigation strategy,” Craig Lockhart, Managing Director, BAE Systems Australia – Maritime stated.

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

They will be equipped with 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.

The construction phase of the Hunter-class frigate program will run for 20 years. 

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