Australia’s just selected a new build BAE Systems frigate to provide a new capability for the Royal Australian Navy.
The projected cost is $35 billion to build nine high-tech, anti-submarine frigates.
According to ABC Australia:
The contract is a key building block in the Federal Government’s defence industry plan, which Malcolm Turnbull says will form a “truly sovereign national Australian shipbuilding industry” ensuring the country’s security and prosperity.
ASC Shipbuilding, which is owned by the Australian Government, will become a subsidiary of BAE during the build.
Its shipyard in the Adelaide suburb of Osborne will be the hub once production starts in 2020.
The Hunter class frigates are expected to enter service in the late 2020s and will eventually replace the current Anzac class frigates, which have been in service since 1996.
However, the UK Royal Navy is also buying the Type 26, the first two of which are currently under construction. That fleet is not expected to be operational until 2027, which has some questioning whether the Australian frigates will be delayed.
At the end of the building program Australia will resume complete ownership of ASC Shipbuilding, meaning intellectual property of the Australian type 26 will be retained by the Commonwealth.