Australian company BlueScope Steel AIS has signed a contract with ASC Shipbuilding to deliver more than 1500 tonnes of steel plate to be used to construct five ship blocks in the prototyping phase of the Hunter-class frigate program.
FILE IMAGE: BAE Systems’ Type 26 Global Combat Ship – Australia’s future Hunter-class frigate.
The contract is worth around $2.5 million.
The ship blocks will test processes, systems, tools and facilities before construction commences on the first of nine frigates, scheduled to commence by end 2022.
Minster for Defence Linda Reynolds said the prototyping phase was on schedule to begin this year.
[Can any reader tell us is ship-block prototyping a standard practice? We’ve never heard of it – but maybe only because there haven’t been press releases about this phase in the past.]
“This latest contract signing demonstrates the progress being made on the Hunter-class frigate program, which will form the foundation of the government’s $90 billion National Naval Shipbuilding Program,” Minister Reynolds said.
“Prototyping is an essential phase when building any complex warship, and will ensure employees at ASC Shipbuilding are thoroughly trained in using the state-of-the-art digital equipment in one of the world’s most advanced shipyards at Osborne South in Adelaide.
“This first phase is key to the Hunter-class program, which, when complete, will provide the Royal Australian Navy with a regionally superior anti-submarine warfare capability.”
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the frigate program was “all about Aussie jobs and creating a skilled Australian workforce”.
And here I thought it was all about building ships to defend our island continent 😉