The Australian Government has selected BAE Systems as the preferred tenderer for the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) SEA 5000 Future Frigates programme, which is worth approximately A$35bn ($25.71bn).
The company will be responsible for the delivery of nine Hunter-class advanced anti-submarine warfare frigates to the RAN under the deal.
BAE Systems’ ‘Global Combat Ship – Australia’ concept has been selected for the programme by the government following a comprehensive competitive evaluation process (CEP).
The design is based on the British Royal Navy’s Type 26 frigate.
The new Hunter-class Future Frigates are intended to provide the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with the highest levels of lethality and deterrence required by the RAN’s major surface combatants during periods of global uncertainty.
Furthermore, the BAE-designed vessels will help support Australia’s plan to improve its national security and naval shipbuilding sovereignty, in addition to generating new job opportunities.
The SEA 5000 programme is expected to create and sustain at least 5,000 highly skilled jobs across the country, while offering additional local and global opportunities for both large and small Australian businesses.
BAE Systems Australia chief executive Gabby Costigan said: “Construction of the Global Combat Ship – Australia is expected to make a significant contribution to the nation’s economy, creating thousands of jobs, supporting new industries and boosting the national supply chain for decades to come.”
ASC Shipbuilding is slated to contribute to the project and operate as a subsidiary of BAE Systems upon the completion of contract negotiations.
ASC will be responsible for the supply of the Global Combat Ship – Australia concept to the RAN via BAE Systems.
The Hunter-class vessels have been designed to replace the RAN’s eight Anzac-class frigates and will begin entering service with the navy in the late 2020s.