BAE Systems Australia is set to develop a digital shipyard in Adelaide in support the company's bid for the Royal Australian Navy's nine-ship Future Frigate contract.

If selected, the company will transfer all intellectual property and technical data to the country, including the digital ship design optimised for the construction of the Global Combat Ship – Australia.

This also includes the transfer of all naval shipbuilding processes that have been specifically designed to meet the requirements of the new Adelaide shipyard.

The design authority transfer is slated to begin next year as part of an A$1.5bn ($1.19bn) investment by BAE Systems in support of its design and engineering capability, which has been carried out to aid the development of the advanced vessel.

The company will also invest A$100m ($79.53m) in an information and technology system for the digitisation of the shipyard to support the transfer.

BAE Systems' new facility will be built to ensure that every aspect of the vessel during the design and build stages, and throughout its entire service life, is accessible to the crew, as well as fleet maintenance and modernisation personnel, and various approved suppliers.

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BAE Systems chief executive Glynn Phillips said: “Digitisation enables a significant step change across every element of a traditional ship design and build programme.

"Our investment will ensure that everyone on the programme has access to information that will save time and money and facilitate greater innovation in our supply chain."

“Our investment will ensure that everyone on the programme has access to information that will save time and money and facilitate greater innovation in our supply chain.”

A number of intelligent on-board and shore-based solutions are expected to monitor the performance of the ship and its systems, thereby enabling the staff to focus on performing the right tasks.

The digitised shipyard will also feature an inventory of parts, including cost and acoustic signature, suppliers and their details.

This will offer the Australian industry an opportunity to upgrade all parts and systems that have been selected for use in the development of the Global Combat Ship.

Image: Type 26 Global Combat Ship for Australia. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.