TQCSI-Yaran, a local company, has signed a contract to provide support during the prototyping phase of the Hunter-class frigate programme in Australia.

The Adelaide-based firm signed the contract with ASC Shipbuilding, the prime contractor for programme.

As agreed, TQCSI-Yaran will audit and carry out quality, safety, health and environmental systems certification.

The prototyping phase is set to begin next month.

Australian Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said: “Prototyping is an essential phase in the building of any complex warship.

“This will ensure that ASC Shipbuilding’s workforce are thoroughly trained in using the state-of-the-art digital equipment in one of the world’s most advanced shipyards at Osborne in Adelaide.

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“This first phase is vital to the overall programme, which will provide navy with a regionally superior anti-submarine warfare capability it needs in the future.”

In 2018, ASC Shipbuilding, a subsidiary of BAE Systems, was selected by the Australian Government to build Hunter-class frigates under Project SEA 5000 Phase 1.

The programme will involve the delivery of nine anti-submarine frigates, modified to meet Australian requirements.

It is expected to support the local defence chain over the course of the programme and will contribute around A$1bn to the country’s GDP at its peak in 2028.

In September, ASC Shipbuilding signed professional services company GHD Group to aid the prototyping of the Hunter frigate.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said: “More than 1,300 Australian companies are already pre-qualified for ASC Shipbuilding’s Hunter-class frigate supply chain.”

Construction of the first frigate is slated to begin in 2022.