ASC Shipbuilding Announces Three New Feasibility Studies to Support RAN Hunter Class Frigate Program

ASC Shipbuilding, BAE Systems Australia’s shipbuilding business, has announced three new feasibility studies to support the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Hunter Class Frigate Program.

ASC Shipbuilding has placed orders with Craig International Ballistics, REDARC Defence Systems and Veem to undertake studies into whether three additional Australian companies can form part of the supply chain for the build phase of the first batch of frigates:

+ Craig International Ballistics will investigate whether they can provide an Australian solution for ship bridge windows and armour protection
+ REDARC Defence Systems will explore if it can provide an Australian solution to LED lighting throughout the ships, and
+ Veem will study security requirements for local propeller manufacture in Australia.

These feasibility studies form part of ASC Shipbuilding’s strategy for maximising Australian industry involvement in the Hunter Class Frigate Program, and beyond.

ASC Shipbuilding Managing Director Craig Lockhart :

“With a 30-year life-span, the building of nine submarine hunting warships provides an enormous opportunity for the nation to advance our sovereign shipbuilding capability and create long-term prospects for Australian industry.

“I have absolute confidence in Australian industry to bring ingenuity and innovation to the Hunter program, while at the same time providing valuable employment opportunities in the nation’s advanced manufacturing sector at a time when we’ve never needed it more.”

Veem Managing Director Mark Miocevich said:

“VEEM is very pleased to be part of a feasibility study to examine security requirements for local high level defence propeller manufacturing in Australia.

“VEEM operates the most advanced commercial propeller manufacturing facility in the world and being considered for the manufacture of the new anti-submarine warfare frigates is an exciting proposition. BAE Systems has a long history in Defence in Australia and have shown over that time, their commitment to supporting Australian Industry Content across a broad range of programs.”

REDARC Defence Systems General Manager Sales, Mike Hartas, said:

“REDARC Defence Systems is proud to have secured a contract with the Hunter Class Frigate Program to explore how we as a local designer and manufacturer of advanced electronics systems can contribute to the first batch of ships and look at how this could flow down across our local supply chain.

“The outcome of this study, which although does not guarantee work, does ensure we are able to present to the program and the Government the value that we can contribute to the National Shipbuilding and Sustainment Plan.”

Craig International Ballistics CEO James Craig (CEO) said:

“Craig International Ballistics is a Gold Coast manufacturer that produces advanced ballistic protection systems.

“As a provider of ballistic protection to many Australian Defence Force assets, we welcome the opportunity to showcase our Australian Industry Capability for the Hunter Class Frigate Program.”

RAN Hunter Class Frigate Program

The Royal Australian Navy’s Hunter Class guided-missile frigate (FFG) is based on BAE Systems’ Type 26 frigate, one of the world’s most advanced anti-submarine warships, which the company is currently constructing in Glasgow for the Royal Navy.

The RAN frigates will be built in Australia by ASC Shipbuilding at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia.

Hunter-class frigate
Rendering of a Hunter-class frigate of the Royal Australian Navy.

The Hunter Class will provide the Australian Defence Force with the highest levels of lethality and deterrence our major surface combatants need in periods of global uncertainty. They will have the capability to conduct a variety of missions independently, or as part of a task group, with sufficient range and endurance to operate effectively throughout the region. The frigates will also have the flexibility to support non-warfare roles such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Incorporating the leading-edge Australian-developed CEA Phased-Array Radar and the U.S. Navy’s Aegis combat management system, with an Australian interface developed by Saab Australia, the Hunter Class will be one of the most capable warships in the world.

The first three ships of the Hunter Class will proudly carry the names of three major Australian regions, all with strong historical maritime and naval ties. HMA Ships Flinders (II) (SA region named for explorer Captain Matthew Flinders – first circumnavigation of Australia and identified it as a continent); Hunter (NSW region named for Vice-Admiral John Hunter – first fleet Captain and second Governor of NSW); and Tasman (state and sea named for explorer Abel Tasman – first known European explorer to reach Tasmania, New Zealand and Fiji). The class name was specifically chosen for the alternate interpretation of a ‘hunter’ personifying the role of the frigates as a submarine hunter, with the term embodying the pursuit of prey.

The Hunter Class will begin entering service in the late 2020s replacing the eight Anzac Class frigates, which have been in service since 1996.


+ Type: Frigate, Guided Missile (FFG)
+ Roles: Anti-submarine Warfare (ASW), Air Defence, Surface Warfare (ASuW), Surveillance & Intelligence, Interdiction, and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR)
+ Builder: BAE Systems/ASC Shipbuilding
+ Displacement: 8800 tonnes (full load)
+ Length: 149.9 meters
+ Beam: 20.8 meters
+ Propulsion: Combined Diesel Electric or Gas (CODLOG)
+ Speed: 27+ knots (top speed)
+ Range: 7000nm (electric motor drive)
+ Weapons: MU90 torpedos, Mk45 Mod 4 5″ gun, SM2 & ESSM missiles, Advanced anti-ship missiles, Mk41 Vertical Launch System, 2 x 30mm short-range gun, 2 x 20mm Close in Weapons System, and Nulka Decoy System
+ Aircraft: 1 x MH-60R helicopter
+ Ship company: 180 crew including embarked flight. Accommodation for up to 208.

%d bloggers like this: