BlueScope to supply steel for frigate build

BAE Systems subsidiary ASC Shipbuilding today signed a contract with BlueScope Steel AIS for the supply of steel for the prototyping phase of the Hunter class frigate construction programme.

Under the $2.6 million contract, BlueScope will deliver more than 1,500 tonnes of steel plate to ASC Shipbuilding’s Osborne shipyard (pictured) in Adelaide.

This is the first of a number of contracts ASC Shipbuilding will award to Australian businesses and covers construction of five representative modular ship ‘blocks’.

During this phase, the processes, systems, tools, facilities and workforce competencies will be extensively tested and refined before construction commences on the first frigate in 2022.

So far ASC Shipbuilding has released 27 work packages to the Australian market and has received 388 expressions of interest. Twenty-two requests for quotes have been issued.

ASC Shipbuilding Managing Director, Craig Lockhart, said: “Today’s contract signing is the first of many contracts that we will award to Australian businesses in coming months, as we count down to prototyping cut steel in December.

“During the prototyping phase we expect to spend 90 per cent of the value of the work required to construct the test blocks, in Australia.”

BlueScope Chief Executive, Australian Steel Products, John Nowlan, said the company had a long history of supplying steel for defence projects – 20,000 tonnes of steel was used to construct the ANZAC class frigates.

Nowlan said: “This contract is an important first step in potentially supplying steel into the build phase of the nine submarine hunting warships.”

BAE Systems/ASC Shipbuilding, Osborne South Australia

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