Construction of six frigates officially underway in Adelaide


The federal government has announced the next stage in the development of continuous naval ship building with commencement of the construction of the first of six planned Hunter Class Frigates.

This milestone was marked today by the Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles and the Premier of South Australia Peter Malinauskas cutting the first piece of steel to be used on the first ship of the class.

The ships are being built at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide – a new shipyard operating as a largely paperless and automated manufacturing system.

Until now constructor BAE Systems Australia has been onboarding and training staff, proving and developing manufacturing process, and testing new technologies to be used in the constructions of the ships.

A number of massive prototype ship blocks, which are knitted together to make the vessels have been completed, with BAE Systems claiming unprecedented accuracy in the size and fit of ship parts.

The Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said: “This first milestone is not just about cutting steel; we are supporting Australian workers to build frigates in an Australian yard, supporting Australian industry.

“Continuous naval shipbuilding is how Australia will grow its shipbuilding and sustainment workforce, industry, and infrastructure.

“This project will support highly skilled Australian jobs, including around 3,000 direct jobs at its peak and a further 5,000 indirect jobs through the Australia supply chain.”

The Hunter class will replace ANZAC frigates and aim to improve the Royal Australian Navy’s undersea warfare and strike capability.

The contract for the construction phase for the first three Hunter Class Frigates has now been signed by Defence and BAE Systems Australia, with the the future HMAS Hunter expected to be operational in 2034.

The construction phase of the Hunter programme will run for 20 years, at its peak supporting 3,000 direct jobs and 5,000 indirect jobs across the Australian supply chain.

These are in addition to the thousands that will be required to build AUKUS submarines and extend the life of the Collins class submarines, both of which will also take place at Osborne.

The Premier of South Australia Peter Malinauskas said today was a momentous day for the state.

Malinauskas said: “The construction of the frigates locks in a pipeline of continuous naval shipbuilding in South Australia, delivering thousands of secure, well paid jobs for generations to come.

“This delivery of frigates alongside SSN-AUKUS submarines puts South Australia front and centre in the most crucial of national endeavors.

“It also represents a step change in our state’s economic complexity, which will help improve the standard of living for South Australians more broadly.”

Picture: Richard Marles/Osborne Naval Shipyard ceremony

Share this Story

Stay Informed

Go to Top