Three SMEs join in Hunter class frigate build

Three new SMEs have signed up with Adelaide’s ASC Shipbuilding and will join in the important prototype phase of the construction of Australia’s new Hunter class frigates.

Adelaide Profile Services, Intertek’s Adelaide Inspection Services and NSW-based Sofraco will work with Osborne-based ASC Shipbuilding, which is owned by prime contractor BAE Systems Australia.

Adelaide Profile will process and precision-cut around 250 13-metre lengths of steel that will be used in the five prototype ship blocks, and Adelaide Inspection will conduct non‑destructive testing and mechanical testing to assure high quality fabrication welds on those blocks.

Sofraco will conduct a feasibility study into the test facility requirements for skid-based pumping solutions for the frigate build and report on the feasibility of an upgrade, if appropriate.

ASC Shipbuilding managing director Craig Lockhart said: “Placing contracts with Australian businesses is just one part of our strategy to build Australian industry capability.

“To support the creation a sovereign and continuous naval shipbuilding industry, we are also creating thousands of jobs for Australians and training the future shipbuilding workforce, investing in the transfer of knowledge and technology to Australia and undertaking research and technology projects to drive innovation in the advanced manufacturing sector.”

Sofraco Engineering Systems managing director David Lassau said: “Defence Programs provide enormous opportunities for Australian industry and we are pleased to have been selected for this study.

“The long-term outcome expected as a result of this study is increased engagement between Defence and industry, and enhanced sovereign capability that contributes to the Commonwealth’s Naval Shipbuilding Programme.”

Prototyping will begin in December.

Picture: Sofraco Engineering Systems

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