An armour upgrade has been announced for the Hunter Class frigates with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
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Three advanced anti-submarine warfare frigates will be up-armoured with ballistic steel in a contract signed by Plasan Sasa Ltd, Australian steel manufacturer Bisalloy Steels, and BAE Systems Australia.
BAE Systems Australia will deliver nine Hunter Class frigates to replace existing in-service Anzac Class frigates. The Hunter frigates are to be built at Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia with large flight decks, unique sonar capabilities, an integrated mission bay and hangar to support a range of manned and unmanned systems.
“Plasan is already providing composite armour for the UK Type 26 frigates, demonstrating the successful performance of the product to date,” a Plasan spokesperson said.
“The unique installation approach that was demonstrated as part of the Type 26 delivery will allow for simple and cost-effective integration into the Hunter Class frigates.
“Plasan’s world-leading armour technology, flexibility and innovation has helped to secure this important program. The quality and production processes within Plasan underpin the confidence that has been shown in selecting Plasan’s solution-utilising Australian steel.”
The Australian government originally signed the head contract to build the Hunter Class frigates under Project SEA 5000 Phase 1 in December 2018.
Each frigate is modified to meet Australian requirements with Aegis combat management system, Australian-designed and built CEAFAR2 phased array radar, support for Australian weapons, capacity for Seahawk Romeo Maritime Combat Helicopter and Australian communications systems.
The frigates are designed to provide the Australian Defence Force with the highest levels of anti-submarine capability.