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Airspeed engaged to supply RAS stump masts for Hunter Class frigates

An artist’s impression of the BAE Systems SEA 5000 Future Frigate, Global Combal Ship - Australia. Image credit: BAE Systems

South Australian composite materials manufacturer Airspeed will supply replenishment at sea (RAS) stump masts for the first batch of three Hunter Class frigates.

South Australian composite materials manufacturer Airspeed will supply replenishment at sea (RAS) stump masts for the first batch of three Hunter Class frigates.

The Mawson Lakes defence company has been engaged to manufacture and supply the RAS stump masts which allow the transfer of fuel, munitions, and stores from one ship to another while at sea.

Airspeed’s contract for Type 26 was secured with support from BAE Systems Australia’s Global Access Program, which identifies and facilitates opportunities for Australian businesses to enter BAE Systems’ global supply chain.

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Airspeed is currently supplying RAS stump masts for the first batch of three Type 26 frigates, which British multinational BAE Systems is building for the Royal Navy in the United Kingdom.

The quality of Airspeed’s products for both Type 26 and its lightweight floor panels supplied for the Air Warfare Destroyer Program were key enablers for Airspeed being selected to supply the RAS stump masts for the Hunter Class Frigate Program.

“One of the great benefits of Hunter and Type 26 being part of the same Global Combat Ship family is the ability for companies to expand their operations internationally and supply into multiple shipbuilding programs here in Australia and the UK,” according to Craig Lockhart, BAE Systems Australia Maritime managing director.

“This is a great testament to not only the quality of work that Airspeed has produced, but also the work we do as a company – through initiatives like the Global Access Program – to enable growth in Australian industry.

“The strong progress we’re making on the Hunter program at the Osborne Naval Shipyard demonstrates the success of all our suppliers and partners, who are all involved in this truly national shipbuilding program.”

Airspeed managing director Steve Barlow said the company is proud to be a part of the Hunter Class Frigate Program and the advanced capabilities it brings to the Royal Australian Navy.

“We are also very pleased to showcase the abilities of the Airspeed team at the core of a successful, sovereign, design and build composite manufacturing organisation,” Barlow said.

The Royal Australian Navy’s future surface combatant fleet is expected to expand to a total of 26 major surface combatants under information released by the federal government’s response to an independent review into the Royal Australian Navy’s surface fleet earlier this year.

The RAN fleet is expected to include six Hunter Class frigates to boost Navy’s undersea warfare and strike capabilities.

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