BAE Systems’ Type 26 Global Combat Ship is pegged against Italy’s Fincantieri and Spanish firm Navantia as part of the competitive tender to secure the SEA 5000 ship build contract.
The SEA 5000 Future Frigate Program will see the replacement of the eight ageing Anzac Class Frigates with nine high-capability warships.
The total cost of the SEA 5000 program is planned at $30 billion, with the manufacture of the new frigates set to commence in Adelaide in 2020.
Defence Connect understands that request for tender documents are expected to be lodged by the three businesses in August for consideration and assessment.
Fincantieri has proposed a multi-mission frigate, or FREMM, and Navantia a redesigned F-100 as part of their tender bids.
The Type 26, one of the three down-selected designs, has been referred to by some quarters as a ‘paper ship’ since there is no variant currently in service.
With the commencement of manufacture of the Type 26 now underway at BAE System’s ship yard in Glasgow, Scotland, the CEO of the company’s Australian arm is confident its solution for the Royal Australian Navy will gather momentum.
“The commencement of construction of the Type 26 Global Combat Ship, the world’s first and only bow to stern digitally-designed anti-submarine warfare (ASW) frigate, is an important milestone for Australia,” BAE Systems Australia chief executive Glynn Phillips said.
“With UK production commencing well ahead of SEA 5000 in Australia, our solution for the Commonwealth will benefit from the lessons learnt during the Type 26 build and commissioning.”
Phillips said that at the time of cut steel – which took place in Glasgow on Thursday last week – the maturity of the Type 26 digital design was greater than any previous UK design and build program.
“We expect this design maturity will substantially reduce risk to the Commonwealth if BAE Systems is successful on SEA 5000,” he said.