Over 100 Australian suppliers have attended a procurement update on the Hunter Class frigate program, and Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price has called on other local businesses to “back themselves and get involved”.
With the prototyping phase of the project beginning next year, Minister Price said Australian small and medium businesses had an excellent opportunity to get involved in the defence industry.
“More than 800 businesses across Australia and several in New Zealand have already pre-qualified through the Industry Capability Network Gateway to work on the Hunter program,” Minister Price said.
“These procurement updates are very important for maximising Australian industry’s involvement in the construction of the nine anti-submarine warfare frigates for the Royal Australian Navy.
“Events like these help ensure that job opportunities are being created across the country.”
Defence industry businesses that supply minor equipment, material and services can support the first tranche of work, worth an estimated $20 million, as part of the $35 billion surface combatant acquisition program, the largest in Australia’s history.
“These nine lethal anti-submarine warfare frigates will rely on a highly capable defence industry and Australian Defence Force,” Minister Price said.
“The program will create about 4,000 jobs right around Australia and ensure we have a long and prosperous future ahead for our shipbuilding industry.”
The nine Hunter Class frigates will be based on the BAE Systems Type 26 Global Combat Ship currently under construction for the Royal Navy and will replace the eight Anzac Class frigates when they enter service beginning in the late 2020s.
The Hunter Class is billed as an anti-submarine warfare centric vessel delivering an advanced ASW capability to the Royal Australian Navy at a time when 50 per cent of the world’s submarines will be operating in the Indo-Pacific region.