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First round of BAE Hunter Class secondees return to Australia

The first batch of BAE Systems Australia’s secondees to the companys Glasgow shipyards have returned home, with invaluable lessons from progress made on the first Type 26 Frigate currently under construction.

The first batch of BAE Systems Australia’s secondees to the companys Glasgow shipyards have returned home, with invaluable lessons from progress made on the first Type 26 Frigate currently under construction.

During 2019, the small team including Mena, Paul and Ozlem each spent up to six months embedded with the Type 26 Detail Design team, and are now working together at Osborne to prepare for construction to commence on the first of Australia's Hunter Class frigates.

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As the leads for their respective areas of the Hunter detailed design scope of work, they are currently busy mobilising their teams and planning the knowledge sharing approaches they will adopt with their colleagues and the wider Hunter program.

Mena, detailed design lead – structural, worked in Scotstoun and Govan on two separate, short secondments, and now that he has returned to Australia has moved from his former home in Perth to Adelaide with his family.

"So far, I like Adelaide. It is lovely and a most liveable city; I don’t feel homesick as there are lots of similarities between Adelaide and Perth – including the weather and quietness," said Mena.

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Ozlem, detailed design lead – electrical, was joined by her husband on her six-month secondment to Scotstoun. The opportunity to meet and learn from the Type 26 project team was a highlight for Ozlem.

Formerly based at Garden Island in NSW, Ozlem is now living in Adelaide with her family.

"So far I love it. Adelaide is an easy city to live in, and I love the peace and quiet compared to Sydney," Ozlem said.

Technology transfer project manager, Nick Louzikiotis, said the knowledge transfer component of the Hunter program was critical, saying, "The ability to understand the ‘know-how and know why’ about the Type 26 reference ship will prove key in delivering the Hunter program over the coming decades. It’s exciting to see the first of these secondees return to Australia with new capability, a capability not just for Hunter, but for continuous naval shipbuilding in Australia.

"By the end of 2020 more than 20 knowledge transfer secondees will return to Australia, across a variety of disciplines, to support prototyping."

There are currently 48 Australians working in the UK on secondment, and six UK assignees working in Adelaide on the Hunter program.

In June 2018, the Commonwealth government announced BAE Systems Australia as the successful tender for the $35 billion SEA 5000 Future Frigate program.

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 (ASW) 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.

BAE Systems Australia announced that it had selected Lockheed Martin Australia and Saab Australia as combat systems integration industry partners, responsible for delivering the Australian designed CEAFAR 2 active phased array radar, Lockheed Martin designed Aegis combat management system and Saab Australia 9LV tactical interface.

Aegis is capable of simultaneously defending against attack from land targets, submarines and surface ships while automatically protecting the fleet against aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles.

The $35 billion program sees ASC Shipbuilding become a subsidiary of BAE Systems throughout the build process beginning in 2020 at the Osborne Shipyard in South Australia, creating more than 4,000 jobs.

At the end of the program, the Commonwealth will resume complete ownership of ASC Shipbuilding, thereby ensuring the retention in Australia of intellectual property, a highly skilled workforce and the associated equipment.

SEA 5000 is expected to support over 500 Australian businesses who have been pre-qualified to be part of the Hunter class supply chain, with the Australian steel industry in particular, benefiting from the 48,000 tonnes of steel required to build the ships.

First round of BAE Hunter Class secondees return to Australia
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