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Commonwealth invests $65m for new Hunter Class testing site

The Commonwealth government has invested $65 million to construct a new Hunter Class frigate testing site, the Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price has confirmed.

The Commonwealth government has invested $65 million to construct a new Hunter Class frigate testing site, the Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price has confirmed.

The Commonwealth government has invested $65 million for the construction of a new testing facility as part of the Hunter Class frigate program in order to optimise and enhance the integration of critical infrastructure onboard the vessel.

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The government expects that the new project will create some 180 jobs during the testing facility’s construction phase, with the facility expected to be completed in 2023.

The Hunter Class frigate program, co-ordinated by BAE Systems Australia, is expected to deliver nine anti-submarine frigates to the Royal Australian Navy and is currently in the prototyping phase.

The announcement by the government comes as BAE Systems Australia confirmed that they will use three additional Australian SMEs throughout the delivery of the prototype of the Hunter Class; Century Engineering, Novafast International and Mackay Consolidated Industries.

The world leading testing facility will be constructed at the St Kilda Transmitting Station in South Australia, with Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price confirming that Hansen Yuncken will oversee the construction.

“These works are part of the $2.1 billion Navy Capability Infrastructure Sub-program (NCIS) to deliver maritime and shore-side facilities around the country,” Minister Price said.

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“Those facilities will support the operation of Navy’s new ships being obtained under the 2017 Naval Shipbuilding Plan.

“Under the government’s industry participation policy, Hansen Yuncken has produced an outstanding plan to maximise opportunities for local businesses to supply goods or services.

“Hansen Yuncken’s target is to have 100 per cent of the work go to businesses in the greater Adelaide region.”

Local member James Stevens, member for Sturt, outlined how the commonwealth government’s investment will bolster the local manufacturing economy.

“This project will employ an average workforce during delivery of 90 people, peaking at around 180 on site,” Stevens said.

“There will be many more employed through the supply chain and in off-site manufacturing.

“This truly is a significant win for the people of Sturt and for South Australia more broadly.”

The Royal Australian Navy expects that the Hunter Class frigate will enter service during the last 2020s.

[Related: Three additional Australian SMEs to join Hunter Class frigate program]

Commonwealth invests $65m for new Hunter Class testing site
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