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Local firms win Hunter Class contracts

Three Australian companies have been selected to support the prototyping phase of the Hunter Class frigate program.

Three Australian companies have been selected to support the prototyping phase of the Hunter Class frigate program.

BAE Systems Maritime Australia has awarded contracts to NSW-based Defence Seals & Spares, Victoria-based ABECK Group, and South Australia-based PRP Manufacturing.

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The firms have been tapped to supply manufacturing products for prototyping blocks under construction at the Osborne Naval Shipyard, as part of the $35 billion Hunter Class frigate project.  

Specifically:

  • Defence Seals & Spares has been tasked with supplying manhole and access panel gaskets from its Warriewood operations, north of Sydney;
  • ABECK Group has been tasked with manufacturing and supplying flowforge gratings from its Dandenong facility; and
  • PRP Manufacturing has been tasked with supplying and cutting gaskets at its Dudley Park plant in Adelaide.

The construction of the prototyping blocks is expected to enable systems, tools, plant, workforce and supplier products to be tested, evaluated and refined, prior to the commencement of production on the first of nine Hunter Class frigates.

These latest contracts follow on from prototyping orders submitted to BlueScope Steel AIS, Infrabuild Steel Centre, Intertek, MG Engineering, Altrad, Novafast International, Century Engineering, and Mackay Consolidated Industries.

The companies were engaged via BAE Systems Maritime Australia’s Industry Capability Network (ICN) portal.

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“Establishing a competitive, sustainable and resilient supply chain in Australia is critical to the overall success of the Hunter Class Frigate Program,” Craig Lockhart, managing director of BAE Systems Maritime Australia, said.

“Each of these three companies bring a unique and important skillset to the construction of frigates in Australia, helping to deliver the best capability to the Navy.  

“We look forward to placing more contracts with suppliers across Australia as the program progresses.”

Last month, the company confirmed it completed the structural manufacture of the first steel prototype unit for the Royal Australian Navy’s forthcoming Hunter Class frigate fleet.

The 217 square metre unit, produced at Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide, comprises of over 28 tonnes of Australian steel.

The steel prototype has been moved from the shipyard’s primary manufacturing hall for the next phase of the production process, set to involve outfitting and consolidation with three other units as part of the first prototyping block.

The unit, which was the first to be blasted and painted, cut and constructed in the new shipyard, is designed for the middle of the ship, which will contain the officer’s accommodation.

[Related: Hunter Class frigates hit production milestone]

Charbel Kadib

Charbel Kadib

News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media

Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres.

Local firms win Hunter Class contracts
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