Hunter Class Frigate Program remains on target

A word from Craig Lockhart, Managing Director ASC Shipbuilding:

“ASC Shipbuilding is committed to maximising Australian Industry Capability (AIC) on the Hunter Class Frigate Program and in doing so contributing to a Continuous Naval Shipbuilding capability in Australia.

Our strategy for delivering AIC over the life of the program is one that we are confident can be achieved, and is designed to deliver over time the exact type of capability that is necessary for Australia to have a sovereign shipbuilding industry.

I have read some media coverage recently that suggests Australian businesses have been locked out of contracts on the Hunter program. This is inaccurate and does not reflect the approach that we are taking with the Commonwealth to provide opportunities for Australian industry, and the approach we have consistently discussed with the many companies that make up our defence industry.

At this point in time, there are a number of cases where specific equipment or systems required for the Hunter Class are not currently designed in Australia.

In these specific cases we have made the decision with the Commonwealth to appoint suppliers to the first batch of ships that, while not Australian, can deliver the capability that is required first and foremost, avoiding putting schedule at risk.

In the cases where an Australian company has not been appointed we have instructed the original equipment manufacturers to develop plans to maximise the use of Australian industry in the design, manufacture, testing and installation of their equipment and systems during Batch 1.

If an Australian company is not involved in Batch 1, it does not mean they will not be involved on Batches 2 or 3. We are confident that our approach to growing capability in Australia’s industry will see a growing proportion of Australian companies contracted to the program over the life of the program, ultimately gaining the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver what is needed on Hunter and to help to grow a sovereign shipbuilding industry.

In addition to growing opportunities for Australian companies with our original equipment manufacturers, we have recently placed the contract for Australian steel for the program’s prototyping phase, which will commence at the end of the year as planned.

In the coming weeks and months we will award more contracts to Australian businesses for materials and services required for prototyping, and there will be contracts, too, for local companies helping us develop advanced manufacturing processes that will be deployed at the world class digital shipyard at Osborne.

In May we engaged with hundreds of you via a live webinar, discussing supply chain processes and opportunities, and we look forward to engaging with you again next month. We will distribute more details on this in the coming week or two.

Today we have also uploaded a pack containing more detail on AIC opportunities.

As always, if you have any questions then please reach out to members of our Supply Chain team.

We look forward to continuing to work with you.”

Craig Lockhart

Managing Director, ASC Shipbuilding
BAE Systems Australia

Australian Industry Capability (AIC) opportunities

ASC Shipbuilding is committed to maximising AIC through the HCFP. To support this commitment, ASC Shipbuilding has created a supplementary ICN page with intent to update industry by publishing a quarterly update, which is in addition to the series of planned webinars.

This quarterly update can be viewed HERE and will include:

  • Commitments to maximise AIC
  • Contribution to Continuous Naval Shipbuilding
  • Work package category definitions
  • Forecast Request for Proposal (RFP) release dates
  • Expectations for OEM responses to issued RFPs
  • Details on recent, and planned, industry engagement sessions
  • Contact details to help you arrange an industry engagement session with ASC Shipbuilding
  • ASC Shipbuilding also plans to update industry on successful partnerships between OEMs and industry for supply into the HCFP.

Industry Engagement overview

To demonstrate ASC Shipbuilding’s commitment to engaging with Australian industry, click HERE to see the list of engagements they have already conducted with OEMs and SMEs, including a current list of RFP issues to date.

Don’t miss the opportunity for engagement with ASC Shipbuilding! See the above link to contact ASC Shipbuilding for your chance to talk with us about AIC or the HCFP.

Project Details

In June 2018 the Australian Government (“the Commonwealth”) announced that BAE Systems was selected as the preferred tenderer for the Hunter Class Frigate Program (HCFP) to deliver nine anti-submarine warfare frigates to the Royal Australian Navy.

The Commonwealth announced at the same time that ASC Shipbuilding would become a subsidiary of BAE Systems Australia Ltd, and that through BAE Systems, ASC Shipbuilding would be responsible for the delivery of the frigates.

The first phase of the Head Contract is known as the Design and Productionisation (D&P) Phase. During the D&P Phase we will publish further details of the Hunter program’s Australian Industry Capability (AIC) strategy.

The AIC strategy will seek to:

  • develop workforce capabilities in design and engineering, combat systems, program management, production and supply chain management
  • maximise opportunities for Australian suppliers, including supplying systems, and equipment and initiatives to nurture and grow small-to-medium sized businesses
  • transfer technology and intellectual property to Australia
  • invest in infrastructure and early careers programs
  • conduct Research and Development (R&D) and develop export prospects
  • create opportunities for indigenous suppliers and indigenous employment.

Click HERE to read all about the Hunter Class Frigate Program at our BAE Systems Australia newsroom.

Future opportunities

During the D&P Phase significant opportunities for Australian suppliers to participate in the HCFP will be created. The two key milestones during this phase are the commencement of prototyping in 2020 and cutting steel on the first ship in 2022.

In order to ensure industry involvement we will continue engaging with industry and market testing through a variety of activities.

We are also encouraging the OEMs on the Type 26 Reference Ship Design to continue their industry engagement, assessing local industry capabilities and conducting market testing. Our Global Access Program and supply chain organisation will continue to facilitate and support this.

This ICN portal will continue to be used as the vehicle for registering expressions of interest and posting all non-export controlled work packages available to Australian industry and supporting pre-qualification activities.

Upcoming engagement events

We will continue to advise of HCFP engagement events through ICN email notifications.

To ensure you are kept up to date, please make sure you have a registered account with the ICN against the HCFP.

If you aren’t registered with the ICN, please click the link HERE to begin the registration process.

Registering interest against a work package and pre-qualification

If you have previously registered through the ICN, you do not need to re-register, providing your information is up to date.

You may wish to register your interest against a specific category outlined below, so we can contact you when applicable work packages are released.

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