British, Italian Ship Bids Given Nod for Subs Warfare (excerpt)
(Source: The Australian; published May 21, 2018)
By Ben Packham
The British and Italian bids to build [Australia’s] new Future Frigates have been rated by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute as the most capable anti-submarine warfare ships on offer in the $35 billion SEA 5000 tender.

However, the third contender, Spain’s Navantia, has been identified as the least risky option, and likely the cheapest to build.

With a decision on the Future Frigate contract due within weeks, the institute has rated the three contenders for the contract on performance, project risk, ­industrial strategy and cost.

The institute’s latest paper said the Type 26 Global Combat Ship offered by Britain’s BAE Systems was “the most modern design”, but also the least proven ­option, with no ships yet completed.

The Type 26’s newness was a “two-edged sword”, the report said, with its performance based on projections “which should necessarily be regarded with some scepticism”. The FREMM, from Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, was a “relatively new but proven ­design”, and well suited to an ASW-specific role.

“Relative to the Type 26, the FREMM offers the advantage of already being in service, and thus being more readily evaluated. For example, its acoustic signature can be measured, rather than being a projected figure,” the paper said. (ends)

Click here for the full story, on The Australian website.


The Next Big Grey Thing - Choosing Australia's Future Frigate
(Source: ASPI; issued May 21, 2018)
The government is close to making a decision on the $35 billion Future Frigate program. The choice is between Italy’s Fincantieri with its FREMM frigate; Spain’s Navantia with its design based on the Hobart class air warfare destroyers; and the UK’s BAE Systems with its Type 26, a new design now being built in Glasgow for the Royal Navy.

The decision about which of the three companies will be the prime contractor is a defining one both for Australia’s security and for Australia’s defence industry.

This ASPI Strategic Insight sets out the issues the government will be taking into account and assesses each of the contenders against antisubmarine performance, project risk, industrial strategy and cost.

Click here for the full report (22 PDF pages) on the ASPI website.


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