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)
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