Sinking Feeling: Frigate Heads Back to Drawing Board (excerpt)
(Source: Australian Financial Review; posted June 26, 2020)
By Andrew Tillett
While Australia originally said it would pick an in-service design for its new frigates, it finally selected the Type 26 design, whose Australian variant has now reportedly grown from 8,800 to 10,000 tonnes, sparking concerns over its cost and performance. (BAE image)
The [Australian] navy's A$35 billion fleet of new frigates is undergoing design changes because they have become too heavy, risking a cost blowout for taxpayers and potentially compromising their performance.

The Defence Department confirmed BAE System's Hunter class frigate has become longer, while its weight has increased.

BAE Systems conceded the frigate may have to swell in size but insisted it would still meet the navy's requirements.

The Australian Financial Review understands senior naval officers are beginning to have misgivings, although the relationship is nowhere near as strained as it is with the French submarine designer Naval Group.

The government selected BAE Systems in June 2018 to build nine frigates in Adelaide, ahead of Spanish shipbuilder Navantia and Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri.

Both European shipbuilders had put forward designs based on ships already in service with their respective navies, but BAE's Type 26 was a new design and at that stage only had one ship under construction for the Royal Navy.

The initial design, as pitched to the government, gave the frigate a weight of 8800 tonnes when fully loaded and length of 149.9 metres. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the AFR website.


prev next

Official reports See all