Hunter Class Frigate Program Engagement with Australian Industry Grows
(Source: Australian Department of Defence; issued Oct 15, 2020)
The public Australian Industry Capability (AIC) Plan for the first phase of the Morrison Government’s Hunter Class Frigate Program has been released, detailing how AIC will be maximised in the initial design and production phase of the program.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the release of the AIC Plan demonstrates the Morrison Government’s commitment to maximising Australian Industry involvement in the construction of Defence’s new anti-submarine warfare frigates.

“We can already see the progress that ASC Shipbuilding has made in promoting AIC with the contracts signed to procure Australian steel for the prototyping phase of the Hunter Class Frigate Program,” Minister Reynolds said.

“We remain on track to begin the prototyping phase of the Hunter Class Frigate Program at the end of this year.

“ASC Shipbuilding is busy placing more contracts with Australian businesses to support prototyping.

“Australian businesses now on contract include: Sofraco, a New South Wales-based engineering company who will examine test facility requirements for skid‑based pumping solutions; APS Adelaide Profile Services of South Australia, who will process and precision-cut steel; and Adelaide Inspection Services of South Australia, who will conduct non‑destructive testing.

“I am proud to be part of a Government which puts faith in growing our Hunter class workforce to more than 2200 Australians by the late 2020s, and more than a thousand Australian businesses already registered with ASC Shipbuilding to support and equip the Australian Defence Force.”

In June 2020, ASC Shipbuilding placed a contract worth around $2.5 million with BlueScope Steel AIS to deliver more than 1500 tonnes of steel plate which will be used for prototyping.

Earlier this month, ASC Shipbuilding engaged Infrabuild Steel Centre – a South Australian company – to supply around 120 tonnes of locally-made steel to make the jig wagons which will hold and support the movement of ship parts around the Osborne Naval Shipyard.

“While prototyping is just around the corner, the Hunter program is already looking forward to the construction of the first ships in Batch 1 and maximising AIC by investing in local companies through feasibility studies,” Minister Reynolds said.

There will also be additional contracts signed with Australian companies as part of the 33 work packages to be released during the prototyping phase, valued in excess of $20 million.

The contracts will include work on specialised steel sections, non-destructive testing, blast and paint services, pipe couplings, cables and ship outfit and furnishing materials.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said significant progress was also being made on other pillars of ASC Shipbuilding’s AIC Plan.

“I commend ASC Shipbuilding on their employee training and apprenticeship programs which are vital to training the growing workforce that will build the Navy’s nine Hunter class anti-submarine warfare frigates,” Minister Price said.

“It is also important that we continue to work with ASC Shipbuilding and engage our industry stakeholders as we have been doing throughout the year, including via a webinar in August with another planned for November.

“This engagement is critical to explaining to small and medium businesses what opportunities are out there on the Hunter Class Frigate Program and how to get in contact with original equipment manufacturers about becoming a part of supply chains.”

The Hunter Class Frigate Program will achieve a minimum of 58 per cent AIC over the life of the acquisition contract.

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More Australian Companies Sign On to Hunter Class Frigate Program
(Source: BAE Systems; issued Oct 15, 2020)
ASC Shipbuilding has signed contracts with three more Australian companies on the Hunter Class Frigate Program as part of its approach to growing local industry capability.

The contracts follow the recent announcement by the Commonwealth Government that the Hunter program had received approval to begin prototyping in December this year as planned.

The new contracts are a crucial part of ASC Shipbuilding’s strategy to maximise Australian industry involvement in the Hunter program, and beyond.

Two of the contracts are for the prototyping phase of the program and include South Australian-based Adelaide Profile Services, which will process and precision-cut around 250 13-metre lengths of steel that will be used in the five prototyping blocks, and Intertek’s Adelaide Inspection Services, which will conduct non‑destructive testing and mechanical testing to assure high quality fabrication welds on those blocks.

A further contract has been placed with New South Wales-based engineering company Sofraco, which will conduct a feasibility study into the test facility requirements for skid-based pumping solutions and report on the feasibility of an upgrade, if appropriate.

ASC Shipbuilding Managing Director, Craig Lockhart, said: “Placing contracts with Australian businesses is just one part of our strategy to build Australian industry capability.

“To support the creation a sovereign and continuous naval shipbuilding industry, we are also creating thousands of jobs for Australians and training the future shipbuilding workforce, investing in the transfer of knowledge and technology to Australia and undertaking research and technology projects to drive innovation in the advanced manufacturing sector.

APS Adelaide Profile Services Operations Manager, Greg Mills, said: “It’s a great opportunity to partner with ASC Shipbuilding on the Hunter Class Frigate Program.

“The relationships we have with ASC Shipbuilding, combined with the agility of our workforce, has already produced successful collaborative results at the early stages of the project.”

Intertek Industry Services Regional Director, Andrew Mansfield, said: “Intertek’s Adelaide-based NDT team is very pleased to be working with ASC Shipbuilding, providing quality and safety services which will help ensure asset reliability and design integrity. We look forward to contributing to the success of such an important project within the region.”

Sofraco Engineering Systems Managing Director, David Lassau, said: “Defence Programs provide enormous opportunities for Australian industry and we are pleased to have been selected for this study.

“The long-term outcome expected as a result of this study is increased engagement between Defence and industry, and enhanced sovereign capability that contributes to the Commonwealth’s Naval Shipbuilding Program.”

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