Registration opens for local suppliers to the Hunter frigate program

BAE Systems has announced that local manufacturing enterprises are now able to bid to supply equipment, materials and services as part of the Hunter Class Frigate Program.

BAE systems estimates that $20 million worth of contracts are will be available in this prototyping stage.

The contracts are split between two supplier categories, one of which, known as “category D”, is attempting to deliver with 100 per cent of Australian suppliers.

During the prototyping phase, all the processes, systems, tools, facilities and workforce competencies will be tested and refined. From December 2020, five ship blocks will be built at the Osborne Naval Shipyard, in South Australia.

These ship blocks will feed into the construction of the $35 billion Hunter program, construction of which will begin in 2022.

The program will produce nine anti-submarine warfare frigates for the Royal Australian Navy and is the largest surface ship project in Australia’s defence history.

Managing director of ASC Shipbuilding, a subsidiary of BAE Systems, Craig Lockhart, described the procurement update as not just an information session, but rather an opportunity to help local businesses bid for upcoming contracts which involve scaffolding, pipes, steel, deck coverings, cables and insulation and services such as outfitting and painting.

“By maximising opportunities for local suppliers through contracts for supply and initiatives to nurture and grow small-to-medium sized businesses, we are raising the Australian defence industry’s ability to compete for and win domestic and international maritime work,” said Lockhart.

Forecasting a future of naval ship building in Australia, Lockhart sees this procurement process as securing manufacturing’s future in Australia.

“The Hunter program is committed to maximising opportunities for Australian suppliers through supply contracts and initiatives to nurture and grow small-to-medium sized businesses,” said Lockhart.

In a press release, BAE Systems stated that suppliers can register at the Industry Capability Network.