Defence, Manufacturing News, South Australia

Construction has commenced on the first Hunter Class Frigate

The Federal Government has announced a significant step in delivering Navy’s enhanced lethality surface combatant fleet with construction commencing on the first Hunter Class Frigate.

This milestone was marked by the deputy prime minister and the premier of South Australia cutting the first piece of steel to be used on the first ship of the class.

The deputy prime minister, the Hon Richard Marles MP, said the first milestone is about not only cutting steel, but about supporting Australian workers and industries.

“Continuous naval shipbuilding is how Australia will grow its shipbuilding and sustainment workforce, industry, and infrastructure,” said Marles.

This follows the Federal Government’s commitment to build six Hunter Class Frigates in South Australia to significantly improve Navy’s undersea warfare and strike capability.

The contract for the construction phase for the first three Hunter Class Frigates has now been signed by Defence and BAE Systems Australia.

Construction of the Hunter Class Frigates will take place at the Osborne Naval Shipyard, with the first expected to be operational in 2034.

The premier of South Australia, Peter Malinauskas said this milestone marks a momentous day for the state.

“The construction of the frigates locks in a pipeline of continuous naval shipbuilding in South Australia, delivering thousands of secure, well paid jobs for generations to come.

“This delivery of frigates alongside SSN-AUKUS submarines puts South Australia front and centre in the most crucial of national endeavors,” said Malinauskas.

At its peak this program will support around 3,000 direct jobs and will support a further 5,000 indirect jobs across the Australian supply chain.

These jobs are in addition to the thousands of highly skilled workers that will be required to build our AUKUS submarines and extend the life of the Collins class submarines.

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