BAE Systems Australia has announced that it will partner separately with each of BlueScope and Liberty OneSteel for the supply of more than 48,000 tonnes of Australian steel, should the company be selected to build nine Future Frigates as part of the Federal Government’s SEA 5000 program.
BAE Systems is offering its Global Combat Ship-Australia for SEA 5000, a variant of the Type 26 Anti Submarine Warship that is currently being manufactured in the UK.
Liberty OneSteel will provide structural steel sections for the Future Frigates from its Whyalla facility, as well as products for 4,000 tonnes of structural steel for shipbuilding infrastructure, including cradles and other fixtures.
Liberty OneSteel will also have the opportunity to provide value added processing, fabrication and welding in the Whyalla supply chain prior to delivery. BlueScope will potentially provide plate steel which will be manufactured at its facility in Port Kembla, NSW.
BAE Systems Australia CEO, Gabby Costigan, said: “For SEA 5000 we are committed to building the Future Frigates in Australia using Australian suppliers at every opportunity. This includes maximising the use of Australian steel on the program. We are proud to support the Australian steel industry throughout our business and will grow that support if we are successful on SEA 5000.”
Liberty OneSteel executive chairman, Sanjeev Gupta, said his company was “honoured to be involved with such an exciting project” should BAE Systems be awarded the contract.
“It’s vital for the future of our industry that government projects adopt an Australian-made focus, so we commend BAE Systems for prioritising local products and services and trust this focus will assist in its bid,” Gupta said.
“SEA 5000 provides an opportunity to build on the decades-long industrial and shipbuilding partnership between Australia and the UK – one founded on trust and capability. From our perspective it will be a positive for our Whyalla operations, as it would represent another order on the books and assist in our strategy to increase utilisation of the plant,” Gupta added.
BlueScope’s general manager of sales & marketing, Bernie Landy said: “BlueScope applauds BAE Systems in its commitment to maximise the use of Australian steel should it be selected by the Australian Federal Government to build the Future Frigates.”
“This is not only a significant opportunity for BlueScope but for the broader Australian manufacturing industry. We are thrilled about the prospect of a large scale local shipbuilding industry in Australia and are fully committed to assisting in its development,” Landy said.