The process of selecting the design for Australia’s Future Frigate program will be expedited so construction of the ships can begin by 2020, according to the Australian.
Minister for defence industry Christopher Pyne said that the frigate design tenders were reduced to two. Pyne said that though the tender for the frigate build is slated for April 2018, he hopes to bring that forward.
“I can’t guarantee we will be able to, but that is my ambition and we are working with the Department of Defence to bring that forward to an earlier announcement date in order to give the successful bidder more time to prepare for the 2020 cut-steel date,” Pyne said.
The three designers short-listed for the next stage of the frigate competitive evaluation program are Italy’s Fincantieri with its FREMM Frigate; Spain’s Navantia with a redesigned version of its F100 used for the RAN’s AWDs, and Britain’s BAE Systems with the Type 26 Frigate.
The detailed request for tenders to build the nine frigates will be released in March.