Construction Of RAN’s Hunter-class Frigate Is On Track

ASC Shipbuilding has dismissed media assertions that size issues in the design of the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) future nine Hunter-class frigates are causing concern.

Managing Director Craig Lockhart told Janes on 3 July that assertions regarding the weight and length in the ship’s design were incorrect and did not properly consider the “very complex, and very normal, naval design activity under way”.

“ASC Shipbuilding has embarked on a design process, using the United Kingdom’s Type 26 Global Combat Ship as a reference design, to deliver a very specific capability for the RAN,” said Lockhart.

“While there are similarities, Australia has not purchased the Type 26 frigates. Rather, Australia’s Hunter class will be a very different ship with capabilities such as the Australian-made CEA radar, a deck to accommodate the [MH-60R] Romeo helicopter, and the Aegis Combat System currently being incorporated into the design.”

Although Australian specifications have affected the size and weight of the frigate’s radar mast as well as its power and cooling requirements, contrary to being redesigned the ship is right in the middle of a normal naval ship design process, said Lockhart.

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“Importantly, the design activities being undertaken remain within the agreed weight and space envelopes and we remain confident in our ability to meet the capability requirements and specifications on time and on budget,” he added.

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