BAE Systems Established A New Baseline Design For RAN’s Hunter-class Frigate

The year-long System Definition Review (SDR), involving work by BAE Systems’ engineering teams in Australia and the UK, has established a new baseline design for the Hunter class frigate and builds on the sovereign complex warship design capability at South Australia’s Osborne Naval Shipyard.  

The SDR is the second major evaluation of the ship’s design and demonstrates how it accommodates the range of capabilities required by the Australian Government, including the Aegis and Australian Interface Combat Management Systems, the CEAFAR2 phased array radar and integration of the Seahawk Romeo Maritime Combat Helicopter. These changes introduce significant leading edge combat system capability, ready to meet the Royal Australian Navy’s needs.  

Only recently, BAE Systems transferred more than two million digital artefacts from the UK to Australia. The first prototyping unit has also recently been completed at the Osborne shipyard, underscoring the strong progress on the Hunter program.  

BAE Systems Maritime Australia Managing Director, Craig Lockhart said the milestone demonstrated the company’s ability to “Australianise” the chosen reference ship design for the Hunter program.  

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“The selection of the Global Combat Ship for Australia’s Hunter class frigates was based on its digital pedigree, its submarine-hunting capability and its ability to accommodate the changes the Australian Customer requires,” Mr Lockhart said.  

“In complex naval shipbuilding terms, a successful Systems Definition Review means that you’ve successfully established a Functional Baseline from which you can further develop and integrate the design against the Mission System Specification set by the Customer – and we’ve done just that.  

“It’s taken a lot of hard work and engineering ingenuity to get us to the point where, together with the Royal Australian Navy, we can objectively look at our design and where it sits relative to requirements. I’ve been particularly pleased with the level of close collaboration with our Customer to work through the engineering challenges.”  

After closing out the actions identified in this review, the Hunter program will progress to the next major engineering review, the Preliminary Design Review, which is a technical assessment that ensures the design is operationally effective, and detailed design and planning can commence.

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