Britain's BAE Systems wins contract to build Australian warships

Britain's BAE Systems wins contract to build Australian warships

During construction, the United Kingdom defence giant will be in charge, with the Federal government-owned ASC Shipbuilding a subsidiary.

"This deal is a ideal illustration that the Government is doing exactly that. and it will also cement our strategic partnership with one of our oldest and closest friends for decades to come".

Australia in October announced its new frigates would be fitted with long-range anti-missile defence systems to counter the threat of rogue nations.

A $35 billion ship-building contract deal is set to bring major relief for South Australia's ship-building industry by creating thousands of jobs for the state.

The dubbed Hunter class warships will be developed in Adelaide, creating 4,000 jobs in Australia, the Turnbull government announced.

UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson hailed the news as the "biggest naval defence deal in a decade" and said it displayed "confidence in British design, engineering, innovation, and our world class military".

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said the project, which involves the UK multinational defence company BAE Systems, was a sign of a strong UK-Australia relationship.

The frigates are due to enter service in the late 2020s as the backbone of the Australian Navy's surface fleet, part of a massive shipbuilding programme that also includes 12 new submarines and 12 offshore patrol vessels.

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"BAE Systems' selection as preferred tenderer for SEA 5000 reinforces our position as a leading designer and builder of complex maritime platforms", said BAE Systems chief executive, Charles Woodburn.

"This is what we need to keep Australia safe", Turnbull said Friday on commercial radio in Adelaide, where the frigates will be built.

Through BAE Systems, ASC Shipbuilding will be responsible for the delivery of the Global Combat Ship - Australia.

BAE is also bidding for a Canadian government frigate program.

For its anti-submarine role, the vessel will use an Ultra S2150 hull-mounted sonar, The S2087 Towed Array and Variable Depth Sonar system from Thales.

"They will have the capability to conduct a variety of missions independently, or as part of a task group, with sufficient range and endurance to operate effectively throughout the region".

At the end of the program the Commonwealth will resume complete ownership of ASC Shipbuilding, thereby ensuring the retention in Australia of intellectual property, a highly skilled workforce and the associated equipment.

Reuters reports that the blue-chip group beat Italy's Fincantieri SpA and Spain's Navantia SA for the contract.

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