ASC Shipbuilding – a subsidiary of BAE Systems Australia – has inked contracts with three more Australian companies to work on the Hunter Class Frigate Program as part of its strategy to maximise Australian industry involvement in the Hunter program, and beyond.
According to BAE Systems Australia’s press release, two of the contracts are for the prototyping phase of the program and include South Australian-based Adelaide Profile Services and Intertek’s Adelaide Inspection Services.
Under the agreement, Adelaide Profile Services will process and precision-cut around 250 13-metre lengths of steel that will be used in the five prototyping blocks, while Adelaide Inspection Services will conduct non?destructive testing and mechanical testing to assure high quality fabrication welds on those blocks.
The third contract has been awarded New South Wales-based engineering company Sofraco, which will conduct a feasibility study into the test facility requirements for skid-based pumping solutions and report on the feasibility of an upgrade, if appropriate.
The contracts follow the recent announcement by the Federal Government that the Hunter program had received approval to begin prototyping in December this year as planned.
ASC Shipbuilding Managing Director, Craig Lockhart, said the new contracts were a crucial part of the company’s strategy to maximise Australian industry involvement in the Hunter program and grow local industry capability.
“Placing contracts with Australian businesses is just one part of our strategy to build Australian industry capability,” Mr Lockhart said.
“To support the creation a sovereign and continuous naval shipbuilding industry, we are also creating thousands of jobs for Australians and training the future shipbuilding workforce, investing in the transfer of knowledge and technology to Australia and undertaking research and technology projects to drive innovation in the advanced manufacturing sector.
APS Adelaide Profile Services Operations Manager, Greg Mills, welcomed the opportunity to partner with ASC Shipbuilding on the Hunter Class Frigate Program.
“The relationships we have with ASC Shipbuilding, combined with the agility of our workforce, has already produced successful collaborative results at the early stages of the project,” he added.
Intertek Industry Services Regional Director, Andrew Mansfield, said the company was looking forward to be working on the project.
“Intertek’s Adelaide-based NDT team is very pleased to be working with ASC Shipbuilding, providing quality and safety services which will help ensure asset reliability and design integrity,” he said.
“We look forward to contributing to the success of such an important project within the region.”
Sofraco Engineering Systems Managing Director, David Lassau, said:
“Defence Programs provide enormous opportunities for Australian industry and we are pleased to have been selected for this study.
“The long-term outcome expected as a result of this study is increased engagement between Defence and industry, and enhanced sovereign capability that contributes to the Commonwealth’s Naval Shipbuilding Program.”