Aussie company REDARC tapped to illuminate Hunter class frigates

Image credit: BAE Systems

BAE Systems has selected Australian business REDARC Defence & Space to deliver 12,600 LED lights for the first batch of three Hunter class warships. 

The $23 million contract is the result of a five-year partnership between REDARC and British company MARL International. 

As part of the partnership, REDARC will lead the manufacturing and supply of lighting and related components for the Royal Australian Navy’s anti-submarine warfare frigates. 

REDARC will manufacture and supply 79 varying types of lights for each frigate, including bunk and flood lights, weatherdeck and step lights, general, and emergency lights. 

“Being able to deliver exceptionally high-quality maritime LED lights – manufactured, sustained and supported in Australia – is a great step for us,” said Anthony Kittel, managing director and owner of REDARC. 

“This contract will allow REDARC Defence & Space to further grow our defence workforce and upskill our current staff as well as our Australian supply chain,” he added. 

In its effort to build Australia’s industrial capability, BAE Systems Australia is contracting small and medium businesses involved in the supply chain for the Type 26 frigates, which are under construction in the United Kingdom. 

“I welcome the partnership between REDARC Defence & Space and MARL International, which will lead to Australians manufacturing thousands of lights and related parts for the first batch of three Hunter class frigates,” said Craig Lockhart, BAE Systems Australia’s maritime managing director. 

“We will continue to collaborate closely with the Commonwealth and support the growth of Australian industry capability (AIC) and to that end, we expect that in future ship batches the percentage of Australian content will increase,” Lockhart added. “Building AIC generates jobs, local prosperity and know-how, supporting continuous naval shipbuilding for Hunter and beyond.”

Five prototype ship blocks in the Hunter program are currently under manufacturing and are slated to be subjected to tests and refining of processes, systems, tools, facilities, and workforce skills. 

This project comes ahead of the construction of four Hunter ship blocks in May 2023. 

Nine Hunter class frigates, which will be manufactured at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia, are intended to provide the Royal Australian Navy with submarine-hunting and warfighting capability for decades to come.