Australia and the Hunter-Class Frigate

By Alex Wilson

ASC Shipbuilding has engaged with about 350 Australian suppliers despite the challenging circumstances imposed by COVID-19.

A live webinar was held on May 22 by the business leaders and supply chain team, which provided an update on opportunities available with the Hunter-class Frigate Program.

The program aims to contract local businesses to supply material and services for the prototyping phase starting in December.

During this phase, the processes, systems, tools, facilities and workforce competencies will be extensively tested and refined before construction begins on the first frigate in 2022.

ASC Shipbuilding Managing Director Craig Lockhart said the virtual engagement was productive.

“We were able to answer dozens of questions and the feedback has been tremendous,” Mr Lockhart said.

“It was beneficial involving the Commonwealth in this webinar to further demonstrate the genuine collaboration between the Australian Government and ASC Shipbuilding to deliver this program.”

The Commonwealth was represented by Commercial Director for the program Chen Xu.

Ms Xu said industry events such as these helped convey the government’s commitment to developing a level of capability within the Australian supply chain to support local warship design and construction, with an increasing level of Australian industry content.

ASC Shipbuilding Supply Chain Director Ross Hillman said he and his team were committed to supporting Australian businesses, particularly during the pandemic, and were excited to be in the position to start awarding contracts for the prototyping phase.

“We are planning to hold another webinar in the next six to eight weeks and we look forward to engaging again,” Mr Hillman said.

Published by the Australian Department of Defence on June 5, 2020.