Australia’s Future ASW Frigates: Warfare Down Under

June 9/20: Steel Deal A delivery contract for 1,500 tons of steel plate, for prototypes of the Australian Navy’s Hunter Class frigates was signed, BAE Systems announced. BlueScope Steel AIS will supply the steel to ASC Shipbuilding, a subsidiary of BAE Systems Australia, to construct five ship blocks in the prototyping phase of the program. The blocks will then test processes, systems, tools, and facilities before the start of construction, in 2022, of the first of nine planned frigates.

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ANZAC-ASMD (click to view full) As Asia-Pacific nations invest in submarines, serious regional players also need to invest in anti-submarine capabilities. Aircraft like the P-8A Poseidon are great, but nothing really replaces dedicated and capable ASW ships. Their opponents’ anti-ship missiles are also experiencing a jump in capability, so a secondary air defense role isn’t optional. Australia’s 2 remaining FFG-7 Adelaide-class frigates have finished an expensive and somewhat rickety systems upgrade, but they fall short of what’s needed, and won’t last all that much longer. The Adelaide-class will soon be succeeded by 3 new Hobart-class AWD. The RAN’s 8 ANZAC-class frigates are receiving much smoother ASMD air defense upgrades that will make them quite useful, but their service life will begin ebbing around 2024. Hence Australia’s SEA 5000 Future Frigate program, which may receive an early push from issues with Australia’s naval industrial base… SEA 5000 Future Frigate Options Made in Australia: Hobart Lite F105 sea trials (click to view full) Given the number of jobs involved, any government’s preferred choice would be to build the next set of anti-submarine warfare frigates in Australia at ASC. The current preference is to place Australian CEAFAR/ CEAMOUNT radar systems on the same […]

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