Australia Takes First Step in Boosting Navy’s Undersea Warfare and Strike Capability

Steel cutting ceremony for the first Hunter-class frigate. (Image credit: Government of South Australia)

The Albanese Government has taken another significant step in delivering the Navy’s enhanced lethality surface combatant fleet with construction commencing on the first Hunter Class Frigate.

This major milestone was marked by the Deputy Prime Minister and the Premier of South Australia cutting the first piece of steel to be used on the first ship of the class.

Earlier this year, the Albanese Government announced the most significant investment in the Navy’s surface fleet in decades. This included a commitment to build six Hunter class frigates in South Australia to significantly improve the Navy’s undersea warfare and strike capability.

The contract for the construction phase for the first three Hunter Class Frigates has now been signed by Defence and BAE Systems Australia, with the first Hunter Class Frigate expected to be operational in 2034.

Construction of the Hunter Class Frigates will take place at the Osborne Naval Shipyard as part of the Albanese Government’s commitment to continuous naval shipbuilding in South Australia.

The construction phase of the Hunter Class Frigate Program will run for 20 years.

At its peak, this program will support around 3,000 direct jobs and 5,000 indirect jobs across the Australian supply chain.

These jobs are in addition to the thousands of highly skilled workers that will be required to build our AUKUS submarines and extend the life of the Collins class submarines, both of which will also take place at Osborne in South Australia.

The Hunter Class Frigates are a key component of the Albanese Government’s commitment to ensure the Royal Australian Navy has a surface fleet with high levels of lethality and deterrence in a time of increased global uncertainty.

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