Airspeed enters Australia’s Hunter frigate programme

BAE Systems was announced as the successful bidder to design the Hunter Class Future Frigate for SEA 5000 Phase 1. (Australian DoD)

Airspeed has been awarded a contract to produce and deliver supply Replenishment At Sea (RAS) Stump Masts for the first batch of three Hunter class frigates, shipbuilder and lead integrator BAE Systems announced on 2 April.

The RAS Stump Masts are used for underway ship-to-ship transfer of fuel, munitions, and stores.

BAE Systems highlighted that the quality of Airspeed’s products for both Type 26 and its light-weight floor panels supplied for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN)’s Hobart-class Air Warfare Destroyer programme were key enablers for Airspeed being selected to supply into the RAS Stump Masts for the Hunter-class frigate programme.

“One of the great benefits of Hunter and Type 26 being part of the same Global Combat Ship family is the ability for companies to expand their operations internationally and supply into multiple shipbuilding programs here in Australia and the UK,” said Craig Lockhart, Managing Director of BAE Systems Australia’s Maritime business.

“This is a great testament to not only the quality of work that Airspeed has produced, but also the work we do as a company – through initiatives like the Global Access Program – to enable growth in Australian industry,” added Lockhart.

“As an Australian SME, Airspeed, is proud to be a part of the Hunter Class Frigate Program and the advanced capabilities it brings to the Royal Australian Navy,” said Airspeed Managing Director Steve Barlow. “We are also very pleased to showcase the abilities of the Airspeed team at the core of a successful, sovereign, design and build composite manufacturing organisation.”

Airspeed is also RAS Stump Masts for the first batch of three Type 26 City-class frigates, which BAE Systems is building for the UK Royal Navy.

According to BAE Systems, the contract was secured under the auspices of the company’s Global Access Program, which identifies and facilitates opportunities for Australian businesses to enter its global supply chain.

by Jr Ng