BAE confirms Lockheed, Saab as Australian Type 26 frigate combat system integrators

Photo: BAE Systems

BAE Systems Australia, the main contractor in the Royal Australian Navy’s Hunter-class frigate acquisition project, announced that it has selected Lockheed Martin Australia and Saab Australia for combat system integration on the frigates.

The decision further supports the development of an Australian combat systems industry that will underpin the Australian government’s continuous Naval Shipbuilding Plan.

As the preferred supplier for the nine Hunter Class anti-submarine warships, BAE Systems is responsible for the design, integration, testing and activation of the combat system which will be fitted to the entire fleet.

The combat system is the eyes and ears of the warship, able to detect and identify aircraft, submarines and ships at great distance to offer the frigate’s command team maximum situational awareness and the capability to defend itself against or engage with an enemy.

The CMS for the new Hunter-class frigate fleet will be the Aegis system, together with an Australian tactical interface to be developed by Saab Australia.

According to BAE Systems, this decision will create and sustain 100 combat systems engineering jobs, which will grow to over 200 as the ship goes into production.

“The Hunter-class combat system is a vital piece of the frigate’s infrastructure which will give the men and women who operate these ships the capability to protect the nation against airborne, surface and under-sea threats,” BAE Systems Australia Hunter Class Frigate Program managing director Nigel Stewart said.

BAE Systems’s Type 26 design was selected for the Australian Navy’s Future Frigate program in June 2018. A total of nine Aegis-equipped frigates will replace the existing fleet of Anzac-class frigates. The program is projected to cost A$35bn with production scheduled to start in 2020.

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