As preproduction work on the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN's) Hunter-class frigates continues to meet a demanding schedule, designer and shipbuilder BAE Systems Australia is already considering its next major role in the country's long-term Naval Shipbuilding Plan.
In June 2018 BAE Systems defeated Italian and Spanish contenders in a hard-fought AUD35 billion (USD24 billion) competition to provide Australia with nine next-generation anti-submarine warfare (ASW) frigates based on BAE Systems' Type 26 Global Combat Ship.
Six months later three significant agreements were signed with the Australian government: a contract for the Hunter-class build, the acquisition of ASC Shipbuilding (ASCS) from Canberra under a peppercorn arrangement, and a sovereign capability offer deed (SCOD) on collaborating in the establishment of a long-term sovereign capability in Australia.
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