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Australia to build facility to test combat systems for future Hunter-class frigates

The Australian government will invest AUD65 million (USD50.3 million) to deliver a land-based facility to integrate and test the combat systems that will equip the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) nine future Hunter-class frigates.

The Department of Defence (DoD) in Canberra said in a 20 May statement that construction company Hansen Yuncken has been engaged as the head contractor to build the test facility at the St Kilda Transmitting Station in South Australia.

Construction of the facility, which is part of the AUD2.1 billion Navy Capability Infrastructure Sub-program (NCIS) to deliver maritime and shore-side facilities around the country, is due to start in May, with completion anticipated by early 2023.

The announcement was made only a day after Canberra revealed that contracts totalling more than AUD800,000 were awarded to three local companies to support the frigate programme.

“BAE Systems Australia has brought forward prototyping contract agreements with South Australia-based companies Century Engineering and Novafast International, and Victoria-based firm Mackay Consolidated Industries,” said Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price, adding that companies will provide a range of pipe infrastructure for the prototyping phase of the programme.

The three Australian businesses join the likes of BlueScope Steel AIS, Infrabuild Steel Centre, APS Adelaide Profile Services, and TQCSI-Yaran as the latest members of BAE Systems Australia’s local supply chain, added Price.

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