THERE is plenty of action on the naval ship-building front around Australia with submarines, patrol boats and frigates in sharp focus.

News that construction has begun at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide, on the Royal Australian Navy’s Hunter-class frigates, follows on from the recent announcement that Austal in Western Australia had picked up contracts to build two more Guardian-class patrol boats for the navy.

On the submarine front it was announced this week that the biggest military shipbuilder in the United States, Huntington Ingalls and British engineering firm Babcock International have combined forces in Australia to work on the AUKUS nuclear submarine program.

And construction has begun on three Hunter-class frigates by BAE Systems Maritime Australia in Adelaide with Deputy Prime Minister, Richard Marles and the Premier of South Australia, Peter Malinauskas cutting steel for the first ship on 21 June.

Based on the Type 26 Global Combat Ship, the first four of which are under construction for the UK at BAE Systems’ site in Glasgow, Hunter is claimed to be one of the world’s most advanced anti-submarine warfare frigates and will provide the RAN with next-generation capability according to the CEO of BAE, Ben Hudson.

The RAN plans to acquire six (originally nine) Hunter-class ships to replace the ageing Anzac-class frigates that were originally built in the 1990s with the new frigates scheduled for delivery beginning in 2034.

The joint venture between Huntington Ingalls (HII) and Babcock is to support Australia’s nuclear-powered submarine procurement.

Babcock and HII will collaborate to develop the optimal models for nuclear-powered submarine capability, including infrastructure, sustainment and the necessary skills development, to support AUKUS working with Australian industry.

Babcock currently sustains 100% of the UK’s Royal Navy submarine fleet and owns and operates the UK’s only licensed facility for refitting, refuelling and defueling nuclear submarines.

HII has a proven track record of safely and efficiently building, maintaining and sustaining nuclear submarines for the U.S. Navy and has delivered more than 60 over the last four decades.