During a visit to BAE Systems’ Govan shipyard on 9 July, Australian Minister for Defence, Senator Linda Reynolds, announced the latest Type 26 supplier contract. Airspeed, an Adelaide-based specialist in ‘design and build’ applications in composites, has been awarded a contract to provide the replenishment-at-sea stump mast (RASSM) for the first batch of three Type 26 Global Combat Ships, which will run till 2023. The RASSM facilitates resupply of ammunition and small volumes of stores while the ship is at sea.
Airspeed is the second South Australian supplier to join BAE Systems’ Global Access Programme for the Type 26 class: other Australian suppliers include CBG Systems (Moonraker), Electro Optic Systems, Liferaft Systems Australia, Mackay Consolidated Rubber, Thales Australia and Rowlands Metalworks.

In recent years, we have evolved our aerospace background to roll out lightweight structural composites for the COLLINS-class submarines and local warship programmes. This latest contract with BAE Systems to design and build a lightweight [RASSM] for the Type 26 is a great opportunity to showcase the talent and technology innovation we have in our company,” commented Airspeed Managing Director, Steve Barlow.

BAE Systems Australia’s new subsidiary ASC Shipbuilding has been contracted by the Australian government to provide the framework for design and build of nine HUNTER-class frigates for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Work has already begun to mobilise the HUNTER-class Frigate Programme, and the Head Contract signed earlier this year incorporates detailed scope for the design and engineering work necessary to allow prototyping to commence in 2020, and to ensure steel is cut on the first ship at South Australia’s Osborne Naval Shipyard in 2022.

This latest contract announcement demonstrates that the Type 26 Global Combat Ship is a truly global programme, pulling on the best technology and companies from around the world to ensure the Global Combat Ship remains relevant to future maritime demands and delivers an adaptable design meeting the needs of our customers,” observed Type 26 Programme Director, Nadia Savage.

Three Type 26 frigates have so far been ordered for the Royal Navy. (Image via Royal Navy)

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