Australia’s new frigates would be armed with Lockheed Martin’s Aegis combat management system together with a Saab Australia-developed tactical interface.
Canberra in May revealed plans to build nine frigates, 12 new submarines and 12 offshore patrol vessels worth an estimated 89 billion Australian dollars ($70 billion).
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said yesterday, “recent events in our region have proven that Australia’s future frigates must be equipped to defend Australia from the threat of medium and long-range missile attacks,” he said in comments widely reported by agencies.
He added that the new ships, whose construction is due to start in 2020, would be operating in “a complex and growing threat environment”.
“By bringing together the proven Aegis system, with a cutting edge Australian tactical interface developed by Saab Australia, our future frigates will have the best capability to defeat future threats above and below the surface.”
Under Canberra’s defense plans, its current ANZAC and Adelaide class frigates will be replaced at an estimated cost of AU$35 billion, with Britain’s BAE Systems, Italy’s Fincantieri, and Spain’s Navantia in the running to design them.
The navy’s Armidale offshore patrol vessels will also be renewed and there will be 12 new submarines to replace the aging diesel and electric-powered Collins Class fleet. French naval contractor DCNS was last year selected to design and build the submarines for Australia.