Equipping Defence

Future Frigate

Project Number:
SEA 5000 Phase 1
Royal Australian Navy

Project description

SEA 5000 Phase 1 (Future Frigate Project) will provide nine frigates optimised for anti-submarine warfare to replace the Anzac Class frigates. They will be known in service as the Hunter class frigates. The Government has approved the initial budget of over $6 billion for the design activity to incorporate the Australian requirements, to conduct prototyping of ship blocks in the new shipyard under construction at Osborne in South Australia, and to order long-lead items for the first three ships.

The Future Frigate project will provide the Australian Defence Force with the highest levels of anti-submarine capability, and will set in place continuous naval shipbuilding as outlined in the Defence White Paper of 2016 and the Naval Shipbuilding Plan of 2017. 

The Hunter Class frigates will be built by ASC Shipbuilding at the Osborne Naval Shipyard. ASC Shipbuilding, currently wholly owned by the Commonwealth, will become a subsidiary of BAE Systems during the build.

This project is one of a number of maritime projects to ensure Australia retains a sovereign capability to build and sustain its naval vessels and implement the Government’s commitment to a continuous build of naval surface ships in Australia.

Deliverable Achieved / Forecast Notes

Project Year of Commencement

2015 Brought forward – see Government announcements below

Government First Pass Approval

April 2016

Three designers—BAE Systems, Fincantieri and Navantia—have been shortlisted to refine their designs

RFT released

March 2017 Release of the Request for Tender (RFT) to the three shortlisted designers: BAE, Fincantieri and Navantia
Combat Management System selected October 2017 The Combat management system will be provided by the Aegis Combat Management System, together with an Australian tactical interface developed by SAAB Australia.

Government Second Pass Approval

June 2018 Completion of Competitive Evaluation Process (CEP) of the three designs and advice to Government. Government to announce Prime Contractor.

Commence Construction

2020 Adelaide, South Australia

First Future Frigate in Service

Late 2020s Will operate into the second half of the century

Content is current as at June 2018.

Hunter Class FFG Fact Sheet
Hunter Class Frigate Infographic

Australian businesses can register their interest in the Future Frigate program by completing the Centre for Defence Industry Capability form at the following link https://www.business.gov.au/centre-for-defence-industry-capability.


During 2016-17 the Department of Defence participated in 16 Naval Shipbuilding briefings. The briefings outlined how Australian companies can enter the naval shipbuilding supply chain. More information about the briefings is available at this link.

Government Announcements                    

Defending Australia and securing our shipbuilding sovereignty - 29 June 2018
New approach to Naval Combat Systems announced – 3 October 2017  
Future Frigate Request For Tender released - 31 March 2016
Minister for Defence Industry announces regional Naval Shipbuilding briefings - 28 March 2017
Minister for Defence Industry's opening speech at the Adelaide industry briefing - 31 October 2016
Release of RAND Corporation Report – 16 April 2015
Bringing forward the Future Frigate Program – 4 August 2015
Continuous Naval Shipbuilding, Government First Pass for SEA 5000 Phase 1 – 18 April 2016

Available tenders

Industry Partners

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