BAE Systems transfers Type 26 digital artifacts to Australia

According to a press release published by BAE Systems on November 23, 2021, more than two million digital artefacts and 90,000 documents are being transferred from the UK’s Type 26 frigate program in Scotland to Adelaide’s Osborne Naval Shipyard for the construction of the Hunter class frigate, the Royal Australian Navy’s next generation of anti-submarine warships.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Future Type 26 frigate HMS Glasgow  (Picture source: BAE Systems)

BAE Systems Maritime Australia is building nine Hunter class frigates based on the Global Combat Ship (GCS) baseline design and the Type 26 reference ship currently under construction in Glasgow for the UK’s Royal Navy.

In a massive undertaking, teams in the company’s UK operations are now transferring design information, drawings, data, videos, diagrams and tools to a team of engineers at Osborne to establish a new sovereign design capability for complex warships in Australia.

Known as “Design Separation”, this process enables the local design and development of the Hunter frigate as plans of the ship are progressively transferred to the Australian shipyard and locally mandated changes to the combat system are incorporated. A mature ship design will then be translated into production drawings ahead of the construction of each frigate.

The collaboration will also continue with Global Combat Ship partners in the UK and Canada. A variant of the Type 26 reference ship is also in the design phase for the Royal Canadian Navy, and the three programs are sharing common data.

The digital design of the Hunter class frigates enables BAE Systems Maritime Australia to invest in the development of new technologies and solutions that will transform continuous naval shipbuilding in Australia.

Teams of engineers are utilizing technology including a state-of-the-art 4m-wide x 2.5m-high LED wall that provides a full 2D and 3D view of the Hunter class frigate and is updated continuously from the reference ship design. This “vis suite” tool also synthesizes data from across the Hunter program and the design is updated every 24 hours.

The Type 26 frigate or City-class frigate is a class of frigate being built for the United Kingdom's Royal Navy, with variants also being built for the Australian and Canadian navies. The program, known as the Global Combat Ship, was launched by the UK Ministry of Defence to partially replace the navy's thirteen Type 23 frigates, and for export.

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