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Four Shipbuilders Eye Initial Contracts in Planned Australian Naval Buildup

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The Royal Australian Navy’s planned buildup in response to China’s increasing threat has already drawn bids from four shipbuilders, Breaking Defense reported.  

The pitches came following the April release of the Australian Defence Strategic Review, which lined up a naval strategy of increasing the number of smaller surface vessels in RAN’s fleet. The four shipbuilders eying the Australian deal include Navantia Australia, Babcock Australasia and the German shipbuilders Luerssen and Thysenkrupp Marine Systems.   

All of the proposals offer ships in the frigate class, featuring comparable capabilities with the RAN’s Anzac-class frigates built in the 1990s. 

The Anzacs are set to be replaced starting around 2030 by nine new Hunter-class frigates with anti-submarine capability. Australia also has three Hobart-class Aegis guided missile destroyers.

Meanwhile, nuclear submarines loom for the RAN under the 2021 tripartite AUKUS security agreement among Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The Australian and the UK navies will operate the AUKUS-class submarines with American combat systems. Scheduled to be built starting in the early 2040s, the submarines will cost up to $235.7 billion, according to an ABC News report.

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