04 Jul 2018

Hunter Class represents a new era for the Royal Australian Navy

The Royal Australian Navy’s future frigates will one day be known as ‘Hunter Class’, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett has confirmed, while the very first Hunter Class Guided Missile Frigate will be commissioned towards the end of the next decade.

Addressing navy personnel, Vice Admiral Barrett – who currently serves as Australia’s Chief of Navy – said that the Hunter Class would reflect the close-nit bond between navy and nation in accordance with tradition. In this case, the first three vessels will carry the names of three major Australian regions, each with strong historical maritime and naval ties. The initial batch will be named:

  • HMA Flinders in honour of explorer Captain Matthew Flinders, who first circumnavigated Australia and identified it as a continent.
  • HMA Hunter in honour of Vice Admiral John Hunter, first fleet captain and second Governor of New South Wales.
  • HMA Tasman in honour of explorer Abel Tasman, the first known European explorer to reach Tasmania, New Zealand and Fiji.

Obviously, the class name also conjures up the more common interpretation of a hunter, personifying the role of the frigate as hunting submarines.

“The replacement of our eight Anzac Class Frigates with nine frigates optimised for anti-submarine warfare… will significantly enhance the lethality of our surface combatant capabilities,” said the Chief of Navy.

“These ships will incorporate world class design factors and integrated systems… that will change the way we conduct anti-submarine warfare operations. Our interoperability as a joint force and with our allies will improve.”

In June, BAE Systems was named preferred bidder for the ‘SEA 5000’ Future Frigate competition, with a design based on Britain’s Type 26 Global Combat Ship. The Anzac Class frigates currently in operation will be in service through to the early 2040s.

Vice Admiral Barrett concluded: “Beyond the frigate design, this decision demonstrates that navy is an intrinsic national capability that connects the private and public sectors to deliver a fundamental national objective – security above, on and under the sea.”

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