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The next big grey thing - choosing Australia's future frigate

By Andrew Davies, Michael Shoebridge and James Mugg

The government is close to making a decision on the $35 billion Future Frigate program.  The choice is between Italy’s Fincantieri with its FREMM frigate; Spain’s Navantia with its design based on the Hobart class air warfare destroyers; and the UK’s BAE Systems with its Type 26, a new design now being built in Glasgow for the Royal Navy.

The decision about which of the three companies will be the prime contractor is a defining one both for Australia’s security and for Australia’s defence industry. 

This ASPI Strategic Insight sets out the issues the government will be taking into account and assesses each of the contenders against antisubmarine performance, project risk, industrial strategy and cost.