Learn about the details of the design and acquisition of the new Hunter-class frigates for the Royal Australian Navy.
Under Project SEA5000 Phase 1, the Hunter Class Frigate Program (HCFP) is re-capitalising the majority of Australia’s surface-combatant fleet with a state-of-the-art ASW-biased multi-mission heavy frigate, based on BAE Systems’ Type 26 Global Combat Ship. The HCFP will deliver an advanced, flexible surface combatant fleet with advanced ASW capability and a world-class layered anti-air warfare (AAW) capability based on AEGIS and Australia’s advanced CEAFAR2 AESA radar system.
The Australian Government has mandated an aggressive development schedule for the HCFP, with pre-production activities commencing at ASC Shipbuilding’s Osborne, South Australia, yard in late 2020, and first-of-class construction commencing in late 2022. The nine-hull program represents a major element of the Australian Naval Shipbuilding Plan and supports the introduction of a system program approach to naval combat systems in Australia.
The design-and-production schedule and significant combat-systems development program present a range of challenges and opportunities for the Australian naval sector, with the ultimate goal being the development of a sovereign, sustainable, end-to-end surface-combatant development capability.
Levi Catton MIEAust | Managing Director/SEA5000 Technical Advisor Ship Integration, Gibbs & Cox Australia
Levi Catton is the Managing Director of Gibbs & Cox Australia and a Technical Advisor to the Hunter-class Frigate Program. Levi has broad naval program experience as a professional naval architect, engineering manager and program director, covering all phases of the naval ship capability lifecycle.
Levi joined Gibbs & Cox Australia as a program director working on the SEA5000 program in December 2018. Prior to joining Gibbs & Cox Australia, he held roles in engineering and acquisition management for Irving Shipbuilding on the Canadian Surface Combatant program, production engineering management for ASC Shipbuilding on the Hobart-class air-warfare destroyer program, and roles with Thales Australia, the Defence Materiel Organisation, and Navy Systems.
Levi obtained his bachelor’s degree in Naval Architecture with Honours Class 1 from the Australian Maritime College, holds a Certificate in Complex Project Procurement Leadership from the University of Ottawa, and is currently completing an MBA from Deakin University.
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