Classified report reveals new fleet of warships ‘slower and unsafe’

A classified Defence Department report has revealed a new fleet of warships – designed for the Australian government – are slower and less safe than intended.

The government has signed a $45 billion contract for nine Hunter-class frigates, which are set to replace the current Anzac-class fleet.

A 36-page defence document sets out serious problems with the British design which is substantially modified to meet Australian requirements.

The document says the anti-submarine ships will be slower, have a shorter range than intended and could be vulnerable to detection by enemy vessels.

Defence also warns the vessels could be less safe for crews with a potential risk for sailors to become trapped below deck by floodwaters.

The ships are expected to enter service in 2033.

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