The Australian Defence Force’s second Air Warfare Destroyer, NUSHIP Brisbane, has begun its first phase of sea trials, which will test the ship’s hull, propulsion and navigation systems.
The initial trial phase, which will occur over the coming months, will be followed by a more advanced phase of sea trials next year to test the ship’s combat and communications systems.
Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said this achievement is a further demonstration of industry’s role as a fundamental input into capability for Defence.
"Over the past decade, more than 5,000 people from across the Department of Defence, ASC, Raytheon Australia and Navantia have dedicated millions of hours of effort to the AWD program," Minister Pyne said.
"With more than 60 per cent Australian industry capability, the AWD program is a true example of a home-grown capability.
"Through the AWD program, we have created a local workforce with specialist shipbuilding and complex systems integration skills that will form the foundation for future shipbuilding projects in Australia."
The start of Brisbane’s sea trials phase follows the commissioning of HMAS Hobart earlier this year.
Defence has said the AWD program is on track to meet cost and schedule targets.
ASC Shipbuilding has paid tribute to its workforce and the AWD Alliance for the program reaching its targets on cost and on time.
"This milestone wouldn’t be possible without the continued dedication and performance of our highly capable shipbuilding workforce of more than 1,100 personnel," ASC said.
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"This first phase of sea trials will test the ship’s platform systems, including propulsion, manoeuvring, control and navigation systems, and will be followed by more advanced sea trials next year.
"Marking progress towards the delivery of our second major surface combatant, this achievement is a result of the close collaboration of the Air Warfare Destroyer Program partners including ASC Shipbuilding, the Department of Defence, Raytheon Australia and Navantia."
The AWD's will provide air warfare and undersea warfare defence for accompanying ships, land forces and coastal infrastructure, in addition to self-protection against missiles and aircraft.
The destroyers will be Australia’s first ships to be equipped with Lockheed Martin’s Aegis Weapon System, which integrates commercial-off-the-shelf technology and open architecture into the combat system.
Mid-next year, Brisbane will be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy to join her sister ship, HMAS Hobart, and will be followed in quick succession by the delivery of the third and final Air Warfare Destroyer, Sydney, in 2019.